How Else?

Of course, the easiest explanation is
the most difficult to conceive, but how

else can we account for the perfection
of randomness, for the precision of

evolution that allows us to stare at
sunsets, forgive the asymmetry of an

orange-gold death and almost consider
a meticulous god as we would the

improbability of life; how else can we
account for love when it is over, isn’t

pain much better borne if we know it
was scripted, if we were not picked by

the arbitrary raising of an eye; all
these nights, the moon there, hauntingly

beautiful and yet so alone, this surfeit of
emptiness has to be someone else’s fault.


My atheism is a silent prayer to randomness, an incantation with
trembling hands, imagine if this love was scripted, our passion

underlined in red on some yellowing scroll, this cold, that grows with
each step you take further away, measured out in karma, in faith,

in the dark algebra of emptiness. Chance can be the only currency
of this inanity. Imagine the hours we spent loving, the years we will

spend unloving, meaning something beyond arbitrary indulgences
that fill our time. Imagine if it was supposed to add up to something,

if this pain that burns rational thought was designed, if there is
someone to blame, if every movement of the heart is a carefully

choreographed dance. Imagine how we would survive that. Imagine
how we would unlive that. How we would hush the all-knowing wind.


Micropoetry Month: Nov 2017: #8

Micropoetry MonthThe last time I tried my version of Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” I called it “ Thirteen Ways of Looking in the Mirror” . Think I need to change my perspective!

Try your own set of thirteen (or three or ten) or share any other form of micropoetry using comments or Mister Linky! Here’s mine.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Myself


my silence
is the space
I concede to you,


as a fragment of a fragment
of a fragment…
should I worry
that I am incomplete


whatever you see
when you see me,
know that inside
I am polished mirror


my anger has a way
of finding hidden words
while pain sits in the dark
reading someone else’s poems


what I know about love
I learnt from the river
that polishes one stone
into a glowing pebble
and lets another survive


I was once a chinar leaf
that fell, sunset soaked,
to the rhythm
of fading footsteps…
matter to matter


the space I occupy
is the space that separates earth from sky
like an unkindness


I am a grieving
widow, ashen draped,
mourning a rain
that never fell


this I know-
my shadow also believes
I am just a trick
of the morning light


I make lists on parchment
of things the world won’t give me-
in return for things
I won’t give the world


does rough wool
want to be fine muslin?
does my swirling mind
want to be Rumi’s song?


louder than any
silence I know
is the whisper of stones
in an abandoned temple


perpetrator and victim,
I judge myself
from the sidelines



Micropoetry Month: Nov 2017: #4

Micropoetry MonthElaine Patricia Morris who writes at Watermelonseeds introduced me a couple of days ago to a form called ‘Naani’. This is a four line poem containing 20-25 syllables invented by an Indian poet, Dr. N. Gopi, who writes in the Telugu language. I did some hunting and found parts of an English translation of the book he wrote called Naneelu (The Little Ones).

So with a hat tip to Elaine and Celestine Nudanu, here’s my first shot at this new form!
Share your micropoem (of any size, shape or form) through the comments section or Mister Linky!


Nothing is random,
not even thoughts.
Last night I imagined we were talking,
now this.


Aren’t we little gods
with our little universes,
our secrets imploding
like stars within us.


The smell of new rain
on old parched earth,
stirring all that we
forgot to remember.


Everything we don’t know
fills the sky above,
I feel your fingers
tighten around mine.


It’s a race to the finish
between climate and war,
who will tell the girl
poised on the hopscotch square?


The Way I Walk

I write the way I walk,
in the morning, still smelling of sleep and stars,
head bowed, the familiar even stranger
like a long lost childhood acquaintance,
staring sometimes at a house, a tree, an idea,
as if it were relocated the night before,
as if going faster will stretch the road,
or make the slightest difference to yesterday’s butter chicken,
the past unaltered by the plodding ministrations of the present;

I write in long strides on empty pavements,
an exercise over loose stones and silent ugliness,
while the sun is already warm on April’s shoulder,
words frown, seeking the shadows
of metaphorical jacarandas, before they form,
no one notices the unbalanced gait, the faltering,
frequent collisions with imagined obstacles,
no one cares in a city stretching a million arms,
covering a million yawns, for such early indulgence,

I write with the urgent numbness of the unslept,
in the blind spot of a world
consumed by its own reductive parentheses,
dropping hoarse consonants in my path
like a dog walker who does not pick up after his pet,
walking too short a distance to be useful,
too long to be pleasurable stroll,
too many times to be able to separate one rhythm from the other,
too hamstrung in my own trail to recognize the short way home.

I write the way I walk,
one unmeasured thought chasing after the other,
as another day implodes along its fault lines.