Poetry Tuesday #4 – Blue

And for the last Poetry Tuesday offering this November, the prompt is ‘Blue’ – sky, sea, mood, music, sapphires, ink – blue is where poems begin! Blue was also the soul of my first poetry collection ‘Water to Water

Here’s my poem for the prompt today. Share yours using the Mister Linky widget below. Thanks to all those who’ve been part of this series with their thoughts and poems. Maybe we’ll do another one sometime soon!



On the other side of rain

The rain comes first and then the darkness,
then the fear, then the silence – louder than
the rain on glass and tile, darker than the
night, afraid of itself, holding me like a long
lost lover. If you were here, I would tell you
there are sixteen types of quiet. In fifteen of
them, I talk to you without saying a word. A
yellow chrysanthemum describing itself to
a moonless sky. Tonight, you speak and I
point to my ear and shake my hand, you are
too far away – on the other side of rain, at the
beginning of a protracted monsoon. Silence
breathes hard, holding my face in its hands.
Isn’t conversation easier when someone is
actually talking? The blue sky explaining to
the blue lake why they are both colourless.

Silence Burns Midnight Blue

Your poetry is a breaking of water, a
birth pang, let us talk instead of
seeds. Of skin. Of earth. Of before.
What did you really mean when you
wrote of love? How distant is the word
from the thought? Is silence the purest
word, stripped of pretence, emotion
submitting naked to the starlight? If I
imagine you -without words- silence burns
midnight blue, is the colour of afternoon
lust, I sense you like a second
wound, a noiseless picking of scab from
an unseen cut. I do not speak. Silence is where
we go when we go beyond love, where
we spool back our lines, unmask our
metaphors, where we accept that the
poem is a false reckoning, realize that silence
is a euphemism for scream.

All The Things

all the things broken, things we broke,
we connect with words
see that row of body bags
see that crying child, another, another,
our poetry is knitting them together
later when it snows
we will wrap our toes in long sentences
and tell ourselves it will be a white Christmas,
see that person kneeling
see that extended hand, another, another,
we have prayers and chants to exalt them
later when it rains
we will cover our heads with ellipses
and tell ourselves it will be spring soon,
even the graves
will be buried
under the wild flowers.


Where are the fires of unfortunate love, the impassioned excesses of
solitude, the sordid intoxication of glass after glass of fermented living;

here where words, no, they aren’t words yet, here where thoughts
gyrate against naked sky and birth poems, here where nameless need

bubbles pointlessly into the emptiness, here there should be angst,
there should be ecstasy, their lips locked, their bodies enmeshed, one

inseparable from the other; where is the soul of frenzied possibility,
where is the infinite futility of light; look how the morning seizes the

darkness and fills my foetal verses with its pasty gloom, you said there
would be joy in this creation, in this alchemy of breath into expression,

in the way the heart pauses at a comma, uncertain, you said there would
be a meaning to the pain, that silence would burst open with wings the

colour of tomorrow, that truth would find a way to consummation, that
it would end. Then why do I hear only the requiem of this gunmetal quiet.

Micropoetry Month: Nov 2017: #25

Micropoetry MonthA Quadrille (44 word poem) this morning that came out of nowhere! Sometimes, you start writing something and it takes on a life of its own and picks its own form, chooses its own words and then dares you to make a single change. The poet then, is just a channel, a medium for thoughts even he or she has not fully understood.

Spark your own micropoem and share using comments or Mister Linky! Do stop to read the lovely poems shared by fellow bloggers!

I want to know
what birds call the sky,
how fish fear the land,
where the wind thinks it’s going,
how stars prepare for death.
It can’t be just me
sitting on the edge,
with all these words
that cannot explain
what I’m feeling.


Micropoetry Month: Nov 2017: #18

Micropoetry MonthYesterday’s experiment with tanka impels me  to take it further with ‘Tanka Prose’. Like a haibun but with a signature tanka instead of a haiku, this is an excellent form to stretch one’s imagination and word crafting skills even further.

Try this or any other form of micropoetry and share using comments or Mister Linky.

Without Words

For days we climbed together. Sometimes they disappeared into the mist ahead, sometimes they lingered on the edges. I could always hear their whispered voices, even as the sky slipped closer. But now the words are gone and I have been orphaned by the need to speak. In their soundless absence, the river is just one ceaseless motion, the moon in it is just a point of reflection and this moment is both big enough to fill the universe and small enough to tremble as the cold wind rushes by. What will the birds call me if I do not have a name?

on the other side
of the horizon-
the eagle’s wing
dips into
the silent dark


Metered Silences

in another life, beloved,
place on my parched lips
songs from ancient Persia,
so I can quote Rumi to Hafez,
debate Khayyam with the gods,
so I can read Jami with those who
split open verses and drink deep
your wine from their gurgling veins

or maybe we can sit by the Yamuna
and learn as the Taj recites,
her shoulders gently
rocking in the wind,
the moon floating
between her marbled limbs,
love’s cold anguish in quatrains
that should have no language

but teach me now, beloved,
to strip words of meaning
and wind them on the broken trellis,
I swear I won’t add one more inchoate
line to your crumpled sky,
show me beloved, how to write
with your eyes, how to ferment
this poetry in metered silences.

On Dark Nights Like This

a sallow-faced wind patrols the yard this morning
eyes narrowed, hands deep in its grey long coat
like those dour spies from old black and white movies,
there has been little rain
just the odd gust driving ashen clouds
wary of its own incontinence,
we let the silence mark a path through the living room
back and forth, as if talking about him
would change something,
the air or the colour of the light
and we could never enter the room again,
you’re trying not to look at the picture in the corner
as if seeing it would change nothing,
it would never walk in from the kitchen again,
clothes following in metered rhyme,
down the street, the moon slips into a letterbox,
the night sets up a vigil for dawn,
the wind stops to ruffle the head of the neem he planted,
on dark nights like this
who knows if the memories come first
or the tears?

In a rusting coffee tin

there were things to be said,
words to be poured like soothing balm, like hungry fire,
like unctuous oblations,
but I hear footsteps in the corridor ;

yesterday we stripped identities,
let me not be who I was,
let me not be who I became,
blindfold me, gag my god,
here take this, every original thought
I saved in a rusting coffee tin,
thoughts that never chanced the light,
accidents occur in the open air,
thoughts mutate, grow wings sometimes,
or fins, learn to swim through opaque slime,
so I left them in their raw nakedness
smeared with the blood of their birth,
there are words to be forgotten like impotent rage, like mute protests
like bent-knee euphemisms,
but I feel the hot breath on my neck;

yesterday we wondered what matters,
the sea is not judgemental
but it provides no direction,
the sky is temperamental,
a shifting constant still not revealing
the space above it,
the husk of mirage over seeds of truth
peels a little in the passion of broken fingers,
astringent voices coat the air between stars
for a brief moment,
fellow passengers on a train that cannot leave its rails,
the shells we build crack and crumble
not under marble pestles
but from within as we kick to unbind arms and legs,
there are words to be saved like secret talismans, like ancient prophecies,
like virgin tomorrows,
but I feel the steel of the twisting knife;

yesterday we were silent,
there were things to be said.