Love, for instance

Three years ago, my first book ‘Water to Water’ was published.

Seeing your poems in print does offer an indescribable, bitter-sweet rush. But in hindsight, I learnt that putting a book out is not as much of a milestone as writing something that showcases how much you have progressed as a writer, as a poet, as a witness of the times, as a person. But on June 4th, 2019, I just sat and stared after I unboxed the first set of author copies. I immediately began to count the people who would never get to read my book.

This is a poem from the book, that I’ve never posted on my blog before.

Love, for instance

Love, for instance, waits as I write. Silent. Reads a page aloud
sometimes, with liquid vowels and mellow consonants, a different

dialect, lines I cannot recognize as my own. We cry together. The
sea was our first mistake. Something we can’t undo. Untouch. Or

stop. That ocean, you tell me, turns to the shore even on the opposite
side. I watch you go. How does the moon walk away at dawn? To

remedy sins, we build temples. We blame the gods and hide them,
safely, out of sight. We practice separation. Disentangle the cold

waves. The wind pauses, faithless. I marinate days in nights filled with
brine. What happens when an unexpected transformation lets us in

on its secret? I read the poem again, sticking my voice on the words.
Love waits. Silent. ‘Leaving’ sounds the same in every language.

****

Water to Water is available on Amazon in print and Kindle editions. Check this link for details.

 

****** Four new cherita inspired by that poem *****
(1)
strange, the way you say goodbye

as if the after-quiet
is a pause

even though
there is nothing
left to say

(2)
strange, the love of the moth

stranger still
the expectation

that the flame
would extinguish itself
first

(3)
strange, the moonless sky

unalleviated night
tightening around my head

wasn’t this sky
smaller
yesterday?

(4)
strange, that little yellow flower

growing wild
on the mountain side

peering around
the giant rocks
as if it is not afraid

A little chat with Khaya!

Had a little chat with fellow-poet, Khaya Ronkainen, about my book ‘Water to Water’ and about life and all things poetry! Thank you, Khaya, that was a lot of fun!

Khaya lives in Finland and Amazon being Amazon and international shipping being, well, international shipping, I mailed her a copy from the closest point I could reach – a tiny little post office in the middle of Old Town, Tallin, Estonia, which has the friendliest post-office-person in the world! From there the book could have caught the two-hour fast ferry to Helsinki, if it wanted to! Poetry crosses boundaries in ways we cannot imagine!

Here’s the link to the post on her blog.

Also, with Diwali round the corner, I’d like to give away a copy of ‘Water to Water’ to one interested poetry blogger in India. (Indian mailing addresses only!) So drop me an email at suspension.point@yahoo.com before 27th October 2019 if you would like a copy  and I’ll pick one name by lot.  Please include the name of your blog in the email.

 

How far is the temple?

What makes a poem come alive? Do you prefer reading it in the silence of your being or reading it aloud to yourself or having it whispered to you?

Here’s a recording of ‘How far is the temple?’ a poem that appears in my book Water to Water.

I’m still trying to find my way through the – audacity/soundcloud/ mixing/ wav vs mp3/complete chaos – maze. But here’s a little something.

 

 

Water to Water is available in digital and print formats on Amazon.

Of books and journeys and an atlas that shrinks at the touch

At Tallinn’s Lennart Meri Airport, Estonian bookseller Rahva Raamat has a little nook where you can pick up a book to read as you wait for your flight, take a book with you that you can bring back later from your travels or leave a book for others to read. Browsing their shelves I found a signed copy of ‘In defence of the cherries’ – poems by Peter Sragher and Claus Ankersen. I’d never heard of either of them, but sometimes a book gives you that long look, insisting it has something inside – just for you. A faint tingle of anticipation for the known unknown. A biting of the lip. A narrowing of the eye. There is no resisting that invocation.

So two things happened.

One, I couldn’t just take the book, even with the honest intention of finding a way to send it back to Tallinn at some point. So I left a copy of ‘Water to Water’ on the shelf, hoping my poems would find their own readers and their own journey. After all, that’s how poetry should happen to you – accidentally, without warning, just filling the space between your hands with something so intensely personal that you wouldn’t have even dared to acknowledge you needed.

And then, as I do with poetry books, I settled down and opened a page at random. The poem was titled: Farmer Poem on ‘The Ethos of Place’ and poetic nomadicity*.  My eyes followed the asterisk to the bottom of the page:
* This poem was written in India.
Now, this book is bilingual, published in Romania. I was in Tallinn, after a drive through the Baltics. The arc of poetry was bending towards my physical being in ways I still could not imagine.

So I read the poem, a rather long poem, that talks about “how nomads and poets always yearn/ for a belonging they can not embrace and rarely fathom/” I shivered. Yes. But the next page had more: “Did I tell you that/ one night in Bangalore, after a festival, all left to my own/ whorish worldly dances/ I took an auto to Koshy’s*, had vegetable curry, a paratha,/ fried fish and beer/ and among all the nomads and waiters dressed in white/ I faced my Karma Bhoomi:/ I am a wandering wordsmith/ as fleeing as the wind.” I didn’t need to follow the asterisk this time. I knew the place, the waiters’ uniform, the taste of that food, the trouble with wandering and words. And home. I have been there. Often. Coincidence is a probability. Strange is a constraint of knowledge. Koshy’s is an old restaurant in downtown Bangalore.

everything is connected
sometimes you are the dot, sometimes the space, sometimes the line
even your denial means something in another language

The Bridge

Everything is in free fall. There you are — standing on the bridge between life and death, between being something and becoming something else, between anticipation and foreboding, between then and thereafter, between what you were meant to be and what you will be when it is over.

And every word, every breath, every thought, leaves you to flutter downwards into the snaking continuum, not belonging to you before it was yours, not yours after it has belonged to you for that one moment — passing through your presence, changing you, changing itself, drifting rushing, reaching into the ever-moving. Still you wait with hopes and dreams in your sad eyes as if the tumult of the shuddering universe has taught you nothing.

sky or sea or wind –
who owns
this first monsoon cloud?

 

 

Water to Water, my first poetry collection, is now available on Amazon – US, UK and India

 

My book!

Very pleased to share that my first poetry collection – Water to Water – has been published by Notion Press and is now available on Amazon.

Here are the links for:

India: 
USA:
UK:

 

I can’t thank the wordpress community enough for their encouragement over the last few years. I now look forward to your feedback and support!