What Colour?

What colour is a fallen leaf in the dark? I watched him measure
libations of water and sesame seeds, chanting under his

breath. It was Amavasya, the period of the dark moon, the time
for sacred rituals for the dead. The silver spoon trembled in his

wrinkled hand. How many times had he sat there at the appointed
hour, remembering grandpa, and great-grandpa who wasn’t even a

photograph, just a pixelated memory of a twirled moustache and
great coat, a man who had predicted that the British would not

last the summer. His son met my eyes from a row of framed pictures,
an almost frown, disapproving of my slouched incongruence. The oil

lamp spilt its liquid fire on brass bowls of vermillion and turmeric,
stark against his snow white hair. When had he aged so much? When

had the carmine and gamboge hues of his fleeing autumn become so
cold to my touch. What colour exactly is death in the morning?


Is yearning the disconsolate sigh deep inside the crimson heart of the rosebud, heard only by the waiting butterfly? Is yearning the lone silver tendril that wraps around a reluctant sunbeam as fevered breath shivers in the arms of a winter night? Or is yearning the bent crease of an origami moon that watches its reflection in the depths of a single star-flecked tear?

Would that this, our world,
Might be ever as it is!
What a lovely scene!
See that fisherwoman’s boat,
Rope-drawn, rowed along the beach.
(by Kamakura no Udaijin in Clay MacCauley’s translation of the anthology Hyakunin Isshu-93)

Or, perhaps, yearning is just time bent eight different ways to make portable skies, with acquiescent clouds of tomorrows and yesterdays, that smell of crushed strings of jasmine and flutter like the golden patterns of woven silk sarees in the uncertain lamp light.

inside the cuckoo’s song
wet moonlight stains
on new mango leaves

Linked to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai where the prompt asks for a haiku/tanka that inspired us as well as an all-new haiku to go with it.


So obsessed
by sakura
this spring,
I curse
the bright sunlight
in my upturned gaze.
The sun
we prayed for
all winter
with eyes tightly shut.

Poetweet: Exactly 140 characters long including spaces and punctuation.
April:#11- 06/30


Her petite hands
wove many-hued dreams
as he walked away
in chilly silence.
Winter was gone.
A glorious sun
wondered at
spring’s moist eyes.

Poetweet: Exactly 140 characters long including spaces and punctuation.

Posted in 3WW Week No. 420 (Prompts: Chilly, Glorious, Petite)


We barely knew
when the sparrows
left our deafening town.
In the winter quiet
I let them chirp
in remixed soundtracks
of my dissonant youth.

Poetweet: Exactly 140 characters long including spaces and punctuation.

Not Having You

In the end,
it was not hard
to let you go.

rushed in,
a new tenant,
with a shiny key,
eyeing the still-warm couch.

In the end,
it wasn’t even awkward.

Not like the early ray,
that lost its way, reaching too soon
the shadowy eyes
of the sleeping night.

Not even like silence,
sneaking up the trailing dots
of the ellipsis that strung
your sentence to mine.

In the end,
there was no need
to let you go.

You went gently,
like melting snow,
the first shoots of spring,
would have no memory
of the winter that passed
before them.

26/4/2015: Linked to Poets United