ARC

A little bit of everything


Tag: Poetry

A Song for Someone II

Streaks of purple and green
flash across the burnt sky
to vanish behind my eyes
like the play of your lips on my fingertips that winter afternoon

Sunlight slips out from beneath the clouds
clustered like children in a playground
I close my eyes and try to recall what we felt
that night when the moonlight danced across your skin

The barbet’s call is never ending and insistent
driving itself into my mind and unearthing
that moment in a foreign bedroom
when you held my head and time seemed to stop at the end of your smile

The drama of the forest around is lost on me
as I slip and slide along a wave of nostalgia
that suddenly drowns me in the memory of your smell,
an intense farrago of jasmine, musk and petrichor

The light is different now, grey like
the mountain before me and on its unyielding face
I project many moments from our past and try to relive
our first teleserial morning together when you woke me up with chaste Hindi

A sailor floats across in the summer breeze
navigating through a tangle of stunted trees
and reminds me of the impermanence of memory
that can blur the curve of your hips beyond remembrance now

But amidst this verdant dreamland that surrounds me
and leaves me breathless I can still remember
how you shuddered and held on to me when
our bodies rose and fell like a song under the starless sky

Note: A companion piece to this.

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Geography

In an instant
I’m plunged into
the old roaring of words
that fell from the soaring heights of
our eyes
to land like rainbow colored mist between
our toes.

—-

This geography
of eyelashes and elbows
making its mark
on our common spaces.

—-

The unchanged arc
of our intimate history
lights up
your single dimple.

——

The fog is thick between
the dust colored sunshine
and the fading smell
of last night’s jasmine.

—–

Leave this hour behind
inside me
like the signature of your smile
on the blind tips of my fingers.

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Rain

I sat by the railing
as rain water dripped
from the roof that was
shaped like a shroud
and remembered that night
when I woke up suddenly
to feel
the ground beneath my body
tremble like a torn piece of paper.

—–

I sat by the railing
as rain water dripped
from the roof that was
shaped like a sundial
and remembered those days
of half digested dreams
that began with a kiss
and ended with a handshake.

—–

I sat by the railing
as rain water dripped
from the roof that was
shaped like a solution
and remembered your glee
when the sun broke into two pieces
in the watery grave of my eyes.

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Dust

dust storms rage through
the city
wrapping everything
with a thin layer of light brown

an innocuous message
flapping
in the storm
suddenly reminds me
of you
and me
wrapped around
each other

in another world
in another time

when snow swirled
through the air and your hair
to land
on the edge of your smile

the sand swirls too
like a dancer
erasing definition
enabling memory

how time runs
between us

just the other day
lying in your arms
I wished for forever

and today
I look at hope
as a dirty word

it is so hard
to want, yeah, to hope
and then
see what is inside
shrivel and
die
like the look in your eyes
I imagined
when you hung up
so abruptly

paper tigers
run around
in the dim light
like we did
on the staircase
in the wild
beneath the broken
burning dome of blue

the world watched
our game
held its breath
and on that special day
exhaled

dust storms
blow sand grains
into my eyes
bringing tears
to parched lands

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Skin

I leave my skin out in the sun
to dry
under the upturned bowl of blue

white stretch marks season its expanse
like speed breakers

scars and moles acquire
new significance under the harsh glare

this small scar under the bend of the eyebrow
now stretched out seems like a third eye

I was not aware of

my favorite mole
on the forehead

my second favorite mole
on the right wrist

come together
like full stops

to end the story before it was fleshed out

this skin, my skin
without a great tale behind its color

lies to me
about craving, about a dirty unsated desire

that burns beneath the surface
and cannot be cured

by this simple exorcism under the elements

but the heat continues to burn
all that is trapped in the pores

and willing all that remains to remember
the punishment of advanced age

exposed, ugly, rough and tough
this is the story

of my skin hung out to dry out on the wire by the gate

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Observations

The curtain on the edge of my finger flutters
like a dream shaking off sleep

The hills behind the horizon are as still
as my heart was on the morning you left

The words sit on the page
like patient children waiting for the teacher to call their name

The tear drops pool on tissues
like loneliness does within a faded photo

The mornings speed by unnoticed
like the lines across your forehead

The afternoons stop me in mid sentence
like your kisses did on that convenient staircase

The evenings fade into dusk
like shadows greeting darkness

The nights linger after midnight
like your smell did on my skin

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Silverline

Walking
one afternoon
on a path that led
into thick bushes
I came upon him,
fully formed
and bright.

Wings tucked in
on the edge of a jagged leaf
he sat
contemplating perhaps
the great drop
below.

I approached quietly
with
my viewing box
and
held it up to my eye.

He swam into detail
like a boat nearing the shore.

Off white wings
divided by
bright orange lines
flecked with silver.

Two thin tails
parallel
like the latitudes
pointed away
from his striped body.

Beneath the tails
two threads
that dropped away
like anchors.

He and I
waited
there in the bushes
surrounded by bird call
and the distant beat of a fast flowing river
until suddenly the branch above me moved
and my shadow fell across him.

He rose in an instant
on those wings dipped in silver
and fluttered away
before I could take
another photograph,
before I could
introduce myself.

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Inside Corners

The beast rose within
to smash the mirror of memory
that hung on the
low wall of self loathing.

—–

Watermelon dreams
stain the skin of summer
as she smothers the city
in her blazing yellow shamiana.

—–

A gap in the stars
A full stop out of place
The twisted sky falls apart
The world sleeps.

—–

A sudden hush descends
on the neon painted night scape
washing the empty gullies that
sing cement colored sonnets.

—–

There is a shadow on her lip
as she stares out of the moving window
at the traffic gliding
between her screaming fists.

—–

They were watching TV
India Shining in their eyes
broken, battered pasts and totalitarian presents
erased by a clever copywriter.

—–

Death begins with doubt
inside corners
that inhabit our shadows.

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In These Arms

In these arms I gather
the loneliness of your dreams
as you curl into my corners
lost in a shapeless geography.

In these arms I gather
the trembling lips of dawn
as she awakens you
from night’s deep dark abandon.

In these arms I gather
the wet whispers of your hair
as they slither between
sunshine and shade.

In these arms I gather
the invitations of intimacy
that traverse your tongue
as it explores a new vocabulary.

In these arms I gather
the songs of your breasts
as they breathe between
your heart and mine.

In these arms I gather
the essence of ecstasy
as you arch your back
over the bridge of my fingers.

In these arms I gather
the tenderness of twilight
as the light sinks
into the night behind our words.

In these arms I gather
the silver stars in your eyes
as they search
for stardust in mine.

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A Song For Someone

Every day that passes behind the calendar
strikes a different chord in the long chapter of remembrance,
the winter that never became our season,
the kisses that never crossed our lips.

It is 6 am and I am sitting here
by the window and wondering about all
the steps that we walked away from when
the time came to hold onto our promise.

Dawn breaks her beautiful cover
in the company of blue light and
a stillness that brings to mind
that night in the back seat of a stranger’s car.

Go on, take a second to remember all that
we talked about as the roads slid by beneath us.
Remember the bright promise of your words that kept
me from taking the easy way out?

I tell myself that time never gave us a chance
for in the rush to get away we came together. And
when the night hurried away to hide behind the sun
you left for the comfort of familiarity.

One day, far away from now, we will
sit with a drink and smile at the stupidity
of hope. But right now the promises are too new
to ignore, too bright to shield this weak heart.

One way or the other the world will move again,
change will turn our heads away from a past that
will be left behind in forgotten photos and in
the vast wasteland of our collective memories.

But until then let me indulge that memory
where something caused your face to glow
under the faint light of the moon when you
turned to me and whispered those special words.

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