End Of The Road

If there’s an ocean at the end
Of the street, even the puddles
Seem headed that way. The huddled
Buildings, grey and blue, bend
Their angular corners towards the hills
If the end of the street so wills.
I think, as my feet aimlessly wend
Their way down foreign streets,
That there must be a mountain,
An ocean, a future, to meet.


Cry Me A River

You see that streak in the middle?
That looks like a river? It was actually
A little sliver of rain, just a drop, really,
The only one left after the wind
Had dried the rain that fell constantly
That day. I wanted a picture
Of the mountains streaked with ice
Vivid under the flat grey of the skies
And I didn’t see that single streak
Slipping down the glass windscreen
Carving a seeming crevasse on the peak.
You won’t notice, unless you’re very near,
The mountain, moved by a tear.

Simple Rhymes for Difficult Times

Peace be in your streets
Let no neighbour inspect
Your larder for its meats.
Let no man suspect
Your daughter of eyeing
Mates of other castes.
Peace be in your markets
As people shop between fasts.
May those who consider dyeing
Their cloths in other hues
Choose wisely amongst colours
While paying holy dues.
Peace be in your homes
Where reading stops at sundown
When hiding certain tomes
Means riding until run down.
Let no man be left slumped
On his doorstep, stained.
Let huddles of good folk disperse
Their blood lust undrained.
Let sunsets carry what reds
We need to light our days
And nations wave what flags
They must, and go their separate ways.

Peace be upon this city
That none need earn their pity.

Around Midnight

When the red gold sears
The desert sands of the skies
And the mountain rises
Like a mirage, mystic, promising
Water to the sailor, thirsting
For sandy shores. And the seas
Glitter and glow on dark beaches
Bringing treasure from the reaches
To strange lands where women
Watch from the rocks for seafarers
Washed ashore.


Daedalus on a Summer’s Day

I thought I saw Icarus fall
White in a sky of blue
An iridescent fireball
A folly of feathers and glue
I thought I heard Icarus sing
The wind fluting in descent
A common snipe on the wing
A late spring lament.

But my eyes have long since failed me
Not entirely from years
Blinded by a son that blazed as he trailed me
Afire with my burden of fears.
Too old to see these silent flyers
Childless father of flight
Bound forever in this bird thronged tower
Forever airborne, blinded by light.


Ballad for Bedivere

I first saw them heading north
White edges raised to the grey
Skies, blue under-bellies turned
Away from the black waters,
Jagged ripples of ice. The mountains
Streaked brown now, slowly stripped
Of snow. I know
Now, excruciatingly, how
That doomed knight saw
The gleaming hilt, dazzled
By every tilt
Of the jewelled Blade. Bow
Under the weight of frozen fate.
The arm clothed in white samite
Brandishes the new year
Even here, where no colour clangs
Holi, holy no less, on thawing banks.
(Holi marks the Hindu New Year)