On reading Yeats suddenly

I don’t much mind grey pavements. The sun
Is not the fiercest of my gods and I have many.
Alters abound about me where deities of various
Hue are summoned and when my prayers are done
They cluster about me. You might call it my
Bee-loud glade. Obeisance paid and worship due
Are the quiet desperation of battles hard-won.
Unmoored, deep-mired, sweet-sung, self-sired,
You are the way and the wayfarer and the tired
Kindness of strangers is sometimes the only boon
Granted. So we could arise, we could go now, but until
Peace comes dropping slow, perhaps some goddess
Of fire will rain yearning upon these pavements
Grey and in those pooling lakes we will build
Our cities of desire to guide the way.


In Gratitude to April Wayfarers

A month of poems ends
With a day dedicated to labour.
A month that began
With a day dedicated to Fools.
Therein lies, perhaps, a metaphor
Requiring another set of tools.
Yeats’s hammer, pummelling thoughts
Into unity; Eliot’s chisel, moulding
Images from handfuls of dust.
The spade of James Wright, folding
Epiphanies into the earth’s crust.
Old Bill’s tarp stretched over our heads
To catch over weaning ambition;
Ghalib and Faiz, Ludhianvi and Mira
Solder and weld the self and creation.
But of all the names and works of hands
Those of you, all banded here
Are closest to the bone. You stand
Together and walk the way
From All Fools to Labour Day.


(April is, of course, National Poetry Writing Month. This poem is dedicated to all the fellow bloggers on Daily Riyaaz who wrote together through April.)


semesterProtestGovernments are so often
Like blossoming pear trees.
I learnt this when I stood
One silent white summer
And thought of James Wright.
“Perfect, beyond my reach,
How I envy you.” he wrote.
“For if you could only listen,
I would tell you something,
Something human.” It smote
My just cause into dust. Trusting,
The petitioner stands, missing,
Often, the point of her own protest.
The government is not Yeats’s
“Great rooted blossomer”. The jest
Is on the trees, when you learn
That it is the heat, not the shade,
That frees.