Nescience

I wait at the newspaper stand
Reading, the morning is grey
Ash tinted
Like an old man’s asthma

Buds of people are sprouting
From windows and eggshell alleyways
Dressed in yesterday’s dreams
And tommorow’s promises
Faces creased, bespectacled
With white hairs a halo
From the century long sunlight
Age ever ached to swallow

A ballad pours from the the barbershop
The old stereo is crooning about
Footsteps falling on azure fields
And carts on country roads
I can smell the aftershave
At once bitter and sweet
The razor once again vacant
Without the borrowed heartbeat

There is a fallacy here
Between the words and vision
I read and see
The stories seem vibrant but life colour-free
Perhaps it is the weight of being
That makes it so
For all of us do wither
But only some of us grow

The children have gathered on the footpath
A bell in some temple tolls
The priests are praying for bliss
And in laughter a football rolls
I watch, I watch
The world divided in unison
Each hour be day or night
Being a part of every season

So I pay my fair share
It’s time for me to leave
And be one amongst the masses
Who in eternity believe
Of everyday man and their everyday deeds
In the cycle of fruit from the flower and flower from the seeds
If only one would question; Does the roots if ever know?
Of the world that blooms outside from their breaths buried below

The Man Asleep


Life, look out
This man asleep
Is walking a dream
His pulse, afraid of inimical things, dance
At the incoherent din of the cattle bell,
For he knows only the time of tommorow
Prophesied by blind sages
Sages left by the world to marinate in old age
And he carries it; the cattle bell, it’s dead weight, it’s rue weight, like a talisman
Through the thick fog of promises
To the other side, where the light, yet unseen, seems to shine differently
For the sages who have looked on the winter
From far, would know something of the snow
Or so he hoped, with his face coddled within the blinkers
And crowned with a horseshoe

Life, look out
The man asleep
Knows not that he is sleeping
And so as waves he worship the shore
Unaware that he stands with men
Too afraid to blink at the sea
And soon he too would be watching the waters
Shiver with each breath of the seagull
Till his own wings wither and rot away
Leaving him; this epileptic Icarus
A common man among the common men
Left to watch each sunrise
And every sunset
From the shade of a dry sacamore
The hinterland of heart
That burned in winter
Knows both fire and ice is the same;
Perhaps, in the slow dance of the dying fire
He seeks the heat some more
Perhaps, his dreams are dreams of a dream
He dreamt he has dreamt before…

Her Fire and Her Flesh

Her eyes were on the fire
Her fingers in the dough
The smoke; it left her breathless
Like the kerosene she poured into the stove
The sweat dipped her lashes
To her tears were all blind
She was only a shadow on the wall
Though being a woman one of a kind

She had trapped Ganges in her hair
And Pharaohs praised her lotus feet
Her’s was Mumtaz’s Taj
And to her belonged the Papal Seat
But all that was her she had given
In dowry for her father’s name,
With the hope she would be treasured
And not burnt alive for the same

But soon a time shall come
When a Sita will not walk
A false Ordeal of Fire
So blind people would not talk
And soon a time shall come
When a Draupadi will not accept
The men and their game of dice
Weighted against her self-respect
And no longer any Eve shall answer
For Adam’s own intent
And let a Mother be always a Martyr
And Father always a Saint