Monday, March 22, 2010

Feast: Body and Soul

Feast your eyes
on the cheeses and the sauces
the steaming soup
the melting-in-the-mouth dessert.
savour the rich aromas
the mix of desires and spires of smoke
Steep yourself into it, crave for it.
Then dip, bite, chew, dig in
Let the full-filling meal
satiate your body's hunger.
And watch how
the spires and the desires
the aromas and the sauces
stitched up
that rent in your heart
that tear in your soul
where pangs
of unconsummated desires
had lurked.
That was when you were too busy

Of Poetry, Dreams and Reveries

Poetry, dreams and reveries
create oyster pearls
and fertile lands
from grains of desert sand.
black monsoon clouds with rain
Moons, stars and comets
wanderers in the night.

A blank notebook page
or a digital word file
tabularasa of my mind
like the ovary is the receptacle
for the stamen's pollen.
mine to write, edit, delete
cross over and write again
I the solipsist, creator, god.

Spaces that are truly "mine"
Cottages, nests and homes
Through them, I cautiously put out
feelers, tentacles
sticky threads of spider webs
connecting links
with myself,
with the world.

Being Belindas (a response to Pope's Rape of the Lock)

The mirror hangs before me
My long face stares back at me
a pointed chin
whose rounding I dread
A tiny forehead
gleaned from the thick mass
of black hair surrounding it.
At the black hair
now streaked with red
I oscillate between
fascination and nostalgia
The hair, mostly helter-skelter
sometimes, precise in a bun
A glazed eyeball
with its bit of plastic-glas lens
A newly pierced nose--
a shade too large
showing off that li'l bit of green
My ears trying to seek attention
with their multiple studs and rings
which I regard as pets
And a moody mouth.
but on the whole, a face
I can live with.
My skin the colour
of burnt caramel
a thin, supple body
I am unashamedly
in love with.

Bottles and vials lined
in an array on the slab beside me
the daily ritual
of cleansing, toning, conditioning
the creams and the perfumes
the chief kohl that lines my eyes
the earrings in their silver box
the cupboard with its
greater assortment of clothes
than i could ever wear
the occupational hazards
of being a young girl.

Oh Pope, and other misogynists!
We love being Belindas
and Belindas we shall remain
with our bottles and our vials
our bibles and our billet doux
and we rebel against rapes
of our locks and otherwise.
our bodies and their vagaries
and tricks we play with them
are ours.
And not playthings or objects
for your phallus
or that inglorious phallic symbol
your pen.

The Art of Juda Making

A wealth of hair
wound around my hand
twisted, just so
with a flip movement, there.
And then there's the inner filling
the stuffing
which must be put in
just right, neither caving in
nor protruding
ouch! That was tricky!
A cautious patting of the bun
to affirm its roundness
its smoothness, neatness
And the wooden stick
with its carved, crowning head
is now inserted
at just the right angle.
Or a pencil or a paintbrush
would do as well
if sticks are few.
Holding up a mass of hair
with a single stick
and grace
that comes from minimalism
The art of juda making
like the art of poetry
is of delicate precision.

A Love-Lorn Night

Last night I realised
that I am the climbing
white rose briar
and you the teak tree
with your straight smooth bark
and broad leaves
I lose myself
upon extrication.

Last night I discovered
you again,
through your words
you came alive
within me
within these angular walls.

Last night I realised
that this pain that writhes
like a body that is shot
but is not quite dead
and this dull, slow ache
that haunts till life
becomes death
is part of me.

Last night I remembered
the pearl the oyster makes
of the itching grain of sand
and I prayed
that the wisdom of the oyster
be granetd me.

Homeless Home-makers

A dhoti, a vest
is that a man
precariously balanced
on the wooden ladder
on the third floor
in a sea of mortar?
Saris tied to be gotten
out of the way
women carrying
head loads of brick and cement
Kids of all sizes
playing in the mud
sleeping on the ground
crying, sniffling, happy, gay
in scanty, dirty clothes
they turn into cement
sand and mortar themselves.
Make shift houses
and make shift meals
defy the name
having become the only
way of life.
eaten by mosquitoes
sun, wind and rain
living in shacks
of jute sacks and tarpaulin
they build multi storeyed
buildings with turrets, pillars
fancy woodwork
and exquisite grandeur.

On a roller coaster ride

From pleasure pinnacles
I plunge headlong
into deep abysses
Dancing with delight
I find myself
in doldrums of despair.
Eternally internally
on a roller coaster ride
looking to you
depending on you
for dancing and plunging
you the key
and I the clockwork.

Rushing, rolling, dashing, drowning
grown tired and weary
I wonder why my boat
rocks so violently.

Your fear brings me closer to you

Fear stares at me
through your eyes
stands face to face
with the fear in mine.
Fear speaks to fear
I see fear run through your eyes
touch your lips, change your face
Your fear brings me closer
to you.

Hatred would break me
Dislike cripple me
as I stand at your mercy
yet again.
But your fear tells me
you have devils
and demons to fight
as much as I have mine.

Strange conundrum!
Your fear brings me closer
to you
your pain helps me deal with
my own.

Things Fall Apart

Things fall apart
and bury
a piece of my heart
under rubble.
My shrieking, protesting heart
alive and awake
is buried under rubble.
reams of paper fall apart
an earthquake hits me
tremors shake the ground beneath me
treasured memories, lost loves
covered by debris
scarred forever
struggle to survive.

In a Library

The far corner on the right side
of the first floor of the library
There they are--shelves 9,10,11,12,13
The Literature section
all labelled with "American lit"
"Indian lit", 14th to 20th century lit
musty, yellowed, decaying
books bound in red and brown
faded, crumbling tomes
line my hands with their dust
shelf after long shelf of books
ceiling to floor, wall to wall
here and there, ah relief!
books with shiny, laminated covers
books with glossy, illustrated jackets
books, books, books
and me
lost in a reverie
awed into solemnity
world opens upon new world
in a library.

These are a few of my favourite things

Peacocks trees rivers poetry
Jane Eyre, Brunizem menstrual rites
Don Williams Simon and Garfunkel
masks fractals long open tresses

coffee popcorn silver fishes in my ears
red black olive green purple
blue elephants flying violet owls
big fat yellow gold moons

These are a few of my favourite things...
mixing memory and desire
they speak to me
of you...

A Lens in Solution

A nucleus in cytoplasm
a fish in water
in air, it dries up
cripples, shrivels, and dies.
in solution, it unfolds and blossoms
gaining new life.

A Lens in Solution