Poetry is prayer

in life’s vicissitude:

a saving grace against

manipulated or

unmanifested odds

overwhelming without

warrant or patterning


I do not write the sun, storm or sea

but re-create myself and others

in verses turn time and pluck some stars

to find my way through masked trenches

witness to my sinking into mud

that curves the memories into bias

disgrace dust, sky, wind, and all relations

window of emotions I must chain

to breathe a pure breath without passion

and discover essence of beauty

spring a move towards self harmony

perfection and peace, prelude to nude

enlightenment to carve life in full


The faces appearing

and receding in

dark of closed eyes

don’t answer why

they aren’t winged souls

fading in the sun

I emptied before it set

in the gowns of girls

stopped from dancing barefoot:

they shake autumn in the rain

mist blurs the image

water spills in shady pool


The sun couldn’t help

nor fish protect:

river has no sex

so it dried up

trapped in its own banks


This chilly night

she folds her arms and legs

resting her head

upon the knees and sits

as an island


Ghosts rise to mate

in moonlight tear the tombs

frighten with fingers

rhino horns rock the centre

granite sensation



spring from night

whispering darkness

fog the streetlight

and I walk


against wind

unseen and unheard


into dreams

create circles

of longings

or spin wheels

of miracles

with blind faith

drug genes and

drone out psalms

in void


I know a fire burns

the thumb-sized flame

beyond the heart

restlessly I seek

light in shadow

forget the sun

I feel its heat

and see the light

by light itself


Seeking fire in the

furnace of delight I fail

to weld my fragments

into one lasting love:

I act delusive orgasm

to get out of myself

tear dreams in holes

live bit by bit, in pieces

restive as ever


The games I couldn’t play

the adversaries I made

unliving the sun

in field undoing

the ense air with spray

prove I’m obsolete

in a land of scams

God seems irrelevant and

altruism is preposterous

kind of naivety

or doubletalk they think right

poets are good but foolish


I’m dying to connect

myself to your navel love

and feel your heart beat

inside your breast space

cared by blood at your altar

sip life in your flame


You were so near yet

I couldn’t reach your body:

half-risen sun

I couldn’t rise to embrace

half-met eyes

half-said prayer


As I repose

in the wrinkles

of her face

I feel her crimson

glow in my eyes

her holy scent

grows inside

a sea of peace


in the mind


The eruptions and scars remind

how weak we are

fighting ourselves we fight others

disrupt balance

O mother, I fear diseases

born from within


Again the stone-cool city

frightens the oval existence

downward in black moment

swamps of labour will vanish

in fume I see no prayers:

who can hope to dial new angels

when most have turned Cubist cock

rivaling small spooks underground

tempting vulgar feats with awnings?


The darkening clouds

and shapes of jungle animals

won’t disappear with rains

but stay in my eyes

with icy nights waving tails

in dreams or blazing time

the whimpering sun

with diamond tides won’t burn the sea

nor obscure miracles

round evening when tired

of sand trapped between toes

I prick the vacuum in soul

I can see through strange tales

winds spin across chessboard

whether playing or watching:

myths of victory weigh heavy

it’s better I keep quiet

lest the earth mourn poet’s truth


I don’t understand

why dogs defecate at our

gate, lawn and backyard

I don’t understand

their gossip denouncing me

in corner meetings

it’s no use throwing

stones or chasing them away

they love smell of earth

the bitches’ bottom

in season sexcites, they can’t

control their passion

they are uneasy

in our presence but leave filth

for others to clean

let’s ignore them

they’re dogs and detractors

defecating, barking

at the gate, backyard

street corners they have it off

to ease their tension


In the name of faith

and God

politics fuels bigotry

strips the prophets

corrupts clarity

reasoning ceases

when mind purveys prejudice:

age shuts the door

everybody paves

his own way to the grave


For Yitzak Rabin

Duped by the voice of God

and curse of the Rabbi

Amir is satisfied

he killed Rabin with three

lashes of fire for courting

peace with PLO

ignoring the Torah

and compromising Israel’s

honour all over the world

lovers of peace did you hear

” It hurts, but it’s O.K.”


Politics is based

neither on knowledge

nor principles but scams


power for free money

hawala, gawala and

loots to strip democracy

voters’ faith for five years

connive with criminals

raring to patronize

rival systems from within

blur reality with

majority or

minority views

cook facts for convenience

accommodate strange

bedfellows to bamboozle

honest authorities

introduce God and godmen

make religious appeals

pursue hypocrisy

in the name of the common man

serve vested interests

and cry if CBI

nabs or lodges them

in Tihar or blasts

their structures of influence

how tragic now they

whimper mosquitoes bite

and villains threaten


They demolish huts

for encroaching on pavements

but God stands smiling

the criminal dies

and his followers extort

sums for Samadhi

raise puja pandal

after Lotus temple deck

Durga and Mandal

encroach on public land

without murmur politics

plays its own logic:

who can protest when

wolves mate bitches to create

a democratic race?


It’s the same old smell

the same old colours I see

in the corridors

of my mind the monotony

of a museum now

I must open the doors and

let in new images

before wandering apparitions

clog the lone passage

with hidden dust and make life hell


How much I cared for tomorrow

saving suffering spoiling today

cursing the sky and wrinkles that

remind how the rains have hollowed

my dreams this morning a-sneezing

I fear again I can’t rejoice

the flash of rainbow caress sleep

flowers, butterflies or glow-worms

monsoon dampens walls and spirit

without reprieve it drips from cracks

life’s helplessness prolongs lies in

foppish designs and burnished wings


The disorder in my inner world betrays the tension outside:

the anger over fanaticism and loss of ideals, politics and corruption

the degeneration all-around and struggle for survival amidst lying and conniving

and these burdens, death of desires, drugs, orgies, promiscuities

the piggish chaos oozing from the system like an ancient wound

I can’t suffer the crises I haven’t authored even in thought

I can’t endure aches of incompletion, dark void that sounds aloud

in my sleep I can’t see my innocence afflicted by mirror

eating into my soul, ingesting my own body for something

there is neither consolation nor forgiveness, but negation

I’m belittled as man, degraded constantly in fire of inner effigies

or is everyone demeaning with intimate doubts and mutual mockery?


The non-revolting bitterness

cross-legs with mute whispers

chokes sensibility

academic frauds breed culture

with erect greed meanness

sweeps bigness with granite

head jeer past wonders and treasures

in sand sink shamelessly

weave new apology


Where education leads to submissiveness, not self-respect

where knowledge and acceptance depend on certificates

where push-out is called drop-out

where repression breeds fear, powerlessness, alienation and marginalization

where dependency, not self-sufficiency, perpetuates with helplessness

where discontentment is the way of life and dignity is decried

where the system blames the victims to preserve status quo

and the stream of reason is lost in narrow divisions

into that ever-widening hell of majority and minority

O my God,

— let my country not sink in the new century

(with apology to Rabindranath Tagore)


Poetry is pain

for disguise to lift the veil

in this place nothing

can grow no root gets water

eyes only unsee

long weeds I tried to uproot

rage, violence, anguish

restlessness mitigated

with fellow-poets

reflect madness in outside

but nothing changes

maybe nothing will change yet

we dream in silence

willing new poems of pain

or pleasures concealed


Environmentalists’ nude

protest over ” US talks

US profits”

camouflage love:

food for eyes like good weed they

collapse on body’s delta


He is a solo drum

trying to get his rhythm

against the sputtering rains

the mud sticks on trousers

wet and cool it can’t sleep

in the thorns of our yard

I seek my balance in

yoga-nidra in the closed

room think his thoughts and lies

we weave to ensnare spirit

that pricks the balloon we pump

to rise above the earth’s green


Death is the same in every creed

like colour of blood in the living

or dying, though it’s only the living

that call death or blood Hindu or

Muslim, engineer disharmony

set history on fire and corrupt

memory with ashes of time

raising new slogans for Babri

and Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya

the cracked riverbed will unlive

winded metaphors of distrust

and reveal how man has cheated man

trying to hang wraiths of primal word


Staring in the midnight blank

I hear the lungs’ whisperings

that conspire with secret draughts:

August’s damp eyes gaze down

the walls that clamp breathing

on bended knees I wonder

if each day must be wintered

for the sin of surviving


‘Amidst so much grief

and helplessness love is God’s

grace to hope and live’.

‘Alright, I can forget

gaudy icons, pervert godheads

and crudities in hills

even suffer rebirth

if you can ensure

a decent death’.


I am a stranger

to things so familiar:

the city stares at

my identity and asks

why the sun rose through

enamel stripping traffic

while dusty pavements

croon new tunes against shadows

orchestrating fears

cries and griefs few bother for

convenience stay

unredeeming or


I am no heir

to their kindness

nor can live their faith

through cracks skillfully made

for immortality

they may know me well

when the sky clears

after the rains


Pseudos, shams, crooks and

politicians pervert:

empowered by their

own corruption swing

hard to keep the ball in play:

impact gives out clue

sometimes sweep the ground

and sometimes get swept with scams

CBI unearths:

their head moves ahead

unreal their rhetoric

pull up if you can


Accursed I stay

awake counting minutes

hours nights and days

breathing pollutants in

bed courtyard rooms

none care for my nightmarish

remembrance of

doctor devil and god

alone I suffer sins

I didn’t commit

now unembraced she turns

her back pressing

pillow between the thighs

curls no apology


In my sleeplessness

I fear the dark killing dreams

and burying hours

I couldn’t save for tomorrow:

gloom glitters with sun


Age shakes confidence

in sex he wonders is urge

to penetrate all

or undoing of

single man in aloneness

unmask tyranny


The menopausal man

doesn’t know whether

it is love or

pressure of the groin

he preaches


searching for frolic

as another shield


I saw her off and

smelled a snake before it raised

its head in the green

shut the iron gate

in rainy darkness moments

hissed end of summer


The eyes fix on her curves

limb by limb mistily

silen336tly yet savagely

perhaps undressing in mind

measuring her depths and

secret love standing up

with stressed nipples calling

to unhook the blouse, her skirt

and feel the wild magic

a woman is more unsafe

with man than dog in the street



to understand

the final whole of un-

discovered specifics before



true reality

hidden in outer world

intricately patterned like




is the measure

of all things: body, truth

love, spirit, God, society, peace

and man



ritual of sex with

two to four women tradition


new risks

in Timor or

Egypt where religious

rites circumcise woman denying

love joy


to discuss sex

is basic to prevent

promiscuous violence against


let’s see

ourselves in them

linking our happiness

to theirs cease dehumanizing

God’s gift


A woman

in poet’s vision

howsoever strange

is ever new:

pierce like diamond

or thread like pearl

to weld in her depth

her nudity

I love for

all her mystery

perfect poetry

beyond the sky


Last night I woke up

to respond to the door bell

murmuring God’s name

when I unbolted

found none but a passing soul

stopped for a moment

on it’s knees peeking

into its own clasped heads

gazing white silence


It’s fun

to fill the pockets with sand

and sit on waves for a while

watch the grains dancing

in delight as it empties

drifting body-mind current

in pure acceptance

celebrating triumph

at crest


Trapped in hope, O God

how unhappy we remain

for a little happiness

from the Cross we seek

joys of living in fear

dusk winds up last rays


Sin is soluble

in poetry and craft melts

ice cream cone or bone

white in sun sweet risk

refreshing senses tingling

reign raging passion


Life’s comic spring

would have turned tragic

but for the grace of

love and poesy


The sudden chill

and the heat inside

how to keep silence?

she can feel my fever

I know nothing of seasons:

when the light goes off

blue shadows dance

feel dumb ache and

stale smell of vests

I hear the wind sour

once again viral

infections nudge August

bring in uncertainties


Living by forgetting

has kept me from asylum

all these years burdensome

memories buried

in time I kept feeding on

bodies lit with love

forgotten lyrics

I wrote mysticalities

created to conceal

my follies including

acts of lust in the morning

or seeing off guests

I never invited

now under no pressure

to know what happens around

I feel free and enjoy

their music of villainies

and taunts uttered to mourn

my rise they couldn’t check:

I forget curses, my gains

lost in wind of time


He watches a film

on prohibition opening

a fresh bottle and

smiles at his wife’s threat

to smash the bottle

like the Nellore activists

protesting against

arrack sales and auctions

quietly I switch off

gobble the drink and retire


The naked tree

seems to sway

in hope of

green waves

spring promises

here am I

prostituting smile

in mirror

despite change

in season’s eye


I remain

so restless in rest

mind ceases to think

eyes lose sleep

and dreams disappear

I remain

unaware of my worth

losing confidence I see

quiet death of my urges

my elements shaken

in the vacuum of silences

my senses mock at the muck

I’ve piled up all these years

now fear

the walls are crumbling

I wish to escape

the chain that clothes

the freedom of love

and privacy without shame

let me feast in naked earth


Each one has his eyes

on the trunk snapped in storm now

lying on quiet onion beds

seeks the bark for medicine

or wants me to gift

the log for furniture while

one tells me the price

of sesame and flatters how

lucky I am to

have so many trees

in the compound they bruit how

I hide the wood to season


The earth is tonsured

and the rains stopped paving way

for the hay fever

once again the grass

will witness history in red

blue white and yellow

across the road dusts

rise and spin new allergies:

spiders in the throat


Nobody hears

the vacuum

mourning peace:

echo haunts my soul

like leafless trees

raising grief

to sick air


Each time I am stuck

doing or thinking something

not knowing what to do next

or losing trust in the self

my own notions, my world view

I look for someone to talk things over

or sit still for hours or minutes

turn pages of a book to get

the right idea, the rare insight

fume, fumble, fail, and do autopsy

decode messages on corpse of ideas

and lo! the world changes in a second


To rain is natural

but their silence

to leaking roofs

and non-supply of light

is unnatural like

my aching limbs

and sneezes when

it’s romantic outside

age fails or love

is scarce these days

to image emptiness

as truth in verse

is wasting words

abusing vision for

concealment of

sun and wind that

couldn’t be part of system


Philosophy frightens me

confounds obscurity

with profundity:

asking north of the North Pole

or time before big bang

is absurd to me

I don’t reflect time and space

or probe metaphysics

to construct Everest

I love to climb the peak and

search the best route without

high minded debate

that affronts simplicity

symmetry, nudity

a poet’s beauty


The mind is put off

before the act blood lets down

it’s end before beginning

how can touch be erotic

with ‘cold copulars’

in drunken gibberish?

they all chant their own

equations through grooves of night

trick weeds of ideas

life’s strange relation:

words belong to all

but deeds to a few


So ordinary

has become my living

sudden with complaints

depressing challenges

and death of desires

shaping dream-images

once when moon or sex

caused no allergy and

breathing was deep

my mind and eyes display

blankness as I wait

sleepless again tonight

in this room spinning

webs of non-consciousness

praying, suffering and

forgetting with new sun


They all want car, furniture

decoration pieces

latest fashion designs

jewellery and plenty

of money to self-express

misplaced priorities

evoke new tensions in

mid age I converse with

the ceiling off my chump

who bothers about love or prayers


It’s not that I can’t afford

a few rupees on rickshaw

or buy a car or scooter

but I want to remain glued

to the earth, to dust, with my weight

I walk alone: the grocery

or vegetable slinging

over my shoulder, as it did

forty years ago I think

I can still walk distances

without shame, sweat with dignity

let all that say aha now

know I’m different from them all

let them be measured by

the money they stash between

their legs or dreams they stretch

I’d love to be weighed by my acts

my labour that hurt none

and tomorrow when I’ll be

too old to stand alone or

walk by myself I’ll recall

I had my feet rooted in earth

and known them all who offered

their hands without heart:

they needn’t curse if no one

bothered them after the fall


I’m true in my element

begotten of earth

hungry to mate with sky:

seek me in song of songs

in kisses that he and she

rehearse on way to bed

the voluptuous squeezes

fulfillment of godly

and bodily promises


Cloaked in chill

gracious corona

winked at earth

I saw a spark on

my finger she turned

diamond ring


Drugs don’t diagnose so

let’s kiss our sneezes

into each other and stop

worrying about repression

necessary or surplus


There is a bay in

each of us depression mounts

to cause hurricane

crumbling caged life and

its traps submerged in rising

water and wind pipes

pressure in silence

unweave years of network

roots of upturned faces


He laughs at the lone star

gazing his tail upward

from the potato pit:

I thought the dews were tears

fallen before mourning


Falling leaves like hair

from my head and chest don’t hide

strains of memory

shrinking, melting flesh

swelling voids efflux ageing

earliness missing


When she stretches her legs for me

to shave the pubic hair we hit

the hay together remembering

the first night I gave her nothing

in my hurry to see her nude


She props the stooping lemons

with stake but avoids

bending close to me:

I die to draw the blossom

in my twining arms

but she likes the other scent


Stones carved to dance and

music come alive figures

ever sensuous

pride in what we hide

our cultural memory

they excelled revealing


I seek in sex

freedom of nature

metaphor of veils

that hide body

spirit as two

and celebrate

pristine purity

of Prakriti

reach ecstasy


Silence is

mantra in action


divinity’s descent

and change in

inner being


love hope and faith