• Ageing In America

    Words and sounds
    gushing out of the
    woman's mouth

    the woman with the hat

    All ears eager and
    eyes alert
    in the Greyhound
    from Chicago to Iowa

    "Me don't want them tall buildings,
    See, that small house there"
    All faces turned that way
    "That's what I want."
    "Friday evening, leaving home,
    reaching Monday morning to work,
    Los Angeles to New York -
    Many times,
    many times over!"

    "Too old to work now, ah!
    Young enough to live, hee!"
    Words hopping to the back seats
    as she thrust her face forward
    spitting some more words
    "Retired? Sacked or fired?"

    "Is that Chicago?" Adjusting the
    flowers on her hat "I like Chicago!"

    Her questions finding
    their own answers
    or hanging suspended
    in the moving bus
    upside down

    The yellow teeth twittering
    Her black wrinkled skin
    loosening from her face;

    At Iowa City
    The next halt
    She sprang from her seat
    "This city is mine"
    declared she,
    "I was born here"

    As the greyhound
    moved away
    half an hour later,

    with a blanket on one arm
    and her basket
    hanging on the other,
    she was
    still standing
    on the bus stand
    with expectant eyes

    waiting for someone
    to take her home
    where she was born.... more »


    Words fall
    From her mouth
    As rain

    On deserts.


    Storms and cyclones
    In the heart

    Words dropping
    As stones.

    Words as frozen ice
    Stuck in the

    Of lovers.


    Melting in thought
    Floating in the mind

    Collecting in
    unuttered sentences.... more »

  • Generation Gap


    I cannot fathom

    This ocean between us
    The ocean filling up with
    Alligators, big fish, sharks and all,
    Corals and weeds
    Going in circles
    With elephantine waves
    Gushing over them
    Round and round
    over and over.


    Fiery sunflowers
    Holy marigolds

    Roses smitten with love
    You, the droplets
    Of dew
    In the garden of
    My mind

    So many selves
    Yours and mine
    Dancing in the myriad
    Mirrors, each morning.... more »

  • Heights

    The Seventh floor
    Tells Buddha's tale

    Above desire, above suffering

    One day I was born
    One day I shall die.


    From the Peak

    Fog settling on
    Masses of cement and iron... more »


    Steel shadows
    Fluid contours

    Passing into

    Within and without


    Souls wrapped in gunny bags
    Stiff creases and starched stitches

    Headless bodies
    Regimented in rows
    Chests waiting for bullets

    Nature's finishing touches.


    They are
    "Coming and Going Pieces"
    of art
    She said,
    Out of live tree trunks

    Always in transition
    Always waiting for
    Something to happen

    A withering or a blossoming

    the skyscrapers of Hong Kong

    opaque in the abstraction of nature.... more »

  • Insight

    In the centre of
    That circle of light
    Rising slowly
    over the river of experience
    panting and huffing

    Lies the truth of my life

    so white
    I cannot see it

    All colours merged,
    Lives absorbed
    the white becomes whiter
    And I
    More blind... more »

  • Pagoda poems

    (Inspired by poems hanging over and around the master pagoda near Hanoi, Vietnam)
    nine times over
    the word nothingness

    emerges again
    and yet again
    in the twenty-word poem
    by the master monk

    the dragon, they say,
    descends into the sea
    searching for meaning
    and spewing jewels
    jewels that become rocks
    with stalactites piercing into
    bellies of rocks

    columns of light rise
    dressed in stunning colours

    devils dancing
    in step with gods

    all in all,
    adding to nothingness
    and making meaning


    what is real?

    image of the bird
    fluttering in the sky
    or the one still
    in the gushing river

    the wavy moon
    in the water
    or the one above
    that is steady


    forever... more »

  • Resurrection

    Come breathe life
    Into words

    Words are stones
    When in exile

    Those not owned by poets
    Remain lifeless and limp
    in isolation,
    Not able to change sides
    They are fossilized

    Not so, the dogs …
    Uprooted from the street
    With their instinct to survive
    They teeter and totter
    And yet again, acquire
    territorial rights
    They grow roots and
    Reconnect with hearts of gold

    Harnessed and steered
    by the throb of memory
    of their past, they ride
    vibrant waves of the present

    Like them
    Come, get on the saddle
    Reach out to those
    Still words, rocks of silence
    That lie in wait

    Awaken them
    Into dreams of a universe

    Of one creation, one life,
    Of poems with

    Humans, animals and plants
    All connected
    None in exile.... more »

  • Voyaging at Ten

    Between awesome expanses
    of deep blue oceans
    and the greying sky
    I stood
    a speck in God's creation
    leaning on the rails
    of the deck
    sailing from Mombasa
    to Bombay...
    a journey with a
    beginning and an end
    and no middle

    A storm
    a swarm of sharks
    or whales

    failure of
    the engines of Amra
    or a mere giving way
    of the railing

    Blue death;

    a trivial something
    or a grave lapse

    I cannot swim
    The shores are not
    in sight...... more »

  • पगोडा कविताएँ

    नौ बार, और फिर से
    एक ही शब्द, शून्य
    उभरता बार-बार
    उस भिक्षु-गुरु की
    कविता में

    ड्रैगन -वे कहते हैं—
    गहरे उतरता है सागर में
    अर्थ की खोज में
    और मणियाँ उगलता है
    नुकीली चट्टान बनती हैं मणियाँ
    बेध जाती हैं चट्टानी मर्म को

    उठते हैं ऊपर
    रोशनी के स्तम्भ
    अद्भुत रंगों से सजे

    नाच उठते हैं दैत्य
    देवों से ताल मिला

    कुल मिलाकर
    शून्य में जुड़ता चलता
    कुछ, बहुत कुछ
    और रचता है अर्थ !


    क्या है वास्तविक ?

    आसमान में फड़फड़ाते
    पक्षी की छवि
    या फिर
    तेज़ बहती नदी में
    रुका हुआ अक्स

    पानी में हिलता चाँद
    या फिर ऊपर
    ठहरा चाँद


    निरंतर !... more »