Ruins

Buddha stood over ruins of time
As toll we paid for atavistic folly.

We would then count our fingers
In garland on our proud treasury.

Buddha women hovered angels
On wings above Buddha smiles,

In stone leaves stirring wisdom.
We calculate what ruins we are.

(on a visit to the ruins of Buddhist stupa in Amaravati)

Patience in a monument

Sit in a monument ,smile with a devotion
Or stand as monument and utter nothing

At a monumental grief, while you smiled
At everywoman’s grief ,your cheek’s roses

Turned to gulkhand in your man’s mouth,
Opening and closing like the easiest cave

Between your bigsized banana trunk legs.
You will be the monument he will spit in.

(Gul khand is a Persian word for the sweet preserve of rose petals, commonly used in betel leaf (called pan) chewed in most parts of India. Patience sitting on a monument is an echo from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.)

Mom

Mom was big black of pain,
A vast stretch of emptiness,
Extending the body’s limits.

Mom is a plain that is blank.
It cannot recollect an origin,
And has no future but itself.

(Reading Emily Dickinson’s poem “Pain has an element of blank”)

Old bodies

Bodies bake in  kitchen
And in crowding poem.

A poet’s wife bakes too
Skin is fruit, head  sun.

Poet is halo around age
Sprouting silvered hair

To shine a morning sun
With an instant sarcasm.

A comedy misses tooth,
In a gap for  death wind

Like the mountain’s pass
That lets in Hun invaders .

Cavern

We go in our primal oblivion
Into forgetting, a dark cavern
Where men crawled ages ago

Sang sad songs and made up
Memes to spread them to sky.
What are we afraid of we ask.

To come back to a first home
Afraid to lose morning smell
And its aliveness in our noses.

Argument

The body is life’s argument.
Argument has a conclusion.

There are more conclusions
Beyond this one ,like ripples.

There is not one conclusion
But ripples, each stretching.

Arguments have their ripples
To create horizons of sound.

(Reading Emily Dickinson’s poem “World is not conclusion”)

Teleology

The recent heads go into teleology
To decide if the old heads may talk,

Who are their baby sitters by day
Or yawning story tellers by night.

In streets old ones are aggregates.
Old heads bob up, turn sideways

As they gather their earth’s crust
For thin cover on parched faces.

The recent heads listen to uncles
And aunts under dark staircases,

The latter words invisible by day
But at times exceeding by night.