Monday, January 31, 2011


The rustle is now muted
A stringent hum takes its place
This is the sound of tomorrow
Tears appear
Frays reveal themselves
Light bounces
Nothingness whistles through
When the winds of change blow furiously
Muslin becomes its slave
Taut with tension
Stretched beyond limits
And yet it tries to protect its rustle

Anger belongs to giant minds
Fury belongs to revolutions
Chaos belongs to anarchists
Not to the mind
When these and more are misplaced
Devastation occurs
The fragile is destroyed
The delicate, trampled upon
I am not a giant amongst my kind,
Nor a revolutionary
Nor either an anarchist
The mind seeks stillness
Desperate relief from the keening hum
No respite, no respite.

The skies open up
Weak, tattered, the muslin holds on
Rustles cannot be heard in the rain
And it waits... for the summer
It waits for the rustle,
For the song,
For the touch,
For the fall
It waits for its long-gone glory... in vain.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The haze descends
Blurring the mangroves
Grey is not grey
White is truly black
And me... a shadow, a wisp of warmth
In an otherwise blustery confusion.

Crossroads come, crossroads go
And still I chug on
Weary, relentless, reaching out
Slush in my shoes
Mud sprayed on my legs
Squelch of life underfoot.

I yearn for the moon
For some light, for the road ahead
But the chapter is coming to a close
And an eternity shall whisk by
Before the next one is begun.

Sometimes I say no
At others I yearn for the familiar
But the life, the lilt is undeniable
I am trudging back the way I came
To that old, familiar self that I once revelled in being.

No metre, no rhyme in my poetry
Simply soul and granite truth
I always was a free bird
And always shall remain
No fetters, no owners, no owned, free, free, free.

The haze turns to dew on tender green leaves
The sun reduces it to water
My eyes drink in the world, the infinite roads
But my heart dictates where to go
My love dictates my outstretched arms
And my strength dictates my life.

And yet... the old fire fights to burn
It will not die out so young
The sky in my eyes, the wind in my hair
The sea on my tongue, a smile on my lips
A caress of my cheek, a laugh in my throat
I'm ready once again
To walk
To cry
To fight
To think
To create
To whisper
To sigh
To share
To dream
To run
To swim
To cheer
To lead
To break
To love
To live

And as the sky fades
And memories cloud the eyes
I wonder if I'm lucky
To own so much love
And to love so much
I wonder if I'm blessed
To be without artifice
I wonder if I'm sane
To be at the crossroads
And let the wind carry me in its wake.

Friday, January 21, 2011


She tasted the sea on her tongue
Salt suffused her body
Senses strained to hear the unspeakable wail to the crescendo

The world was her water
Dissolving, diluting, drowning and giving life again
Water was her world, this woman of pure earth

She blinked at the sky
A moment was born and with it, her, all over again
Blink, blink and an eternity hangs alone

What is the word, she silently questioned,
Herself, and her many others
Silence struggled to claw forward

And when the fire came
She was consumed
Her lips of grapes, her clothes of milk, her hands of cotton, her legs of roots

And was consumed her eyes of light, her ears of shells
Her love of tendrils and heart of insanity
The earth beckoned again, her mother

Salvaged pride is never whole
But the pieces tell you what you once were
And hers… were made of salt.

Old Posts: Death Of A Little Boy's Innocence

What fun it must be to tickle the clouds and watch them burst into an angry rain! He does that sometimes. But most of the time he meanders through thick layers of thoughts, whooping in glee as he bungee-jumps through the hidden crevices that don't exist until you actually know that they do. They're silent, those crevices. And you must be silent when you slide through them so as not to interrupt deep thoughts. But what does he care? Half a hoot? Even less, I suspect. He's usually streaked with colours you've never even suspected exist. He's a bit of a silly creature. He loves to run his fingers over the wings of butterflies and over chameleons on the defensive and he rubs their colours all over himself! How do you think moths are made? They're the butterflies that he's removed all the colour from! He's usually a noisy child, whooping and screaming and whistling and thumping his feet to create a beat. When he gets tired of being noisy, he talks to crickets and giggles softly with the ladybirds.
He sings softly in his sleep – the words of one song to the tune of another. He dreams about cotton wool every night. He bites into raindrops seconds before they're fully formed – they're crisp then with water inside – quite delicious!
He doesn't know that he can't touch the sun. He thinks that if he slides down rainbows, he will reach the sun. Like I said before, he's a bit of a silly creature. And so, one day, he plucked a feather from an ostrich that had stuck its head in sand – for good luck of course – and climbed up to the very top of a rainbow. And being in a good mood, he slid down the yellow band of the rainbow, clucking in great glee as the wind kissed him and the sunshine held him tight.He landed with a hard thump on earth. He never whooped in glee again. He never giggled with ladybirds again. And he never ever dreamed about cotton wool.

Old Posts: Steel Grey Breeze

She emerged from her mother's womb like a burst of sunshine between straying silver clouds. And in that moment, in her baby heart, she knew it was a mistake. Of course no one remembers their baby thoughts and she forgot it as soon as it entered her head. There were more important things to do, like breathe! She was a wisp of a girl, steel grey in colour and with eyes on top of her head. She was glad for those eyes as they helped her look at the sky all the time. She knew the birds by rote and as for the stars, she knew them better than her own thoughts. She was a beautiful girl, full of bubbling laughter and eager to please.
Everyone loved her at school for a day. She heard her mother crying behind the closed bedroom door that night. She did not know why. Little children do what their parents tell them to and the next day, no one spoke to her. Some called her a freak, others threw stones at her, still others whispered and turned away as she passed by.
Her mother stopped her from going to school the next day. She took her beautiful steel grey daughter in her lap and rocked her to and fro as her little girl listened to the beat of her solid heart. She told her that she was as special as the breeze – she would touch everyone's life she waltzed into and make them smile, if only fleetingly. And she told her that someday, someone would love her so helplessly that he would whisk her away and make her feel like the breeze that she was. And she believed her rock-solid mother who had cried in the night behind a closed bedroom door.
She believed her mother every day of her life. She felt like that blessing wind and she glowed like the moon and she fell in love. He said he never wanted to see her again. Heartbroken she was, but she believed her mother still.
And as her mother lay on her deathbed, she couldn't take her eyes off her beautiful breeze-like daughter. She told her she was sorry – for what, she never said. She closed her eyes wearily and never awoke again.And the beautiful shattered breeze went to the terrace of the house she had grown up, played and believed her mother in – she raised her arms to the sky, shut her eyes tight and believed she was the breeze – and jumped! There was an exhilarating rush of wind, her mother's solid heart beating, free float. And she knew her mother had lied.

Old Posts: Murmurations

The heart wants to write – the murmurations within it are disturbing. The mind is a relentless interrogator – questions, questions, so many questions and answers there are none. Is it possible to respond to one as you would a loved one and not feel even a semblance of love? Is it possible that love once scorned, leaves embittered, for eternity? Is rationality a lasting solace? Will my life too, like those of millions of others, be a series of compromises?
When I was younger, my head full of dreams and ideology and conflicts, I was courageous. I would stand up for what I felt was right. The dreams dispersed, the razor edge of ideology has dulled in the face of loathsome practicality in the real world and the conflicts continue. I watch the injustice silently and though mesmerized by it still, I've taught myself to turn my head away. I've learnt not to reveal all that I feel, I've learnt not to give my all to any one person, I've learnt not to love completely, unashamedly and unconditionally. I've learnt to appreciate the music of solitude.
I've learnt that books are my best friends, my saviours, my salvation. I've learnt that sleep is an elixir, that flowers can be without meaning, that the only one you have in the world is you. I've learnt that no matter what, children will be abused, their river of tears will continually be in spate, that lightning will strike down unassuming individuals without warning and without remorse for removing some goodness in the world. I've learnt that genuine caring is only an exception, that the sun will scorch the increasingly barren earth every year and the seas will rise and subside twice a day. I've learnt that the spotless, glowing moon is not flawless, that friends can turn foe with a word or even without, that men will outrage women for as long as the earth continues its giddy inexorable spinning. I've learnt that irrationality is not supposed to exist, difference is taboo and that dreams come and dreams go, but reality lasts forever.And yet the murmurations of the heart continue and the questions turn into shrieks, requesting at first, then begging and then demanding answers. The heart doesn't know that life itself is incomplete.

Old Posts: God Or The Lack Of It

God is… my lime green sofa. It is in the tears shed by my mother everyday, it is in the flash of gold that streaks past my lover's swirling auburn eyes. God is my solitude – it's when I put pen to paper and allow my thoughts to form a cushion beneath my effervescent mind. God is the kohl I wear in my eyes. God is that moment when my breath catches in my throat rendering me speechless – a void, without sound, tone or voice. It is the shadow of my dog when he pricks up his ears. It is the casual hug that my brother gives me when I sleep beside him at night. God is the dying embers of a bonfire. God is a child's baby talk. God is sleep, god is waking.In our eternal quest to find ourselves, to identify what we are, to love who we are, we create a power centre outside of ourselves. And we feed that centre of power with our own emotions, our own daily experiences, our love for life and living, our dreams and aspirations, our ideas of what we would like ourselves to be… and every time we do that, we give that centre a little more power. We feed it and nourish it and breathe life into it and watch it grow until it becomes separate to us – an entity larger than life because it's partly who we are and partly who we want to be. And we pray and hope that this foreign entity will save us – from ourselves and the world. We negotiate life creating little bubbles of fantasies and watching them burst in front of our eyes. Momentary joys, however fleeting those moments, are what get us through our lifetime. I blew a bubble with my heart and my mind and reveled in it for a brief time, marveling at the streaks of colour and the warmth inside. My bubble of what I liked to call love has exploded. I will not create one for a god again.

Old Posts: Monotone

She spoke her first word as she slid out of her mother's bloody frantic womb. "What", she said. And that is all she said for the first month of her life. Come month 2 and she started to speak, first in low rumbles, then in high pitched shrieks. She unleashed a torrent of words that came out jumbled and bumping into one another, excited and exciting, frightening and exhilarating, fascinating and sorrowful. She spoke in her sleep, she mumbled in her waking, she screamed in her fright and she whispered promises and honeyed words to the people she loved. And she spoke some more...

She grew up, she got her first period in the midst of her frenetic jabbering, she yelled in surprise at the warm stickiness and the gush of blood between her legs, but her vocabulary never stumbled. She talked through college, punished everyday for incessant chatter. She fell in love and was shunned repeatedly and she fell in love again. She learnt to tone down her constant speech to a whisper, a whisper that rose to a chant suddenly unbeknownst to her, a chant that she hurriedly suppressed to a whisper. She loved again and she married a gorgeous man with the moon in his eyes when he looked at her and craters in his cheek when he spoke of her.

The night of her ethereal wedding her words turned into a monotone, speech slurred and stumbled, her breath caught and didn't uncatch again. She spoke and she spoke with the light of terrible debilitating fear in her eyes, she spoke with a gasping tremulous voice, she spoke and dug her fingernails into her brand new sparkling husband-with-craters-in-his-cheeks' arms. And as she spoke, a serene blue crept up from the mysterious earth into her toes and crawled upward, stroking and soothing her heaving body. And she spoke and she cried and she tried to battle the desirous, beautiful, beckoning blue...
The blue took over... and she finally heard silence.

Old Posts: Fury

In a pestilential dusk, the scratchy moth-eaten hills forming a scraggly boundary to the eye-frame, in the silence of the lustful crickets and the raw power of anger, she sat. She dug her fingernails into her scalp and willed the pain to come. None did. She saw a copper haze instead, a haze that curtained down from the blemishless sky… a haze that turned the moon green and the scraggly hills yellow and the ground purple. "O'er the purple moor," she thought, a spider of a memory running zigzag across the cobwebs in her head. And the old anger was there… the ancient anger burnt the stray spider and turned into a tunnel of ash.

She knew she didn't, couldn't, wouldn't, mustn't, shan't, won't, can't, daren't own him. She knew he didn't, couldn't, wouldn't, mustn't, shan't, won't, can't, daren't love her. He was that burnt stray spider in her life, an accident not waiting to happen, a snort that escapes from a sudden consuming laugh, the spittle that explodes from a beguiling mouth. He was love and lust and power and personality and escape and promise and meaning and wistfulness and absentmindedness and wrath and desire and calmness and storm all at once. She was revolted by him, drawn by him and was possessed by a desire to own him. But she didn't, couldn't, wouldn't, musn't, shan't, won't, can't, daren't own him. And she knew that. So she stilled her dangerous mind and sharpened her intellect.

He lived in the shadows of her body – always there, poisoning her blood and making her mind scream in anguish. She dug her fingernails into her scalp as her furious mind took wing, spurred on by a consuming anger. Her anger took form and poured out of her being and took the shape of a one-eyed bird. And she watched as the damaged bird persevered and merged into the sky. And then she slept the sleep of the not-yet-dead but the never-waking. She stalked her anger in her dreams and laughed soundlessly and uncontrollably as her bird of fury pecked his eyes out. And those lips that had smiled once for her, the eyes that had flitted around and the nose that flared up at the slightest humour – she watched dispassionately as the bird turned them into a mangled bloody curdled mess of tissue. That was when she started to scream.

Scream, she did, for 33 days. Her body and mind, soul and spirit screamed as one. She screamed and she screamed and she screamed some more for her mangled love, the debilitating fear and the destroying anger. She screamed for her lost mind, for her dreams-in-tatters and for the return of her resolute strength. And just as suddenly, she stopped.
She was drained. She was cold. She was hungry. She was in pain. She was inconsolable. She was unhappy. She was piteous. She was remorseful. She was dying. She was still in love. But she was never angry again.

Old Posts: Woman

Woman of the earth, of valleys tangled and strung in the sky, of flowers with clashing, jarring hues floating wildly in white waters - wistful woman with the moon in her eyes and the barren desert in her smile...
Oasis woman with ships in her outstretched palms, woman of the furious sun setting on her back, woman of pregnant purple grapes, swollen and heady with yearning for a smothering love.
Woman of salt, licking the residue of passion and faith and belief and sweating a little more, willing the old faith to remain, fanning the dying embers of her ideology.
Brass woman with a false sheen, a reflected lustre, disillusioned and disillusioning. Woman of the cliff, teetering on the edge, plunging into an abyss of emotions, free-falling with arms outstretched, numb and unfeeling and uncaring.
Rock woman, solid in love and crumbling in tears. Woman of sounds, of words and echoes and whispers lost in the buffeting wind, heard by generations to come. Woman of sweat and screams, of method and disregard, of conscience and flights of fancy, of wings and ruptures, of ecstasy and bitterness.Woman...

Old Posts: Silence

I saw you on the footpath, eyes liquid, with baby hands and feet, outstretched palms streaked with things familiar to the gutters. Little boy of no words, only large eyes, brimming with the horrors of 3 or 4 years of existence. Already you've become an adult. you can cross roads without a thought, you're daring enough to sit in the middle of an arterial road, unmindful of the killing madness around you. Maybe the madness within you kills slower and deeper.
Why did you say no words? Why did you simply look at me? Boy of no sound, you've wrenched my stony resilient heart from its cage and torn it into shreds. You've shown me how much a part of an uncaring society I've become. You've shown me what a coward I am - you've destroyed the respect and the pride I had in myself. I'm below you, my little boy of unspeakable horrors in his eyes. I'm beneath your sister, who sits in the midst of the road, holding herself tight, arms wrapped around her fragile body, rocking to and fro, her sorrows destroying her body.
My little boy with the dirt-streaked face, you wouldn't hold my hand - were you scared I'd take you away? Were you afraid to believe that I could genuinely care enough to buy you food? Or were you angry at the pity that you imagined I was giving you? There was no pity my little boy - there was only emptiness and complete and burning shame.
You didn't get a morsel to eat, my little boy with an adult knowledge. Did you curse me for what I did?
Did you know to do nothing else when he delivered a stinging blow across your back? Did your baby back, scalded by the sun, hurt more than the hurt inside of you?
I know I can't wrench you from the vicious life you've been born into but I'm ashamed that I'm not even willing to try. I'm ashamed at my lack of will, I'm furious at my callousness and I'm mortified by my silence.
I'm mortified by my silence...
I once knew another little boy with baby hands and liquid eyes. He never felt the sun scalding his bare back because he had the best clothes money could buy; he never had cracked feet as he never walked on the ground. He never knew hunger as he had the choicest food to eat. He never had unspoken horror in his eyes. He never knew how to cross a road, he never got a stinging slap across his back and he was never the last to be fed. He was never speechless - but I am and I have been so all my life.
And I am mortified by my silence.
Little boy with the too-big shorts, do you have dreams? Do you dare to dream? Will you ever dare to dream? Will you know what love is? Will bitterness and resentment and hatred clutch your baby heart like a vice? Will you stop crying one day and never know tears again? Will you think of me and remember a soft promise of love and affection and protection and caring? Or will my face merge into the millions that you look into every day? Will you utter no sound for the rest of your life? Will you never trust?
Little boy with the gutter in your hair, tears in your eyes, blisters on your feet, burnt crisp by the sun, battered by hunger - will you never play and smile?

Old Posts: Blood Hibiscus

Hibiscus of blood in a white washed world. Immaculate and startling and faintly disturbing. Its pure dazzle overwhelms the starkness around it, the warning swinging mournful engulfing white, white, white, white everywhere. For a month its hope endures. For a month its dew drops endure, still persuasive that the freshness is forever. For a month it flutters carelessly in an occasional white draught that seeps in through the white cracks in the white windows. Stillness for a month, no sound, no light, no fire and fury, no thought, no sound… never any sound. One whole yawning month. Destiny rolled over and rumbled soundlessly. It snapped its impulsive fingers. It tapped the toes of cruelty. It spurred on its partner, time, to pull out, to distress, to stretch until snap point. Time was up. White stands for peace… the white rose breathes of love… white is frantic… white cracks and blisters. White is a dove. White is, because it sucks in all the colours in the universe. White is every particle and energy in the universe. Time was up.

The freefall occurred. Hibiscuses are meant to wilt and wither. They are temporary. Even hibiscuses of blood. Especially hibiscuses of blood. They come, they go and no one mourns their going. They're forgotten before they disappear. The nightmares gallop and the shrieks speak of terrible loss. White washing is never a solution – the walls are still grey underneath. The hibiscus of blood is still falling – it will never hit bottom and never rise again. Red stands for anger… red is love… the red rose breathes of passion… red is you and I… red is a strangling binding horrific bond… red is a falcon. Red is a part of white. White ceases to exist without red. Red is loyalty and inconceivable danger. Red is madness and extremity. But time was up.
In a white washed world there is no place for red. There is no place for blood. There is no place for a hibiscus. The universe had to adjust. Destiny had to intervene. Normalcy and white prevail. Time is barren. White is the only future. So be it. So be it.

Old Posts: Freeze Frame

Mirages don't exist but they do. Men exist but they don't. Women dis-exist. Hydran tentacles caress her cheek. Sperm swim frantically. God is a deep sea diver. Quiet... stillness... diffracted rays of the sun. Corals wave in slow-mo... that is their perception of time. Freeze frame. What was, is. What was to be, never will. Nausea comes in metered waves. Crunch of a sick mind. What is the future of 1/24? Time. Blink blink of fireflies. Rapid sigh movement. The world churns in frozen fear. Single syllables stuck in the throat. Notes melt and disintegrate into their raucous components. Bystanders check their watches. Tick tock tick tock. Un-tick un-tock. Blurred edges and faded centres. Spirals end somewhere. Somewhere in the ocean... fade to black.

Old Posts: Violin Strings

The violin strings have snapped. Audio burst… silence burst. The caterwaul slams into silence. Madness is irreparable. The wheel turns one full cycle. Back to position zero-A-B-C all the way to S. Life is a eunuch. She-he lurches and lunges, leering, pleading, palms outstretched, exploited, dressed in contempt, cackling at us, the so-called normal. He-she wants to suck the most out of you.

Frost sighs does he? Did he stamp you with authenticity? What messed up nouveau intelligentsia shares peas for brains? Why wouldn't you eat your prized possession instead?

The deja woos all around. Reality is an indignant construct. As indignant as an overwhelming god. The wee bee buzzes around in my head… driving me insane. Sacrifice and compromise, compromise and sacrifice. I have forgotten who I really am, what I was meant to be. Memory swirls around the latitudinal addresses of the possibilities, trying to zone in on the destination. That too has vanished. The twitching radars will twitch and torture themselves, incomprehensive, clouded and endless.
Ashes don't turn into phoenixes. Ashes remain one with the muck, until swept away into oblivion, forgotten, uncared for, uncaring and stained with the dirt of someone else's mistakes. Mistakes are forever… nothing else counts. The violence can never play again.

Old Posts: The Absolute

The tempest rages on. The explanatory defences form the core of the conquest. The eye of the storm, so to speak. And in that core dwells the stillness. As human beings, we look for the absolute everywhere, in everything. I, too, am an absolutist. What I cannot define, I deny. For what I cannot define or deny, I create a new absolute to explain it away. The mind eternally searches for meaning... for in meaning lies a synonym and in synonyms lies an idiosyncratic stillness. And that is the subject of my affection.

Dreams are vast by their nature, by nurture, by their ephemerality and by the force of their intensity. To hound those dreams then becomes a Herculean task. I look at the greens, earth browns, silvers, marble whites around me and I see in them the dreams of my people. I look at faces, eyes, hands, feet, curls, ear-rings and the crowds and the smells and the salt in the air and the dreams nauseate me. Absolutism corks the nausea, flavoured with a pinch of fatalism. What is to be, will be. Consolatory words for the dreams-not-come-true, for the pinks of embarassment, for the greys of frustration. What is to be, will be.

Old Posts: The Second Fiddle

Ribbons fluttered in slow motion, colours flashing and winking in the jarring neon. Wrapping paper glinted in its shredded shame. Forgotten breath was slowly exhaled… a sigh of almost orgasmic quality. Inside lay a mafioso's make-believe; a violin.

It tugged at the heart strings, it made me dance, it made me laugh in delirious joy, it strummed my life, my dreams, my joys and my hope. It's chorded melody made my heart dance, my eyes light up and my breath catch in the throat. The violin was my symbol… of my struggle, my passion, my youth, my creativity and… and my future.

And then… and then there was another gift. Left behind by an unknown would-be Sicilian. Another beauty… another bringer of music in my heart. Another violin. I played as an addict… plaintive, soothing notes floated from my fingers. And as the tears dripped in sync from my eyes, my heart grew lighter with the notes of pain that I played. And my new violin serenaded all the heart-ache out of me that life had sown deep.
I played both my violins. One was classic, beauty itself. The other was a relief, my balm. I needed both to balance my joy and my pain. I have both.
But all violins are not the same. The second violin is always called a fiddle.

Old Posts: The Calamity Of Hope

So here it finally is... the calamity of hope. In 25 clicks, I am a snapshot of my self. I have become ego – they say the I, me, my is the essence of the ego. There is only I, me and myself left. No your, our, us, we. And I believe I shall be ego forever.

The calamity of hope is its loss. Suddenly the reasons disappear. The emptiness reveals its true larger than life nature. The eye forgets to blink. The heart quails at the vastness and enormity of the yawning stretching life ahead. How to deal with the frightening everyday? Searching searching searching for answers that are masters of disguise and me, an inadequate amateur desperate detective.

But the mind is ever seeking strength… otherwise it will disintegrate. And in its forceful effort it says, "Count your blessings". The heart laughs in great mirth. Blessings? Another's prayers have proven stronger than mine. The betrayal of the Gods is too big to swallow.

I have learnt that simple tears can change a man. That holy water can make him forget promises… withdraw and transfer that life-giver, hope, to the shedder of tears. I am woman. My promises are for keeps. And my promise to this snapshot is that no tear will fall from these unblinking eyes for as long as I live and breathe and remain made of stone.

Something significant has stopped inside of me. It has met its end, with no one to mourn its going. Here and now, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of hope. Here is the end of dreams.