In love, in control

He will take you in his hands
Fashion you the way he wants
Pluck out your freedom feathers
Truss you in a soup of love.

He will claim it’s love, sing it’s love
Till you are deaf to your soul’s longing
Look into the mirror
Smile, all you see is him.

The leash of love wraps slow
The hold of this choke is gentle
When you die, you may even call life content
He said he’d make you happy, didn’t he?

The Homemaker

Crow 1

The Blackness pecks, claws, tears
Intent on destruction to rebuild
Brown, frail, passive tendrils, twist, shake, shudder
On the unbending blackness they are flung
Ripping things apart when there is no one to scream
Is a different pleasure.

People often pass him, on scooters or legs
He flies off, this carnage can only happen
When there are no eyes to see
He doesn’t spot me peering
Or perhaps he does
I am harmless, unimportant, invisible.

His mate of unblinking beady eyes, stares by the side
Is he man enough to build?
She asks the eggs that will drop from her
When they hatch, she will feed them with her blood,
He will sit away, watch small things steal the home he built
And the one who holds his heart.


We followed the footsteps of the world into our laughter.
We didn’t.

We stroked the passing of tomorrow into a tight worry ball.
We didn’t.

We changed our bodies and danced in the rain washing away years of years.
We didn’t.

We forgot our memories in old pepper mills which ground our knots into grist.
We didn’t.

We swam in the nude waters of transparent rainbows and hid our lust in preset colours.
We didn’t.

We crawled into silences shredding ourselves into vanishing cocoons of forgetfulness.
We didn’t.

We blew up our strangeness squeezing them into shapes of mediocrity spitting comebacks.
We didn’t.

We lifted ourselves out of our lives and squabbled away our breaths on a minor point.
We didn’t.

Playing Ball


There are seven cricket games going on
7 balls, 77 boys, 14 bats
Someone hits a sixer, by a hair breadth
I duck brain damage, everybody seems happy
Including me just-miss-skull-mash
By cork, leather, string and sewn seam.

People walk past unaware of falling balls
The wind blows the wind
Leaves collect in a single corner
Huddled up together cousins, grandparents
Families, midgets crumble into autumn
A wedding party without bride and groom.

A man waters the field where nothing grows
The dust settles, a fake rain rises
Before he fields the ball he grabs my eye
His lust clatters mudwards
Someone gets out I am sorry man-in-white
That of me which can give is dead

We Serve Only Lunch. Sundays Closed.

The Restaurant

Three generations, a loony son
Two vultured noses, one humped back
Sniff for money from table to table
Gnarled digits clutch anglophile photographs
Long live the queen
And of course, our country too.

At 93 he is the owner taking orders
He ignores our table, a whiney waiter sidles in
Times are bad, these people don’t pay
We order Sali Boti. Fish Patra.
Mutton Berry Pulav. Caramel Custard one-by-three.
We will pay. No card only cash.

Tongues clean teeth on diamond studded faces
Nobody chats, everybody chews, in-between courses
They order more food. Locals throng here
Foreigners arrive with guidebooks and diahorrea pills
The owner eats a plate of watermelon
Spitting out seeds the colour of peeled ceiling.

For ninety-three years he has worshipped the fugacious customer
Sweet and servile, I wonder if he goes home and beats his wife.

Come In


His love flooded the keyhole
Dropped to the floor
Lurked through the rooms
Settled into her eyes.

She twisted, moaned, barred her teeth
Bruised her battered heart
Love lay in her tongue, coiled
A black, oily cobra stirring to strike.

It whorled on her stomach
Forking into darkness
Slurping, gulping, spitting
A vicious threading saliva lathers her skin.

She slinks around well oiled
Her happiness carries his name
The slow addiction of poison sets in
It’s a matter of time before she opens the door.

The House Of The Faith(less)

Across the house of faith
a crumbling ruin stands without none
People enter, prayers clasped on their stomach
Some leave to forage their daily grocery
Water will not turn into wine.

The trees twist and wind their bodies
Difficult roads to the sky
Traffic snarls around a scabby dog
No cars run over him, someone offers
Food his religion remains unasked.

A face of creases stands under the chapel shadow
Bright squirrel eyes do not mirror
The unhappiness of the balcony haunter
Is that just my fancy, are both the same
Equally wretched, equally happy?

I stand between them
A girl who got a rejection by mail
My unhappiness divides into two
One flows towards god and the other
Chooses human.

I look at His
Raised hand unwavering unlike my will
I walk away prayers in my pocket
The wretch on the balcony
Rises, her hand waves goodbye.

Is the life you can’t see, life?


Green, murky, opaque temple tank
Spitting out pygmy balloons, the water hiccups
Shimmering restless sunlight swallower
Did the sky steal your blue?

Only men swim here, flashing their chests, breasting the water
The women pay a rupee before removing their clothes
Dingy walls of unkempt toilets preserve their modesty
The tank screams in bubbled circlets ‘swim in me, be free’.

The ducks are the happiest here
Unclothed, immodest quackers
Nobody knows their sex, nobody will rape them
They swim nude, some times, their bums point at the sky.