Friday, January 30, 2009

A Pointillist Morning

Off-white mist rising on the ridge
Hurrying into the emptiness between trees
Lost in a thick stroke of green curlicues
Then splattered by a sudden breeze
Like silver droplets scattered by a frisky dog
Shaking off unwanted cold rain
Glistening like playful carmine dots on a
Mantle of matted threads of emeralds
A sudden inspiration, a shimmer of yellow birds
Explodes like a roman candle in sparkling hues
Filling the cerulean sky with tiny glittering flakes
The scene, now in orderly chaos and panic
Strewing golden leaves and bronzen twigs
Blotting over an increasing spread
A canvas speckled with lusty colors
Of an artist’s special view of
A morning by the ridge

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Alicia Back From Dubai

Throw the door wide open and rejoice
With spread arms and welcoming laughter
Oh, my beloved is back from a long sojourn
A perilous odyssey in distant shores

She walked in with silent grace emerging
With familiarity that rekindled the house lamps
Perhaps I will enthrone her there
On the ornate chair at the head of the table

And all the people who came to greet
Curious idlers whiling away the time of day
Will notice her tired but brilliant glow
Modest elegance, with simple flair

Reach out and hold my hand, beloved
Let you and I bask in the familial warmth
Come, adorn my hearth and home
Bringing back affection and care

Open your bag brimming
With your homecoming gifts
Wrapped in happy paper prints
For those huddling by your side

You’re beside us once more
Delirious with joyful affection
Dust and scrape your wayward roving shoes
Never to leave the welcome mat by the door

Graduation Post Script

When we were through with our scholastic years
And have returned to the happy slant of things
Bid hello again to the lively reality of out of school
Relieved from poring heavy tome upon tome

Wanting in words to describe the relief the hiatus caused
From the rigors and hardships of a disciplined way of life
The august halls of the alma mater a prison now behind us
And parchment scroll did seem irrelevant to our lives

The college library had graffiti on its mottled walls
The carillon pealed from cracked bells jangling hymns
A heavy yellow pall spread clammily in the quadrangle
The dean was in disrespect, the faculty tainted, we were sure

But what of the mind?, The cultivation of which
Unknowingly, surreptitiously had been honed to face
The challenges of a reality then far imagined
Clearing the muddled glasses of youthful views

Soon we realize that the years behind the ivied walls
Were not stones wasted and skimmed in an algae filled pond
Later as we mused and pondered complexities of existence
That would have stunned us dumb had we not persisted

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Morning Bells and Prayers

The bells rang raucously
As they have always done at six
They rang late for the devoted one
Who was out of bed by five

They rang too soon for some
Who need not wake at such a time
A stolen hour from someone’s rest
To restore strength to work the day

The loudspeakers shouted rudely
On the day’s crack of dawn
Waking every creature from their stupor
Rousing their faith with noisome pleas

The voices buzzed with electric crackle
Intelligible cackle cutting through the fog
It’s done no good for all its intentions
Unwanted annoyance to start the day

Black Bamboo

The black bamboo fronds reached low
Swinging to every blustery blow of the westerly
Up and down, to and fro, left and right
But rising to straighten not staying low for long
Like erect whips snapping lively at impassive clouds
Lashing out against phantom scars and imagined foes

With momentary lulls they spring back to uprightness
The wee creatures at the lower branches stir and chirp
As if a siren sounded the respite and the return of the calm
The bamboo shed encrusted scales relieving the itch
Caused by the constant strain of heaving, stooping and rising
Then it stooped so low, creaked and broke its battered bole

Not even the sparrows at the bowers could, despite their cheering
Set it back to its poised air and proud bearing
The waste left by an unbending and unyielding pride
The litter of the green flaky rust lay on sodden floor
Who is to clean up? Who is to wield the broom?
No, not us. No, not the wind, not you nor I


The zeal of the crusades
Persists resolutely to this day
Shackling the tractable faithful and
Hounding the wretched infidels

Missions more impassioned than ever
In fulfilling their avowed vision for all
Insistence rather than tolerance and suasion
Contrary beliefs and rights repressed

Other faiths fight back with fanatic fervor
Striking with flaming blades the unbeliever
The whiter the flash the redder the carnage
The louder the blast the more terror sown

Death to the cohorts bearing the cross
Sowing terror is ruthless intolerance, but,
Saint George and Michael Archangel delivering
Fire and brimstone to the heathen yet another

Rainy Day

Rain chatters annoyingly
An incessant harangue on metal sheets
Drums, grates, pesters my listlessness

A lackluster sun sinks ever so weakly
On a jagged silhouette of somber evergreens
Its gilt edge no more than erose rustiness

I remember the ugliness of the day
The slate gray of twilight taking over
Amidst the harassment of an obstinate rain


Listen, the footfall of padded paws thud
As twilight wafts its melancholy tune
The traipsing of furtive mannequins into the scene
To start the commerce of the night
Ah, angels on hocked wings mingling in the shuffle
Of insatiable lusts of men of all skins

A nightlong stance of enticement and allure
No rest, nor ease through the cold and apathetic dark
No help, no solace from a sometimes provident night
Singles, pairs or even threes they hustle corners
In tatty glad-rags and blackened rouge they sell
Ersatz affection, snatches of bliss to blighted souls

Heaven has no ears to hearken to piteous plaints
From cracked lips and blistered tongues
They push their trade until soles run raw
Waifs with scarred heels hide in scaly shadows
Oh, what lassitude shrouds the night air
In the blazing red light of a false sunrise