Monday, July 24, 2006

padmasana sthitam

was doing this 4 years back. feels good to come full circle.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Pot

A pot has been planted here,
out in the open where the paths meet
and faceless strangers donot usually
feel the need to acknowledge the presence
of other sapient beings.

It is glazed white on a gray base
with delicate flecks of brown and black
marking the spots where the wood shavings
carefully burnt to charcoal
- birthmarks the pot carries
from the fiery womb.

Such a pot would ordinarily be
on a white shelf with its own subtle spotlight
while the people going past
would finger the discreet tag
it wore around its neck,
murmuring at the 4 digit figure they read.

Some hand brought it here
where it cheerfully stands with
the mud staining its pristine base
and the ants and cockroaches
and beetles with nacreous wings
climbing its smooth walls.

We have heard of Urinals in art galleries
but even Duchamp could not concieve
of such a shattering blow
to the very foundations of Art
nor compare to such understanding
of its purpose.

FOAM (from the beaches of pondicherry 2)

She opened her eyes drowsily and looked straight into a hundred and twenty crore staring eyes. They were arrayed ad infinitum to either side of Her, while She hovered above the centre of the line, at the point of origin of the world, at the centre of the Ocean of Milk. The foam of the Ocean was the colour of her skin, the precise colour of that pale golden cream which rises on patiently boiled milk. The ocean was still frothing, though the churning had paused momentarily. Below Her was craggy Mandara, below that was the ocean , and within its depth She sensed two ancient reptilian Eyes.

The winds began to blow, vying among themselves to bring to Her delicate porcelain nose the best of the fragrances they had gleaned in their roaming over the vast empty expanses of the universe. Of them, She chose one, a fragrance that was light, pink, and carried with it a puzzling sense of being on the point of decadence, the rot that was just about to set in from over-ripeness. At once a large pregnant bloom opened its pink petals under Her, and She sat back on its domed centre.

The Apsaras, themselves newly born of the foam that birthed Her, appointed themselves Her maids-in-waiting. They hurriedly picked a hundred more lotuses and wove them into garlands to lay about Her golden neck. The lord of the waters brought up gold and kuruvinda rubies from the depths of his dominions. The gold he first drew into thread, then wove it to make Her raiment, setting it with the rubies and stringing yet more of the gems to lay with the lotuses about Her shoulders and arms.

The Elephant Clouds came riding upon the winds. From their trunks they rained Purity over her head. It washed down inside Her, glowing and fiery, becoming one with the creaminess of ocean foam and lotus petals. It infused Her till it became Her essence. It was then She truly awoke. Lakshmi. The name She would privilege above all Her others. The wall She did not know existed dissolved now. She saw the universe within Herself, and realizing it, became the universe itself, its equal owner.

In that universe lay the Ocean of Milk, frothing from the churning. At the eye of that giant whirlpool was a tiny circle of peace where He lay. He was the equal owner of the universe, lying on a Snake bed, while at the same time He was a hoary turtle bearing Mandara on His back. On His chest shone the Kaustubha. Within it She saw Herself, mirrored as in the bowl of a spoon, and She knew She had always been there, since the beginning of time.

* * * *

Elsewhere, out of the foam of Oceanos, a pink seashell arose, carrying a vision of Beauty on its iridescent back. Zephyr blew his soft breath upon Her, and Her hair blew up in gentle brown ringlets, in perfect Boticellian fashion. The waves of the ocean lapped at Her little feet and She archly moved them closer together, poised on one gracefully bent knee. While the Graces rushed up to give Her the golden garments they had woven, Venus-Aphrodite had a nagging sense of Déjà Vu.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

From the beaches at pondicherry

I know of many stratagems the initiated employ
to deal with shifting sand.

I dig my toes in
wiggling the sand out to make space
and feel the sand move past as it ebbs
gently abrading my ankles
and covering my feet.

I let my feet lie soft on the sand
with a film of water under my soles
and let it naughtily tickle my skin
while it squirms and tries
to throw me off balance

Then I see the water around my calves
and the foam clears slowly, bursting bubble
after bubble and it is so clear
that I can see the small white seashells
and grains of sand floating in it,
happy to stop where it lays them.

And then I know
that I may defy the sands
but I cannot in my heart
deny the waters.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Verse Libre 2

and sometimes punctuation can be quite the tyrant.

thank god for verse libre


A white pebble, that looks like marble
Has been dyed a tepid orange by red soil dampened by rain.

One layer of small yellow flowers with brown anthers
That has been trampled quite mercilessly into the hot tar
Lies below a second layer because the tree refused to give up.

Three pink bubble gum wrappers form a scalene triangle
With silver insides that glitter shyly from behind
The wrinkled blue man with his arms folded over an inflated rubber chest.

A butter yellow dead butterfly
That has one wing torn out of its back
And the other ragged wing lies quite still.

Your toes that have a milky white crescent
At every end of a smooth pink rounded square of nail.

And my eyes.

Verse Libre

I cannot write poetry. I think in prose. But I like sometimes to break my prose up into individual packets of words, divided for rythm or effect.

thank god for verse libre.


It’s going to rain: I can always tell.

First my heart beats quite differently
It is not beating in customary staccato
I could sing unnecessarily complicated love songs to its rhythm.

My eyes are open normally
And I can smile from within while I walk
And not scowl, as I do when it is too sunny
Or stare blankly, as when it is dark.

Then there is the smell wafting in the air
That fills every nook and cranny till it lies thick against my skin
And stoutly denies any rumours

Of ignoble origins from microorganisms.

Go ahead and Rain happiness
On my blessed head.