In the evening there was a vague airy talk
Of tall mountain peaks shrouded in snow
Mixed with pearl ice and the vague poplars
That lose their clear outlines to vague sky.
Vaguely we would have our ginger and tea
In earth of cups, handed by Himalayan men
In overcoats as the mouths steamed words
As if they were hilltops that spewed vapor
Vaguely in the higher reaches of Himalayas.
We would vaguely dream of the mountains
In our pillows and patience came to an end
As darkness reinstated behind shifting eyes.
And later, as we opened our eyes we saw us
In deeply held holes made of real concrete.
There was nothing vague about a clothesline
And a balcony that defined our real borders.
Intensity is flimsy surrender to night
And dreams, to airy things opening up
To your body, your existence in doubt.
It is gray bats cross-flying on the roof
Before rain has made its mossy maps
And eagles fly low as gray paper kites
Out in blank sky well before their time
As an early breeze fails to flutter color.
Touch a body to make sure it is there.
Smell early dew as you would a snake
In bush by a movement you suspected.
Feel the jerk in a bird’s fistful of body
As the eyes fall on its flimsy existence.
Intensity is a bird’s acknowledgement
Of your existence, of your being there.
There at the bottom of great India-map
A sneeze had begun and handkerchief
Came up to our noses through the hills
As rain began pouring on slippery mud
Of tire treads, sins spread and stinking
Refuse home for the season’s new flies.
The clouds multiplied like flies in clinics
Of doctors heavy with tails in the necks.
Your heads swelled with loss of dignity
And your noses quickly forgot flowers.
You looked funny under a monkey cap.
Rivers flowed fervently in side- gutters
Flowing our filth back to the very noses
That had just sent away to other noses.
You missed the slum pigs that explored
Piles of filth, bringing their insides out.
We shall now bring out our sitar to play
A fine rain raga if the fucking flies let us.
On this Sunday ,we feared the rain might fall
And anger the mom’s earth under tree’s feet.
The rocks might tumble as rain would loosen
The tree’s feet from the mother’s floorboard.
She would be sleeping on crook of her arm
Brooding on the blue sky deprived of its sun.
Our snake of road might not fork out tongue
And rain wipers might say their decisive no’s
To our proposed journey to the world’s edge.
The windows might not be free to the nights
And the blinds might be put up to rain-moths
For fear of their dying by our flickering lamps.
But now it is as if hills may not lose bearings .
And they may still hold the trees in their lap.
Wipers may yet whisper yes to a windshield.
Toy train may puff in small bursts of smoke
Along a snake of road forking tongue calmly
To a piece of the sky firmly glued to the earth.
The morning rain continues from night
A cold coming through bird chick’s cries
And now light gently falls on wet plants
Their personalities glowing by the hour.
Our dying rose may wake up and shine
From the company of hibiscus partying
In its wet splendor, a late night partying
After the night’s thoughts went berserk
Like sea urchin ,in violent wind – water.
The urchin may not come this way of sky.
But his looks killed many an upright tree
Like its distant American cousin ,in coast
And brought a high ship to sandy knees.
Morning rain grows on wet crows
In white bodies under their nights
Their feathers a thing of the night.
Becoming is larval thing between.
By noon they will sure outgrow it.
Then they will be thick dark foliage
And shadows, part of a big picture.
Evening turns them back to crows.
During noon they wave their heads
In the branch,on their screwy necks.
They fly into our afternoon’s siestas,
Their wings flapping on our eyelids.
Mornings they pick up soap cakes
And our princess’ jewels in bathing.
They drop pebbles into thirsty pots.
Evening they are ancestors on walls
Come to eat rice balls, one by one.
Lake’s brown is mush and green algae
The shadows a high point near the boats
With men rowing time, a noon in clouds
Plain white stuff lolling along a blue sky.
Green algae lie peacefully with that ibis
Its one leg on the rock, its white double
In waters, doing its penance for the day.
The boatman scoops algae into the boat
From tiny ripple breaking him in pieces.
A dappled lake is all we are looking for.
Smoke curls beyond shore are not thing
Not a high point when sun plays hooky
Shore trees look inward,the eyes closed.