The cricket has just opened a window,
In my ears, to darkness on other side.
Crickets open their sounds to our ears
And are sole windows to night sounds.
Their song gives motion to dark sound
As happens in the leaves around bird.
Bird gets up at midnight to flap wings
And gets back to old Siberian dreams.
Darkness is sound from cricket’s throat
Till vanquished by morning crow-caw.
When I was a child birds gave me ideas,
In their flights of rows, towards the lake
Against the autumn sky, my fingernails
Clawing the air rhythmically and my lips
Calling them to infuse whites in my nails.
Those days birds could drop their whites
Directly in the behind of our fingernails.
Actually they were bringing these whites
From the marshes of Siberia in the seas.
A little drop of whites in children’s nails
Would not diminish their whites much
After their return from tropical homes.
Birds gave me ideas, in fluttering wings
And bones with hollow air, silk feathers
That would at times drop in our street
Dancing down our layers of air playfully.
We would catch and save them in books
Afraid to open them for our homework.
The dog’s bark is a pillar of the night
Wrest it away and night may crumble.
A petite mosquito buzzes in my ears
Singing its music of the unreal kind
A sliver from my smoke of burning
Where we all burn in a daily smoke.
A sleeping lizard on a roof is a sliver
From my smoking life, from my roof
That tumbles without sleeping lizard.
Words are sliver from smoking nights
Moonlight is back on roof and sky,
Flour rolled into dough for chapati
For us to take a bite after bite daily.
A coconut will at times take its bite
But a new chapati is always rolling.
Women are holding up their sieves.
Men are reading boring daily news.
Wives will see their faces in sieves
The round and perfect full moons.
(On Karwa chauth , after completing a day’s fast for husband’s well being , a woman looks through a sieve first looking at the rising moon and then at her spouse)
Today we see blood moon corrodes
On our roof and rust falls to clouds.
In the bloody confusion rain forgets
To fall on the city’s parched tongue.
All our farmers are up on the trees,
Their tongues tasting tree’s cold air.
It seems they are entirely corroded.
All things corrode and even a moon
We had seen in childhood coconut.
The moon is made of a fragile iron
That rusts of too much rain clouds.
So rust in peace, we say in requiem.
That is when ears become dumb
And turn on soul’s inner working.
We wait for a brief evening shout
When we hear again on treetops.
Faces are brifly lit only to darken
As a night encroaches on minds.
Old Rilke’s light goes on to shout
Beyond treetops, after darkness.
(remembering Rilke’s “the light shouts...)
Beyond the green of coconut trees
Are hills that hold the possibilities
Of bears descending nightly, to eat
Sugarcane crop ripe for harvesting.
Bears love sugarcane in the plains.
Farmers sleeping under full moon
Do not love bears in the moonlight.