Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rain's Reply

The rain asked the earth, are you quenched?
Is your body properly drenched?
The earth said yes,
But what will i do with this mess?
Rain said 'do what you will, no conditions attached.'

Friday, May 27, 2016

If Death Comes Calling Tonight! (Villanelle)



If death comes calling tonight,
Clad in robes of silken black,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.


After the fading of early twilight,
If the end comes, do not turn it back,
If death comes calling tonight.


Hide him in shadows, if the light’s too bright,
And do not let time turn in its track,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.


To leave the world and end the long fight,
He concedes, he fought bravely, nary much luck,
If death comes calling tonight.


It can come in some fancy flight,
A gun, a bomb, or, a rumble and quake,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.


Sorry world, all this was so fleeting, alright,
He has no regrets, no turning back,
If death comes calling tonight,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Going to Pakistan

Oh, our dear motherland, Hindustan,  Tell us why should we go to Pakistan?
To put some tasty beef into our mouth, Which we can get in Kerala, in South?

What's this anti-national rant, our friend? When it's you, who reached Lahore to attend, A wedding amidst playing of bands, A tasty feast, and then holding of hands.
A few of our friends from Pakistan, Want to come to our land of Hindustan, They have heard India is a free country, Expression is free, but filled with whataboutry.
Saadat Hasan Manto, though you went to Pakistan, The Land of the Pure, just heaven-istan, Your heart pined, we know, for Hindustan, Why didn’t you follow the path through Rajasthan?
Pakistan, Bangla Desh and Hindustan, Triplets of history’s circumstance, Why have you split and made us ache? We were one country, for God’s sake.
Leave them be, our writers, and students, Forgive them for their slogans of stridence. If we chant, “Victory to Bharat – my Motherland?” Will you let us stay in this beautiful land?
Note: Heaven-istan, a place like heaven. Whataboutry, the propensity to preface contentious issues with “What about this/that?”

Monday, May 02, 2016

Ode on a Grecian Crisis



Thou urn of Gods, Holy Grail, cornucopia
Of learning and poetry harking back to Athenium.
Thou born of wars of Thermopylae and battle of Platea
Fierce battles that raged in seas of Artemisium.
Thou art bankrupt, now begging for succour from Germany
Can’t believe this fate has fallen on the country of Herodotus.
Failed state, basket case they say of thy finances
What happened to the vanquishers of the army of mighty Darius?
Stories of thy valour and munificence there are many,
Narratives sprung from Epistles lacking in nuances.

Dost thou have no money to pay thy pensioners?
Have thou no resources to manage thy historic debts?
What of the poor and destitute and thy farmers?
Dost thou have money to pay thy commanders and cadets?
Thy combined forces under Leonidas defeated Persia,
Routed the navy of Persians under thy warrior Themistocles.
Athens and Sparta were once thy prosperous kingdoms,
Wisdom was once disbursed by thy son the great Socrates.
Thou could have created a mighty empire throughout Asia,
Yet thou were satisfied to lord over thine own fiefdoms.

Yes we have heard of the great Agamemnon and Helen,
Sure we have read about the great warrior Achilles.
But, today, world economy is dominated by Janet Yellen
And the men who work in the White Houses on Capitol Hills.
Did you forget you were the world’s first democracy?
Or, did you forget your ancestors’ great history?
Have you forgotten Achilles’ fury over death of Patroclus,
As told by Homer in Iliad, your grandest story?
If you don’t think this is all myth-making and hypocrisy?

Then go to Germany and Europe and settle your dues.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meet Mr. John Nobody

(With apologies to Poet Dom Moraes)
I
Glad to meet you, poet born to somebody, Cheeky jowls, languid hair, and plump of body, With glasses slipping down your nose, A receding chin and lips as a wilted rose.
Alright, you lived for poetry and prose, A life sacrificed at the altar lachrymose, You married beautiful women and left them, Because, bored of them you soon became.
You were anointed; you were God’s child, Your verses were mellow, but were angst filled, The pages of history’s sinister happening, You chronicled without a sigh or sorrowing.
They called you a promising child prodigy, It’s so sad your life ended in tragedy, Writing in flawless iambic pentameter, While drinking liquor in bottles by the litre.
Though your life was troubled, t’was not bad, I know of unread poets who have gone mad, You confidently walked the road of fame, Nobody said an unkind word, or, of shame.
The world in which you travelled and wrote, These days is full of show and self-promote, Today poetry slammers face audience in anger, In their minds no any compassion linger.
II
Now, please, meet Mr. John Nobody, Writer of vain and vapid prosody, Bearer of considerable self-inflicted pain, Singer of many a rock-star-poets’ refrain.
He is a poet of utter nothingness, Prone to long bouts of carelessness, He writes poems that no one publishes, To save him from ignominy and the blushes.
Once in a while he makes a few submissions, Which come back replete with outright rejections, How then would he make a poet’s pre-eminence, Before he reaches his state of senescence.
In writers’ fora he has tarried too much, Closed poetry circles he tried vainly to breach, But the bitch goddess wouldn’t post a smiley, On his attempt to essay metaphor and simile.
John Nobody thinks there was life on Mars, And it self-destructed in a few millennial years, Likewise life here on earth is not eternal, It’s only a few years from an atomic infernal.
So, John Nobody doesn’t mind much the anonymity, He constantly absents from events with regularity, When he dies, he says, don’t grieve, instead, drink Moet, On his grave write, “He doesn’t mind being re-born a poet.”

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Guns and Cameras



These days, gunfire and cameras
make the same sound:
rat-a-tat,
rat-a-tat.
One kills; the other
immortalises,
what comes first?
I don’t know.

In these extreme days,
when guns crackle in snow and heat,
the cameras pan,
debris and dead bodies.
Those that didn’t face
the cold steel metal, say:
“It was me,”
“It was me,”
“that the bullet missed.”
Why? I don’t know.

Those days before Kalashnikovs,
and Berettas were invented
killing a man was called murder
“Lock ‘im up,”
“Lock ‘im up.”
Nowadays the military-industrialists,
kill millions,
yet, we hail them as keepers of democracy.

These days gunfire and cameras
make the same sound:
rat-a-tat,
rat-a-tat.
One kills; the other
immortalises,
what comes first?
I don’t know.

III/MMXVI

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nirbhaya – The Beast Is Out on the Street



Nirbhaya, that night were you shy,
To go on a date with a guy?
What did you wear for them to complain?
Was it too short, too long, or, profane?

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

To your parents you were like a son
They were happy the day you’re born.
The eldest one to carry their burden
When all this happened, of a sudden.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

Millions of hearts grieved your passing
Thousands lined up at India Gate chanting.
But, can they bring you back, I ask?
From the other world, no easy task.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

The gruesome details we have read
On television shows it was shared.
They tore your insides with an iron rod
The beasts laughed when you cried out loud.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
His manner is rakish and upbeat
He is hungry for his daily treat.

They put the juvenile in a centre for correction
How will he right the damage, beg your pardon?
They let him out with cash and sewing machine
Into the streets where he spilled your intestine.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

Thousands still grieve when they say your name
Men bow their repentant heads in shame.
That’s because a beast lurks in every man
A savage beast that can’t resist a woman.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

The beast is going into the streets again
Unrepentant and ready to rape and malign.
He is insolent they say in the papers
He will do the same with girls and lovers.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

At India Gate they hold slogans and prepare
To scream themselves hoarse and despair.
The savage is out again, radiant in lust
Get away, stay away from this recidivist.

The word is out on the street
Out on the street is the beast
He is hungry for his daily treat
His manner is rakish and upbeat.

II/MMXVI