Category: Poetry

22 Mar 2014

Untrampled

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 7:01pm


winters many have passed
sunny summers, as many, too
and then these rains, so fierce

languished to the bone, she thought:

where will i go, but
when, on the sands of time,
every grain, needle-sharp, wants to pierce

9 Jan 2014

ఎవరన్నా పేద

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 6:40pm


హితులు కూడిన చెట్టు కింద
రేయిని తడిసిన నేల మీద
బాధ మరిచి, భయం లేక

అమ్మ మాటకు అవును అంటూ
బుజ్జిదాని నవ్వులోన
సరిగమల ఝరిని వింటూ

కొండ గాలి మేని తట్టగ
చుక్క చుక్క లెక్క కట్టి
పొద్దు మరలితె రవిని చూసే
నేనా!

పరుపు మీద, పాన్పు మీద
కునుకు లేక, సుఖము లేక
అందరున్నా ఎవరు లేక

చుక్క కానని చీకటిలో
భయం భయం గుండె చప్పుడు
చెవులు మూసినా చెవిని తట్టగ

నువ్వు నవ్వలేక, నవ్వూ పంచలేక
కలల తీరంపై ఒంటరివై
పొద్దుకోసం గుబులుతో వేచిచూసే
నువ్వా!

మరి చెప్పన్నా! ఓ అన్నా!
ఎవరు పేద? నువ్వా? నేనా?

6 Jan 2014

Re-counting the bars

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 11:55pm


she counts the bars
and tells me there are none
her stare is blank
and my eyes weep

she taught me numbers
ones, fours, twos and tens
in her loving eyes
i saw tears of joy
when i counted right

finish with it, he reminds
his gaze apathetic
time abandons you
when you want her to linger

"where will she go"? i yell
he says nothing
"where will you go?"
i ask, my voice turns bleak
she stares at me

holding her trembling fingers
i want to say, a last time
"don't forget me, mother!"
but i don't

for, it will
break my heart
if she says either -
"how can i, ever, son!"
or, frightfully, "who are you?"

it's a waning winter
and as i read her pale face
he shuts the window
the pall of gloom befalls

six more winters pass
i still look at these walls
and find a glimmer of hope
even as fear rankles
my restless heart

and then along he comes
the pimp of power
"your mother is dead"
i hear him mocking

i could kill him
but what do i get
who will swell my sinking heart
and sing and soothe
my lifeless soul

has she betrayed me
have i betrayed her
or has the world betrayed both
i would never know

pushing me out
into unrelenting light
shining on a dark world  
as my steps falter
he adds, "you can walk free"

but what will i do
where will i go
and why i will
to a ruthless, motherless world

i want to go back
to the cell, any cell
here, elsewhere, anywhere
and count the bars again
till i see none

6 Sep 2013

Pack of Cards

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry & El Eye Ef Ee | 3:01pm


when you were too frail
in flesh, skull and bone
they, as you saw them, held you
caringly helped you stand up
and taught you to walk and run

so that, a card as you are,
when the kings and aces trample
you don't get beaten and blown
but rise after every fall

and now, when you,
strong, having aged, and firm
help a few frail ones, yourself
you see them, the old ones, falling
one. by one. by one. and one

pride will not see you through
this game of cards, you will lose
and each one, when he leaves,
leaves you more naked

13 Aug 2013

Dog's life

Posted by Oblivion in Philosophy & Poetry & Politics | 5:46pm


you want me, at all hours, to
cringe to your drumbeat
give in to a sagging spine
be hushed and whooshed off
when your convoy passes by

lick your boots so neat
when you trample and whack
thank the blade hasn't slain
be unabashedly loyal
and proud of my servitude

you, wily wolf, want me to
slit my brother's flesh
pay for your bread and meats
and when my home burns to ashes
pray you and curse my fate

and how well do i do this
- for the plaque, a fake,
that reads 'good citizen' -
verily like a wagging dog
more screwed than a pavlovian!

6 Jul 2013

Check, Mate!

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry & Politics | 11:41pm


two grand old foes,
cold war never too behind,
make a few moves deft
on the board checkered
gray, shrewd and shrouded
to castle a pawn
the world watches mute
oh! what an endgame

one man who blew
the whistle, sans regret
banished, stranded
and now hounded
talks to himself,
"Snow, found a Den yet?"
"Den, no. It's Snowing
I'm lost of moves"

6 Jul 2013

Across the Ages

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry & El Eye Ef Ee | 12:11am


The Pageturners’ final list is up (for Across the Ages anthology). Nice to have made it. Now waiting to see it in print.

24 May 2013

Di(e)vergence

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 12:33pm


Thick at places
Thin at others
Long tread, that
Together we made
He said

He said so
Standing at the edge
Of the fork
Should we part
Mate? he asked

I see, he said
The fork, yes
Which edge, though?
The beginning
Or the end

Does it matter?
Dusk is upon us
That's to the left
This, to the right
Let's go

Lighting the fag
One last time
Smoking, smiling
He went right
And he, left

22 May 2013

Peek-a-boo

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 7:41pm


Behind the door, quietly I hide
And hear your gentle laughter
A heart rapt, joy in your eyes
Brisk in step, you run towards
You can't see me yet, dearest
But you know I am here

When, gently so, you bang it open
And, ecstatic, pretend to catch me
But swiftly evade and turn around
You know, too, that I will run behind
Behind you to, instead, catch you
And hug tight, while you laugh

On one such playful evening
Next day or years hence
Fate shall, oh!, will otherwise
In glee, you will open the door
But find me - your dad - lying stiff
Cold, quiet, blind, deaf, dead

Unheard will your words be
Your eyes, beautiful, tearful
Will accuse me of betrayal
And, alas, you will be right!
All the words of love I had said
Shall sound like cruel lies

Such is the game of life, so fraught
The best lessons are learnt this way
These words of love, though,
So bittersweet, yet are true -
That when death comes seeking
Life, with all its might, cannot hide

27 Dec 2012

Soliloquy

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 11:47pm


freedom you have, but rules are mine
of speech, did you say? of course
whisper to yourself, in quiet at that
else be mired with cops and sections!

farce thus leads grimace, hamlet-esque
to post or not to post, then,
and to like or not to like
face-booked, these are the questions!

27 Dec 2012

The Last Shot

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 11:38pm


now that the master has left
what's left of you, o sport!
a dab of sporting fate so deft
king is out; bare lies the fort

21 Aug 2012

On the Canvas Wide

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 7:22pm


On the canvas wide 
 
the reds of the singing flowers
the greens of the dancing leaves
the browns of the ageing bark
and oh, the blues of the sky

in what moment of boundless joy
and of reckless abandon
have you, O Master Painter,
brushed these dabs, and why! 

9 Aug 2012

Shadow

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 7:33pm


quiet of the night
was lullaby for the kid
sand was the bed
and the sratlit sky,
the luring fairy tale

the earth and the expanse
the sea, the bird in flight
and every blade of grass
were, in play, mates 
loyal, as the shadow

days, sprightly and bright
held surprises aplenty
of the sleight divine
nights, the secret roads
to the land of stories

tripping lightly, ever
on the sands of time
even the flit, gentle
of a restless butterfly
meant a glint of joy

blue of the sky
was the canvas of dreams
that eyes would weave
and the drops of rain,
whispers from heaven

the kid, in haste, then
clocked the years quick
and traded play for work
joy for stupefying pride
and life for living

the stars have fallen
the moon, usurped
by the clouds all murky
the dust has settled
under the jaded feet

yet grass, green with hope
still beckons for play
but besieged he is
too deep in the ugly
to have an eye for beauty

every whiff of spring
betrays the lull warmth
every wave of winter
marks a cold reminder
of forgotten fairy tales
 
into what mire of trivia
does one sink!
to join the ranks
of a world shrewd
in the race of the dead

ah, what he is now
but a pale remnant
of the life gone by
and a morbid lead
of the drag to be

29 Aug 2011

Monsoon

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 7:06pm


it hasn't sopped raining
and damp is the earth
perched in the nest
of leaves and sticks
the bird flits its wet wings

the tiny drops drip
from her dark plaits
and the little girl
runs with her naked feet
to jump in the waters

quiet slithers and descends
into the dark vast woods
and yet you hear
as you strain the ear
the rustle of leaves

adrift is his stroll
on an endless road
as the step of his feet,
shielded in soaked boots,
belies a restless heart

unheard are the whispers
of the tears that flow
on her face, moist and fair
they hide not, though
the grief of the broken heart

stopping by the untaken road
with tears that won't show
a soul, too late, looks back
pining for her love
that could have been his

millions rush for home
as she, with only torn rags
outcast and homeless
looks into the skies
and prays for death

hearing for the first time
the rumble of monsoon
the baby, alarmed,
cries for the embrace
of its doting mother

sunk in the din of living
impelled to stop and ponder
the poet asks himself
"have you heard these sounds,
o poet, the sounds of life!"

6 Jul 2011

Hell of Freedom

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 8:47pm


Where the mind is wanting in courage and yet the head is held high
Where knowledge is trade
Where bigots rebel to break up the world into fragments
With narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the abyss of treason
Where tireless striving lends not its arms to others
Where the clear stream of reason has lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by greed
Into ever-stifling thought and action
Into which hell of freedom, my Father, have Thou let my country drift off
 
- (with apologies to Tagore) 
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