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Saturday, 13 March 2021

WHEN I LOOK UP I KNOW THAT WE CAN MAKE LOVE AGAIN








 i was travelling the National Highway
on a Saturday morning to my parents' home.
The primordial sun;
that old fire that shone its allegiance to my foremothers and mothers past-
now dressed my face in its amber gold.
How the sun can be so loud that
i can hear its ibaadat i will never know.
And in its March warmth, i watched
the sidelines stigmatized with trees illicit
Of which
one particular tree caught my eyes.
It was bare. It hardly held any leaves.
It had no answers to offer but itself.
Its gnarled perfect branches were shaped
like a sacred candelabrum-
the kind Jews light for Hanukkah.
Proffering its devotion to the skies above,
to an ancient waiting light,
in all its nakedness, in all its emptiness,
in all its self allowing,
profuse and complete in its deficiency,
this tree was sensual in its endured longing,
reveling in its utter aradhana.
This exquisite samarpanam
was the most exposed desire
i'd ever come across that day and in awhile.
There was something soft and spacious
in this willing participation.
This muted kiss. This quiet intercourse.
This slow-deep understanding between worlds
that it very simply moved me to tears.
We maybe collapsing under the weight of the many unprecedented yet well presaged crises.
But there is beauty, still.
And we still can make love.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Synonyms for Mathrubhoomi

 

I

 

i learned to hold ground for my feet today.

Very untoward is my feet to the ways of the terrain beneath
but
i learned to hold feet for my earth today.

 

II

 

While traversing the incurvations of this land-

a Mathrubhumi of rubber trees
somewhere in the verdigris of Kerala-

my family and i was constantly met with crests and indentations of the turf


                        small and large                  shallow and deep


And inside me moves the rise and dip of fear-


my fear for heightened surfaces           

                                                         my fear for depression surfaces                            

 
Fear traversing like slivers of smoke inside me,
s p r e a d i n g         i t s       s c e n t

holding me in its strange allure

 

and in response, my feet cower like curlicued claws

 

III

 

Rubber trees:

                       tall spare leaning sideways be-holding me

                       almost silver to look at against the opaline sky

                       like the luminous tresses of an elder woman

 

 

i continue the ascend, my arduous feet
upon Bhumi’s russet ebullient ways

 

 

Shedding copal amber leaves glide from rubber trees
displaying how even death Is grace

 

IV



I now reach another point of elevation            my fear arrives in tides
i wait to harvest will and courage           to take bounds and leaps like the child

 

i fail utterly and instead I pray                      while my body squats to meet the earth, borrowing anchor


My fingers and palms hold steadfastly to the
surging serpentine roots

my palms caressed by a recently rain sighed ochre coarse soil


And thus i make the mount to join my family-
And thus i become root bound.


"Trust the earth, Trust your feet.”

                                                              whisperings of a rumour


“Trust your earth, Trust the feet."


 

 

Another Slope

                            Downward.

                                                   Fall ?


V




i stand rooted at the arc of the earth mound.

Cumulus clouds deepen in libidinous dark-grey above

 

Everywhere were the architecture of eyes seeing me


“Trust your earth. Trust your feet”

 


my body must be earth-like     if     i ever were to meet earth.

Unbridling myself                             seeping all that I weigh into its cacao mud body


my breath : a scaffolder of grace                    releasing the burden of fear


i plunge: i land : i spring : i arrive            at the arms of my awaiting beloved.


 

This is how i sculpted faith from silence


 

Monday, 10 August 2020

When God is Dethroned

 WHEN GOD IS DETHRONED


After Rabindranath Tagore


"There is no God in this much disputed temple", said the sage

"In fact, God was never here to begin with", continued the wise one 

while the walls were freshly haunted with the dismembered wails of a pogrom.


"What, no God?!", inflamed the King who was found huddled beside his precious glittering throne

Amidst breath forsaken poverty and covid.


"You are sounding like one of them. A dissenter", further preyed the King from his scorn frothed mouth.

"Everything I do is always and only in the name of God. The absolute One. How dare you say no God?!", proclaimed the King amidst blood gushing like the molten red river of his people's hearts.


The wise sage calmly replied, "I understand all this too well. But God is a traveller now. This is only because all that you say you do is nothing but an act of overthrowing God. You've dethroned God when you stole the voices of your people, of democracy, of truth."

"The very founders of modern India knew

democracy to be for the mature among us.

But alas, you, steadfastly cling to adolescence. Nafz."


Overcome with Krodh, the king growled to say,

"Nafz? An Urdu term? How you have the pluck to utter an Urdu word in my presence! Our Hindu scriptures are rich with terms and stories for you to resort to. Isn't that enough? And to think that you call yourself a saint!"


"But again, you are mistaken. I am no saint. I am merely a sage. There is a subtle difference between the two. 

And you continue to further prove what I just said. Your Regal Self, your ego, your Nafz blinds you."

"Nafz is the only virtue blazing with life here. 

You've sent God to exile. 

You've maimed the constitution. 

And you are resolutely deaf to the truth that monarchy doesn't exist in this land anymore.

All truth, all that can bring us together is

Banished, buried- snuffing out all the lights. 

Relegating your conscience to your dungeon.

All, in darkness.

And in the process, you've been castrated Of truth. Of God.

Truth is in Kashmir, O'King

Truth is in the colour Red."


"I see you want to ambush me too", remarked the sage, gently.


"Do not take yourself too seriously, O'King. Remember, God hasn't forsaken any of us and that includes you as well", the sage wanted to add but where blood and breath must be flowing within, 

now also flows without.


Democracy is the sun gone ominously cold-

a Blue Sun

a Pale Fire


Thursday, 25 June 2020

Time to take the ride back home

a poem everyone must read

In the time of the Great Plague
We miss magic
Deep magic, dark magic, cosmic magic, simply magic
We forgot all about magic

We were dreamers archealogically
We are dreamers still, somewhere
this element is flotsam in the deep black lake that is us

Sun sweet potion bathed our room
- the earth trembled in all its languid kerala sensuality under it-
As i typed this poem
i wasn't alone in this room
there was definitely the child
Also, there were the many invisible beings around us
the presence of which i am subliminally aware

Do you think the earth is doomed
i bring this question alive, out loud
The kid is distant, out of my reach even
travelling some other world
Dreaming
while keeping at her drawing
And yet some bit of her still lingers here
Earth is beautiful, she pronounced
But we are doomed, she adds

i think sometimes god speaks through children better
than they speak through us
i think somewhere children are better accessible to gods because
they are willing to stay mystical and mythical than we are

Such big things we are
Such little things we are
And yet we miss magic

We forgot
to whisper love spells into the heart of a bashful tree
We forgot
to hug a dainty flower in our palms to remind her that she is alive in the admonishing wait of the rain wind
We forgot
to bless unicorns back to life from narwhals
Did we forget so we remember again ?

What will it take in us to take part in our mystical again ?
What will it take in us to meet the blue shadows of ourselves ?

The other day, the child asked me;
quite innocently, how we are so certain of names we offer plants and trees and bees, of their bodies and organ parts.
How are we certain that the nostrils of a leaf is called a stomata, Amma
How are we certain that humans are called homo sapiens, Amma
How is science so certain ?

The trick i tell her ~
Myself an engineer of a past life,
Is to not be too certain, is to not stay too clever
And then; per chance then, you may see that the leaves
the flowers
and the stars
Might have spoken through us and willed of us,
Used us
To name them...

Isn't this a possibility too ?

Navigating empirical explicability in equipoisical distances with elusive uncertainty of the material and the immaterial-
both worlds

Isn't it healthier to revive subtlety into our lives?
Subtlety like the air we breathe

After all, what is love
but the bone spun song of the moon the children know as wisdom
What is love but the deep ochre concoctions of the sun's tassels
Upon which every leaf blade remembers to meet
What is love but dreaming visitations of iridescent mermaids
born to fly
carrying the nine studded heliocentrism
on their tail span

We are dreamers
You and i
We dream in Magic
And
We are dreamt in Magic
chants the child

Love is met in Magic

i wonder, are children brought upon this world so you learn to love yourself again

So you learn you know nothing
that you become nothing
Empty naked and new
Only to begin again
as birth begins with new death
always in Love

So the darker depths of your enchanted lake spills open long festering wounds
Out of courage, while fear keeps a low key
Only so you tend to it chanting love utterances into it
Letting it go into the lustful barbarious air of the universe
And then you realise faith is alchemy

True revolution is to look at love with love
True revolution is Mohabbat
Love saves love saves love saves
And
We become a treasure together

When was the last time your sea of dreams met the aubergine skies of heaven ?

Have you met yourself in love yet again ?
Have you walked yourself home yet ?
Speaking anciently, have you ridden a child's wolftime of magic yet ?

Time to ride back home


Monday, 15 June 2020

The Great Vigil




We finally met in the obsidian truth of the mural                                              i was blessedly crazed
in golden light
Murmurs of wild gods like old persian poetry 
mingled with the sensuous indian rose incense smoke
Spreading heavily in precious prana around us
Around myself and the child
A brass nilavilaku; a Kerala oil lamp, was alit sacred  
A ceremony to adore a Beloved goddess
Everything around us was at once normal
and mysterious.
The air seemed exotic and yet it is the very breath that carries you and i
Beside me sat a nine year old Sumerian goddess of her ancestry
With trinkets around her neck and on the parting of her hair
With watercolour cake dust,                                                      borrowed from starsongs and phoenixes, smeared upon her face and as eyeshadow
Like a lithe Bhakti poet of      paint                                                                    
cosmic dancing                                                                                     she began stroking poems of the small gods upon the awaiting wall.
The wall breathed differently like a crucible returning a painting to life

This slow burning ritual like a candle sprightly kindled    Beckoning me to its otherworldly glow like a moth               i felt anointed enough
Anointed enough to weave spirits upon the longing canvas with my bronze skinned fingers and palms

Time did not bully us anymore                                                  
In fact, its elemental nature became experiential
We became children who must chase lost songs.
We became the earth.
The earth became us.
Everything contained in us was slowly revealed                                  
Contained in everything were we

The colours kept telling stories with the earth turning in it.
Ablution sun love was met in the belly of her carnelian            
Azure portals in fluids and aventurine lands were thus cradled                                                
several riverine skies                                                                                    a couple of dandelion fluff moons                                         
in an almost frescoed world upon this wall
Something began to stir, shift and awaken

These days an emoticon i belovedly use is a blue tea rain soaked green umbrella                                                           to convey the present temperament of a Kochi sky
For a pilgrim of colours                                                          in this late evening, the sky brought out the Adambhara lapis lazuli of the oceans above to celebrate its becoming                                                                 
And dangling from its grey karkoondhal; the malayalee serpentine coiled wealthly coconut scented tresses, 
is an Amethyst piece of the moon that sheds its shadow to begin anew                                                   
in the island of her amniotic sac
Along with the Midsummer’s Mazha; the quintessential Malayalam rain                                                                                                       the kochi sky wailed like a banshee                                                       
Ergo, liberating itself in its divine tears

Mazha

And here i am

Beholding it all –
the colour of petrichor                                                                         
the song of scattered incense smoke                                                 
the many secret lectures around me- 

Consecrating the mural with my trembled coursing tears

I’ve been seen                                                                            is it not a blessing?                                                                       i did not seek                                                                                                          and yet we met                                                                                           we met in the obsidian truth of the mural                                                             
i was blessedly crazed                                                                                            
because                                                                                                                             I felt the tug of the golden umbilical cord

What does it take for us to remember the Great Memory?                                                                                            When will we sense the hundred throbbing inheritances around us?

And while the small Sumerian goddess; kneeling beside me in prayer
spoken in tongues of colours                                                                        Truthtelling her way to paint                                                                             
And while everything was held between grace and gratitude                                                                                        kneeling before the wall painting                                                                   
as if in an act of libation                                                                                       i rove, i see                                                                                            Truth is in the colours

Crowned with small gods whispering  from all the cardinal directions                                                                             
i was made not only of human breath and animal skin 
               
i am just as much made of flower kissed songs that will be lost if never paid love

And alchemical verses of long forgotten deities of antiquity
                                                                                
Will i ever comprehend the colour of my offering?                                          Or was i merely dreamt myself?  

What can i give back to myself these days?     

Only this i see for now                                                                                                                                                               The Great Vigil becomes the only truth i can submit to at the altar of my silence.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Lament for us humans


   
Sun's fleeting poem on a child's wispy hair



world at large is grieving colourful
And many of us, many of us
haven't woken up to the sight.
cosmos at large is breaking down
to emerge anew
And many of us, many of us
haven't woken up to the call.
Is the world peopled not in its right frame of mind ?
Is the country peopled not in its right frame of mind ?
Are the peopled families not in their right frames of mind ?
Am i not in my right frame of mind ?

i am tired of the world in general
But not the earth mulch.
i am tired of this country
But not the tree songs for children.
i am tired of its people at large
But not the skies that house mountains
i am tired of myself
But not the river's love verses to the moon
i am tired of all
But the sun love.

What does it take for humans?
What does it take for humans to remember ?
What does it take for humans to remember themselves ?
Their briefly graceful breaths ....



Sunday, 26 April 2020

Cirque Du Soleil


"A girl in a rainbow sky", puts a description to this painting, the kid.
In her sweet voice she enquires, "Does my hair look a little old, Amma ?"
Little old ? What do you mean by Old ?
"Old in the sense poor", she apprises me.
Her forehead; molded like the sun-
my soleil,
comes to my mind even when she is away
in the other room
Everything runs thin like skimmed milk these days. My inability to read and smuggle words.Time.
Days breathe as slowly as they come
Like memory.
Even love is a debt i learn to pay off these days
To survive. no, to live.
Why doesn't the sun get tired of being the golden orb, ever ?
Even the coruscating iridescent skies the kid drew take a break from their concerts. Don't they ?
i measure a sky's emotion in the billowings of the window curtain in my room but
How can i gather fidelity from all the sun love - the first love i receive every single morning ?
Some allegiance, this !
We don't need love, mused a woman i paid my ears to once.
Why do we need it anyway, what good is it came her rhetorical questions to me.
i see now that they are birthed from pain, an inner churn of grievance and fatigue....
All i meet is dejection these days
Dejections that curdle to resignation
Even a sky seems to be shaking me up in Kochi evenings with god kindled flashes encroaching our spaces
Surround sounds richer than Dolby
containing some heaven sent cipher
And i find myself asking again and again
How many times do i undo the stitches of my patchwork heart ?
How many times do i relearn to receive, to become part of the sun again ?
If everything i knew and felt and memorised were to be effaced from memory
surely the kid's forehead sun bulge-
my soleil,
i will remember. always.