the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
i am an unmarried mother
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...

second honeymoon

forty feet ceiling
a four poster king-size bed
with scalloped diaphanous canopies
at Lalitha Mahal palace at Mysore
drive through thick forests
of Bandipur and Mudumalai
Veerappan country
home to bandits wildlife and wonderment
1927 dated Swiss chalet in Ooty
overlooking great Nilgiris
sleeping lush tea gardens
swirling proud eucalyptuses
meandering roads
and a quiet that descends
on the soul when one is not rushing
with life
a very English hotel at Kodaikanal
a spectacular room with a view
with the starfish lake as a backdrop
visiting clouds passing by
to have an occasional chitchat
at night the frogs croak
and there is an all consuming stillness

we read
sit together
talk of life and work
our ten-year old daughter participates
and has a point of view
on every subject under the sun
clouds play hide and seek
with the red ball of fire
on one side of the lake
is bright sunshine
on the other dark clouds reign

we talk of love
courtship letters
tenderness prejudices fears insecurities
sharing betrayal forgiveness
the other woman
travel heat cool air
our daughter her passion for reading
and her titian curly locks

Shikara ride in lake
a leisurely read at the den
after dinner walks
on the terrace garden
and the garden
overlooking the lake
she looks closely at a thin yellow snake
sleeping in blissful oblivion
i warn her not to get too close
we look at the stars
on a sparkling night
and talk of life on Mars
have they discovered algae
there recently?

back in the room
mother and daughter play
while i retire
with Bukowski’s Ham on Rye
a sad poignant painful delight
of growing up years
and a father
with a fetish for belting leather strop
on a young bottom

it was like a second honeymoon
one didn’t miss the honey at all

( June 2003 )