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...

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House

champagne from Veuve Clicquot
china by Doulton clocks by Cartier
sewing machine from Singer
cars from Rolls Royce and Daimler
all crafted on a scale of 1 to12
ah even a library in the finest British tradition
with a miniature book housing a short story
by none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
elementary my friend
working lifts running water electricity
and before i forget the bathroom floor
laid in mother of pearl
1500 craftsmen took 3 years under Lutyens
to complete one woman’s fantasy

while the queen is busy playing
with her imitation dolls living her fantasy
real life dolls scrounge the dustbins
for scraps of food
in the pitiless third world
the queen’s boudoir is replete
with talc and perfume to adorn the body
while the rag picker’s daughter scratches the floor
with her uncut toe nail
pavement as an art house as an open air saloon
it’s the perfect present anybody could get
exclaims the queen while she tests
the fully functional cistern
while the six year old girl with rough beady hair
bares her soul in full public view
the call of nature in natural abundance
the crown of gold versus a tiara of thorns
sometimes life’s ironies its paradoxes
can be cruel

state apartments showcase loot
to awe-struck first world tourists
with fancy camcorders
change of scene
our street girl sleeps in a gutter pipe
shelter she is lucky to have one
many of her sisters found refuge
in seedy brothels
where potbellied whisky sodden middle-aged men
looking for instant nirvana
repeatedly rape a child of her innocence

God save the Queen!

( London 6 July 2003, New Delhi 13 July 2003 )