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...

train to nowhere

short springy curly chestnut hair
and elfin expression on her nine-year old face
in the background the train is in a crushing rush
it’s a forlorn night not cold and wintry
but wears a surreal haze the station is empty
not even the ubiquitous tea stall
serving tepid concoction in earthen pots
not the bustle of last minute passengers
on reflection there is no passenger in sight
a nowhere train on a nowhere station
as it begins to move where is the whistling guard
customary wave of the flag and the green light
anyway all fades into insignificance what remains is this
in sure non-staccato like steps
she glides towards it and deftly climbs
onto the slow-moving train
pray what were we doing here in the first place?
and then as it disappears on rusty tracks
in misty brown parched fields and out of memory
i see a gentle wave of her hand
and that idyllic smile in my mind’s eye
a faint goodbye then the picture blurs

minutes stretch to days and days to eternity
a feeling of emptiness and loss
a mounting sense of despair surrounds me
i search all over but the right place
i ask questions but answers elude me
i look out and not within
my seeking touches the border
but fails to clear the cobwebs in my own backyard
then one fine day early morning
she’s back i find her lying next to me
her gentle yet robust arms
wrapped around my frail body
what a relief.

( 16 June 2002 )