The Farmer of My Village
There was a farmer in my village
A village of barren land
Though he tilled and tilled and tilled
For Hope itched on his hand
And the green paddy fields
Woke him up in the middle of his sleep
So he tilled and tilled and tilled
Till he smelled of the earth and the sky
Oh, the farmer of my village!
His wife and children had died
In the last drought
That hit bright Television screens in New Delhi
The newsreader read the names of his dear ones
In an impressive English accent of MTV.
He moved alone on his land
Like a madman
Until one morning he was found
Fallen upside down on his land
His neck was bent with the yoke of hunger
And his eyes were wet with the want of rain.
Fire in the Blue Sky
When the blue sky whispered strange things into my ears,
I looked up with fears.
The eternal blueness laughed at my mother’s love,
The whispers clattered various envious sounds,
Stiffening my ears with anger.
My little nose, my frail ears and beautiful eyes, all began to bleed with anger,
And seeing all this, my mother fell down.
I bled under the sky,
I fell from her lap;
And was nowhere to be found
Until the blood stopped running down;
Suddenly the mirror greeted me,
But the blue sky still moved in my dreams.
It hurled fire, becoming dangerous shapes.
Not the black or the crimson sky, but the blue sky, I mean,
I played a game with my mother, once
I wiped her tears, saying, “I am now a man.”
She laughed, “Come near,”
Tears glittered in her eyes, as she whsipered,
“Let me measure your years.”
And when I rose all but to her shoulders, she smiled
“Ah my boy,” “it would be ages before I will call you a man.”
Ages have come and gone by without her calling me man still,
“I have few years left on me now”
She wrote me once,
Spending her tears on words
She wrote me again dropping surprise, “tell me, aren’t you a tall handsome man
I did not write her back;
There was no time for her silly letters!
Until there was no real need to write her back
But she would still know
I still weep with fears; my eyes are still full of tears
When the blue sky whispers strange things into my ears!
Rites of Creation
A girl walks out of her broken school
Up to the edge of an overloaded road,
And sits in the posture of lotus
In the lake filled with toppled trees, human bodies,
Cringing angle of bent streetlight posts
Hit by the freed bricks from the newly built flyover.
The girl meditates like the Buddha
In the state of detachment
The next moment perhaps she would smile
Upon all that momentariness defeats.
She rises, leaps, and wreathes her body
In the air above the road
And performs the rites of creation
Creation of a forgotten city before the last one.
The dusky eyes
Under her dark hair
Looks at me
The moon escapes the mango grove
Behind the cloudy sky
That gathers breaths from ancient passions
And sends forth the first drops on the mango fruits.
I feel the wet drops of her eyes
On my lips
I am reborn
My body becomes a flower bud
My soul is now its honeybee.
The birds in the foliage unseen
Sing the melody of romance
As the branches broom the breeze
My lips sweep her breath
Songs spring from my heart
I grow rhythmic with the trees.