Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Thursday, May 06, 2021


Daylight--it wounds the sky, gashes the clouds
--a jail/a madhouse would feel like a vacation
today. J/K; joke! I'm timid, presumptive
I send a few glances out--sort of as envoys,
like lighting small candles everywhere 
as though entertaining--protest

I think my mother once had hands like mine,
to measure submission as it crept up on us
--in the flicker of a lazy lizard eye

In my head, I just want to keep assembling 
these lines, ironically, un-wrinkling words
I don't know--back into distraction

Meme from Twitter; TBH, the day is as gray as this picture.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

combat landscape

these shapes of things we thought of
when wet and swampy from birthing
imprint on us bossily--love or neglect
the effects of hurt and genius and dirt

yet it feels like power--this waking up
making ourselves anew for each day
remembering how you would catch me
when I spilled over like a careless drink

now spent things colored big and blue
as bruises have swollen shut the doors
to all the places we've ever left behind
so in our minds, we recount loss all day
say: can you hear me--1, 2, 3;  I, 2, 3--?
faraway and wingless, yet needing to be 
we sift sight and experience: for our eyes
see forts while our hands feel for forests

Monday, May 03, 2021


this is where i will love you
this is how you're spoken for
i will surround you with care
i will celebrate you with song

you will be stronger for my love
all i say to you will be only kind
you will know you are important 
find comfort when you "just can't"

we'll still need the earth for this body
as we fill the sky with soul and dreams
if they fall into a net, i'll make you a nest 
even should you falter, i'll believe in your best

Mostly a promise to anyone who needs it, even if it's mostly me. 

The nice things I've done for myself recently (pedestrian objects alert) is (a) get toothbrushes with tiny heads--perhaps they don't renovate my mouth, hasten world peace, etc., but they also don't constantly bump up against my gums and teeth; (b) get sporks--so easy to use esp. when multitasking and all the better for cleaning my plate/bowl.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

"alone in a world so cold"

the world changes in the next line 
not in a full way/just kidding
but I summon/succumb

start assuming our story as reality--
no--a fantasy--something festal 
--or elastic as seasons

and still--don't know where I'm going
but I'm going and I'm arriving
where you will embrace me


On this windy, spring day: At graduated today with honors in Poli Sci and History. Jim Daniels as commencement speaker was a pleasant surprise.

Friday, April 30, 2021


every dead thing is sainted 
even if impermanent 
as sadness, staining breath,
straining glass

while our faces sigh into it--
an empty staircase 
of smoke, of panic, prayer 
rising, now howling

"open the door, open it"
gasping, holding on
to memories, remembering 
doors used to open

Monday, April 26, 2021


I expected fanfare at sunrise
instead here is an aperture 
into resurrection

in immense welcome of it all
yolk of sun, soup of soil
feed the taste of return

solving the mystery of missing
things by... just growing in
limbs uncurling out

freed from winter's quarantine 
in the drama of the moment
rests a dirge for the day

[Ely Woods]

Thursday, April 22, 2021

unsee, undo

The urn, a yearning
pressed into bruise
into battle

I know this word, I 
mouthed it until I 
learned its taste 

Save me;  save my 
past--words, bring 
me to rest

My heart breaks and breaks and breaks: 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Breath Song

Your breath's so imprecise in meaning
I can barely make sense as it swells
like lichen or love, the secrets it tells 
in its hard-earned and happy prison

Drawn between its vague borders
I learn by tracing the link of veins--
times, tie them to how you hold me 
sweet/safe for a heart-beat/a life-time 

[Picture from my perch where I was reading in the afternoon sun; wearing a faded, stained--but still favorited--summer blouse; marveling how the cherry blossoms are here practically overnight.]

Saturday, April 10, 2021


I might meet you in the street
"wait, wait" you might say
kneeling right there 
in the cleavage
of the year
so honest
pouring beauty
rubbing my belly 
keeping full the promise 
soon scrambling across my face

[Day 100 of 2021; Baker Woods with L this morning.]

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

tiny observation

somedays just can't contain
all the budding--
new/s shoots 

insane: email says everyone
is sick with the virus
/vaccination shots

[Pic: greening in Baker Woods]

Tuesday, April 06, 2021


a suddenly unscripted day
disappointment like a slap
the window yawns 
alive--also awake

summing up the end of day 
admitting only small things
the clasp of malaise
the wake of a stare

for my old, younger self 
the rest is baited prayer 
speaking forever
holding peace

Saturday, April 03, 2021

in time

a body rises like an ocean 
willing like magic
identity shifts and orbits
--another trick

a star/stare, what will it mean
to you, to me
if only it could move a prayer
to open actuality

time cheats, you know how
we try to scribble it
here we are; there we go--
still hurt, counterfeit

At (in Michigan) and my sister (in Bangalore) both received their vaccination #1 today; yay!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Daffodils Etc.

It's spring in England, and my mother visits,
So there is her readiness in colonial desire 
like urgent rain--where squandered things 
find great reception. Electronic billboards! 
Gargoyles in Oxford! Museums are free!
Hunger satisfies easy when you're eager.

Until one day at the grocery checkout she sees
daffodils--papery, plastic-wrapped, "solitary"
not a "never-ending line," "dancing," or "gay."
And Amma--at least a third-generation learner 
of Wordsworth's praise--is first silent in disdain,
her outstretched words rebound as if swindled:
"This? This is what he made such a fuss about?"

In her contempt, I hear comparisons--to the
languor of unkempt jasmine, lotus, plumeria... 
the warm, unlocked softnesses of oleanders, 
parijaths, ixoras... In her derision there hides 
history's list of pain, the sharp bite of the ruler 
when she couldn't say "jocund" right (at least).
And Babu: fish and chips were disappointing too.


I first wrote about Amma's reaction here--so many years ago.

Picture is from Daffodil Hill at the Radiology Gardens earlier this week; they seem to have been bigger this time last year?

Monday, March 29, 2021

An Early Spring

L says the trees are wading into the water
and they are
the flood comes and goes without us seeing
how it does
we have few cues, shivering when we want 
feeling a bit skinless, thinking that's not it
no, not it
we have watched our friends say goodbye
but saw
only their backs, so who it was that waved
we won't know. 

But a pattern of plummeting birds now coats 
our skin 
making us a festival of play and shining and
jubilee and jamboree and carnival and revelry
every where
A festivity so full of possibilities, children
just listen
the communion now begins--a bit uncertain 
in origin
speaking to you from over there... not there

Saturday, March 27, 2021


cradled high like loneliness
two nests in a spring sky--
made it through a winter
by dreaming of breath

how will I deserve this love
these fingers on my face
budding, open, waiting
for a return caress

let me throw out this light
let me only love everyone
I can hold out my hand--
you could say: yes

Monday, March 22, 2021


One way: I watch you ask 
each hunger for a name, 
then stay masked
and shy away
One more way to your woe
from the jinx of diaspora
its sudden tomorrows
and kind decay

They say the universe's
reasons are mysterious
but that's not reason--
so... anyway


I made myself go outside for half-an-hour this afternoon because it looked so beautiful and temps were all the way up in the 60s. It was lovely. I watched cardinals and robins and finches drinking from the pond... The water looks so dank; I'm a bit worried for them. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021


Scout finds his water dish 
empty, he reminds me to 
fill it by batting it around.

Like every other toddler 
he eagerly loses himself
in all the glorious noise:

he's cocking his head
and bouncing his dish--
my little drummer pup.

Now I bring him 
a new bowl of water 
and he flings himself

into it, lapping, slurping, 
I'm stroking his head,
and my old body forgets 

it did not birth him--breasts 
spread like wings, tingling
like they did when I fed babies. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

An Equinox


I am everything today
I have broken the day
I have baptized plants
I have balanced time
on top of a tiny cloud

I have bled from anger
broken all our sorrows
O child--I have bitten
truth from my tongue
waiting for your love 

[My birthday plants--roses from LB, orchid from EM--are blooming!]

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


I relive volumes about preserving all these hours
as though a summer's worth of sweetness swims
under the surface in the hopeful brine of memory. 

What if there are instructions to make the moment?
What if I practiced each moment before it came--
in the long, lonely present, folding in love, alone...

Open to my destiny as a nomad in this desired body,
understanding? O, I would say in wonder and dismay, 
returning over and over again like a peal of laughter.

Friday, March 12, 2021


I am buttoned tight inside a world
made mostly of sounds and words
for my name will soon get forgotten

you may add small tears to the sea,
to the wind, all the liminal seasons
don't wear out my name with wails

I started my own tribe of wanderers 
who'll need my name for new ways,
promises, festivals, and kindnesses