rinses the soul lightly-
imaginary fears rinse
the invisible soul in me.
Fear that friend or foe
No one can be trusted.
Fear that fear can come from anyone
and tear my living idols into lifeless fragments:
Fear of familiar and unfamiliar faces
Hacking tropical grasses of human necks
to appease their God.
Fear of seeing lastly-ghastly-breathing bodies
of unclear gender, colour, religion and ethnicity
in malls, theatres, and downtown streets in some European city;
Fear also of hearing crying yet-unseen babies
under crumbled houses, bridges, and hospitals
cut by the prying ‘anti-terror’ eyes in the sky
that strikes anyone and anything in a Syrian city.
A whole lot of fear
in a lovely girl with an angelic face
(wanting to eat outside in a restaurant
with mom and dad
in Dhaka or Brussels, Beirut or Paris)
that they might
be blown to pieces on plates and spoons.
Fear that the indifference
in the face of the Syrian boy
was not that of a goat
moments before it fell off with the neck--
the dangling neck
like a boat
in a stormy sea,
while his blood drizzled on the heartless desert.
And they cried,
‘Glory be to God.’
Fear that the defiant look of Socrates
in the eyes of this boy,
whose neck is slowly cut off,
instills in them
Is the fear to be mocked at
by the eyes that remain open like
the eyes of a neckless goat-
two orbs of emerald gleam,
mocking with frightening indifference
all that would continue to live.
ON READING NAGARJUNA (1st Century CE)
in the mind
and leaves a drop
on the blank page
centuries of noise
is the drop
on the blank page
Sweating and singing in the scorching fields
drawing my face in the canvas of the blue sky
with a reed,
my mother knows no books
her voice does not echo in the
English tongue that I have learnt to speak,
but every time I look at another
old, headstrong woman toiling her unlettered life
in fields, factories, streets and well-lit homes,
mocking the sham of a well-bred strife
in the academic halls of the universities,
I know I too have a mother
who can inspire a handful of men like me.
WHO IS THE ONE IN THIS CROWD?
In a thick crowd
of vast expanse
the veins of brains rattle
legs smear mud and blood
that flows from the hearts of even new-born babes.
It's not a rage that storms the heart
Like a quake that tears a sleeping flesh unaware,
Under an indifferent roof of brick and iron.
A disease like a worm wires down the brain
And impregnates the heart with mud clod of soul-deep hate.
Who is the One in this crowd
whose heart isn't filled with such mud?
Who is the one, who does not love a Monstrous Other to hate
In this vast expanse of soulless bodies?
Do not show your teeth to me,
I will catch the worm in it
That has wired down from your heart
To Infect the air with your hatred.
A FAILED FATHER AND SON
In a sod of earth is soaked the sweat of your forefathers,
my father riding farther and farther on the furrows said.
In the book in my hand is seeped dreams of your grandchildren,
I said reading alphabet to my little daughter.
And we parted,
with a promise to meet in the month of May
When I could lift a load of hay,
and he a word from the book.
We parted again,
saying sorry, till we met again.