Voices from the void


Our voices don’t carry;
there’s a void here
the size of a democracy.

Echoes do not come back here,
not before they’re mutilated,
made examples out of.

Leaves have lost their rustle,
instead the branches creek
under the weight of debt-ridden farmers.

Poems do not ply this road
anymore — there’s no room
amid chants and slogans.

The only sound that is louder
than the guns that silence reason
is of perpetrators thumping their chests.

What more will it take

To meter your verses with dissent,
rhyme them with resolve,
inspire voices from the void?

Like a misquoted line on the margins of a page as the moon slumped in (3 tanka poems)


Like a misquoted
line from a movie I thought
I’d seen, the red sky
felt lost when I simplified
it as life past its twilight.

On the margins of
a page I often read in
a book was a note,
in blue, from its old owner,
who might have been in love once.

As the moon slumped in,
the horizon eased into
my subconscious — when
sleep sets us apart tonight,
it shall seep into my dream.

There is loneliness


There is loneliness
in the way how morning’s half-eaten
energy bar peeks out
of the wrapper at me when
I open the fridge at night.

There is futility
in the way how the carpool makes a ritual
out of our insincere attempts
at meaning good-mornings
on our way to work.

There is despair
in the way how memory works;
how mind gives away to body,
until someone breaks the spell
with, “Hey! What’s up?”

There is persistence
in the way how dust settles
on everything, every day, and fatalism
in the way how everything
in this city settles for dust

There is apocalypse
for the day in the way how
my eyelids embrace each other
like a pair of doomed lovers,
parting upon an aubade by crows.


Not a Love Sonnet


Clouds huddled to sing of rain in Thunder
In a dialect, I’m not really used to,
But that didn’t really make me think of you –
I was low, I hazarded a wonder.
It was like my mind sensed a meander –
In streamlined workflow and deadline dues,
In lonely meals after long buffet queues –
Past which day and night didn’t lay asunder.

Near a glass window, I sat beside me
And saw wee drops turn into rivulets
And go down the drain like the idea
Of love – the excess of sugar in tea –
Wiped out, like men by state-sanctioned bullets,
Like a band of thoughts across the sky cursed clear.

(Rhyme scheme: ABBAABBA CDECDE)

In the forever now


The other day when the clock
tick-talked us into the night,
you observed how premonition 
could be a cheaper alternative
to time traveling. Of course,
neither you nor I had the gift
or the money to afford the real deal,
so we just discussed the possibility
in the capacity of veterans in making
this far into our lives, failing
at every moment at interpreting
the future, until it was deja vu
on the horizon.

Paradise Hope Humanity – Four Poems (an experiment)


Let’s not move                               Sit like a rock                            Let hope take root

Down this road                              Vulnerable to destiny             Let Faith be not enshrined

In the burnt city                             Exactly above the haunt       Where her cries were buried

Not far from                                    Where time-capsuled             Injustice in memory lives

Tourism billboards plastering     Unacknowledged stories       Defile

Paradise                                             Hope                                           Humanity