Wind Rising

The atoms of air
like Uber on a busy day
shuttle restlessly,
agitated by uncomfortable heat.

My atoms do not respond
to stimuli in the same way
They have been conditioned,
nurtured to resist, to find
alternative responses.

Or you may just say
I have been bowing too long
over an unharvested field
leased out to me for an eternity
to understand when it’s


to believe I could
actually lift my head up
not in expectation,
but with an intent to reclaim
what is mine.

My promised land is not mentioned
in the book,
it’s someone else’s.
I have been dragged
so far out I can’t tell the Star
from the Moon.

Maybe I could name my own
and sail towards it
on the freedom-possessed wind
that rises in my heart.



Words –

battered and bruised,
used and abused,
celebrated, relegated,


deemed as spoils of cultural wars,
donned as pride,
skinned as hide,
held as armour,
pierced as sword (for nothing leaves a more lasting wound),
hugged as identity,
kissed as sorrow,
dreamt as tomorrow –

have percolated
down the fine mesh
of lives and worlds before you,
to get to you
with hope and a twinkling desire
to be lead

to a place they’ve never been to before


What’s for dinner tonight?

What have we got here?

I see, a quiet, cold night
out of December’s deep freezer,
finely ground desires, cold water 
sourced directly from the shore
of doused hopes, a sprinkle of
native sadness, a ginger of a brazen self.

Just let the mix simmer to some sad synth rhythm
and there you have it –
soup for the sentimental soul

A ghazal

Another day, another invitation to lose my way,
But I won’t; I think I know where my heart is.

It gulps in something alien on this loveless shore.
Until it’s high tide, stranded is what my heart is.

I would’ve banished your memories if it weren’t
For the feelings – a graceful host my heart is.

They say I’ll grow wise with every heartbreak.
Really? They don’t know what a fool my heart is.

We could look for the Man of the Book in the Library,
In case you wonder how romantic my heart is.

I wish

I wish I could come to terms with loneliness
carry it as a scar, a shield, a weapon, an opium-filled pouch

I wish I could learn the art of sophistication
Refine my loneliness and call it solitude

I wish our two loneliness(es) were not so different, I wish
We could share it, like history, fate, the human condition

A portrait before the rains come


recurring dream

a city wakes diffused

week two at cluttered quarters

desert under my


my water bottle an erect palm

an oasis

We own no cooler no AC

instead our doors remain open

we receive among others

  1. tap of sunlight

  2. waking dream

  3. smudged horizon in 3.5 x 6.5 frame

  4. call of duty

  5. glimpses of tomorrows and yesterdays hongsangsoo-esque in their playfulness

  6. cue for indifferent / friendly tea

  7. smell of night-soaked underwears on the balcony

  8. call of duty

and of course dead skin of the city

settles over utensils shoes chairs

and is wiped


settles for window panes

magazines dictionaries my oxford

and Lyra’s

fiction and poems


like dust on poems

night slips


over you

dust at traffic intersection


under a red moon

sleepy sands in yous eyes

you conjure

a different city