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Parting at Park Street

“In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michaelangelo”

-T S Eliot

-1-

9:30 pm in Park Street,
goodnight

the shadows spy with furtive looks….

the shadows spin
beneath the street lights
and create a sonata in smoke

is this the way
it should all end?

is this the way
we should part
and promise to stay apart
till death brings us together again?

-2-

rain girl,
I’m walking away
all alone into the night
beneath the storm
and glass doors in the wind,

let’s travel the night
through stallion dreams

your dreams to my dreams
to our dreams……

and dice our destiny
on a board of chess

-3-

riding in a bus
that moves through sound
and time,

I discover
barren gypsy men
men who carry bombs
in their songs,

and songs
trapped inside glass coffins
in the rain

as the pendulum melts
at the refractive points
in my poem

-4-

rain girl,
you are sleeping in snow
beneath the September moon

rain girl,
where is your dream?

‘I have lost my dream
to my heart!’

rain girl,
where is your heart?

‘I have lost my heart
to a man!’

rain girl,
where is your man?

‘I have lost my man
to another girl!’

-5-

rain girl,
let’s hide the evening
in a kiss and sandpaper

together again,
let’s sail in moonshine
along the Ganges
on the banks of Kolkata

when the buildings rise
like stone serpents
or policemen walk in sleep

and the ash
of a few smoked cigars
builds a Romeo in silence

let’s drive all night again
along those yellow streets
of vapour

glancing
at the rain-stained windows
and remembering Eliot’s verses

-6-

a waiter comes to me
with a neck-tie
and a breakfast of bones

the necklace in blue
throbs in my wet coat pocket

rain girl,
I’m still standing alone
at the crossing tonight
waiting
for the lights to change

 

An Evening in mercury

– For B
(A sequel to ‘Parting at Park Street’)

 

-1-

you’re standing by the window;
insomnia

you hear
the soft breath of the city
entangled in winter mist

inhale the silence
inside the heart of the swollen river,

and feel the pulse
of the broken sky

throb with flickering thoughts
as the city slides
on fragments
between a poem
and sleep

-2-

what are the women doing
in the rain?

draped in thunder
and songs,

as my fingers
lick the silence,
exploring the ruins
of her sari

why does the bed
smell of lost lovers?

-3-

nights of prayers
and sweat,
as we exchanged glances
in the taxi on the VIP

talking in fits and starts
or polite whispers
and you kept complaining
that it was getting late

but the traffic kept us waiting
your thoughts in a dream
and the rim of your skirt
on my naked toes,

I savoured every second
of the uneasy silence

-4-

rain girl,
it’s been nine winters
since I left you standing alone
at the crossroads
in Park Street

and I have lost your touch
inside the catacombs
of this fragile city

I always expected
one last letter,
but I never really bothered
to look for it

-5-

dance of the moon
in the embrace of the river,

the bridge swings
in tension with secrets

the night once again
talks of uncertainties

as lonely streets
drunk with mercury lamps
recede in the mirror
and melt
in the voyeur of smoke

I succumb
to the meaning
of touch

-6-

staring through the blinds,
you strain to detect
the last traces of sound

those sad evanescent whispers
from sleepy apartments
as stars sulk on the horizon
one by one

you count the lights,
as they go out
inside the ebony spaces
of this dead city

and you know
it’s your turn now

 

Monalistic

-1-

halogen storm
receding streets beneath the moon,

ancient Persian tunes
flash across the mind
like threads of painted glass

I stare into the naked silence
of your eyes
and watch the world
change colour

-2-

mirrors on the ice,
and a palace dressed in smoke,

the lady in Louvre
always speaks in metaphors

reading the confessions
beneath her smile,
I knew every girl
loves secrets

I wish I knew yours,
when I met you
that blue evening
in Paris

-3-

lonely in silence,
call me by my name

soft blush on your cheeks
when you hear my voice,
someone calls you
a poet’s first love

what thoughts assail you then,
my little girl,
when you sit alone
in an empty room?

what griefs chase you
that make you weep in silence?

-4-

hour-glass in my dreams,
wild flowers in your hair,

my thoughts travel backwards
in time

that evening when we cried
as we held hands
in the metro

or when we together
got drenched in the Maidan
last summer

-5-

sad songs of the winter;
I miss you

couples at the Victoria;
I miss you

the crowded bus at Shyambazaar;
I miss you

party-time on the ledge,
when people smoke
over art and politics;
I miss you

-6-

tonight,
I offer you my words
like a white necklace

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