This Illusion

Śruti, it’s named & called,
is stood on a stool of gold,
adorned with full stops
and exclamation points

Unlike the whole that cannot be
but for the parts it’s made of,
it’s a Whole in itself—one single Entity

This Beast, if it makes you want to feast on your
own empty hand, can it be Śruti

Or is this Smrti instead dressed up as Śruti?

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[One Two] Three Poems

Being and Feeling

I’ve felt all along, at
once and at different
times, so damn proud
of being, just simply
being and so not proud
of being, just pure
and simple being. This
is this is how I’d
always be feeling as
one long arm made out
of many short arms shoves
down my throat another feeling
of the same kind that I know
to be not worth a damn.

*

March Unmarch and March

grab
grape
bite soft

slap
grim face
say talk

pinch
sleepy feet
stroll on

abhor
primrose highways
jet pack

tear
folios
set fire

marathon
mind
jog errand

distrust
love
face lust

draw
a void
step in

feel
mirrors
embrace

build
conjunctions
splinter circle

eat
paragraphs
sleep hard

breathe
hyperlinks
wake late

wash
tendrils
stumble

life
—many hypercontexts—
go on

**

A Weak Dissent Does Count

Count to ten.
Count to ten
with your fingers.
Make a hard fist
and count to ten
one finger at a time.
Dance, drink, howl.
Drink, howl, celebrate
as I count one to ten
backwards five
fingers at a time
and make a soft
fist of protest.

***

On the Staircase to the Terrace

Seemed like light wouldn’t shine

and then

the long-absent dragonflies glide
– handmade paper planes
over the ten-feet pinnate leaves
whose new flowers splayed out
– a frozen firework
where a sparrow, no, a passerine,
wiggling weensy tail bounces.

Up shoots a two-colored mynah
wings spread out
– an oversized butterfly.
Down shoot parakeets

                  K

                 e

                e

               y

              a

             k

            K

           e

          e

         y

       a

      k

     K

    e

   e

  y

 a

k

from, what, manmade rocket launchers.

Been shady days and nights.
With puffy eyes and all,
no wonder, the sky’s gray.
The sky’s a mess,
prepping for the feast.

Taking Pictures

The beginning is near
Nearer than the third ear can hear

Parvati takes a long walk
Satyam shivam sundari
She chants as she walks

Vasuki captures photographs
Camera garlanded to her neck walks Parvati
She has many places to be

Lands rivers prisons planes people
Borders deserts birds plants cars hospitals
Oceans labs insects beasts ships shops

Satyam shivam sundaram
Satyam shivam dharmam
Satyam shivam sundaram

Forests flags offices factories fishes farms
Planets trees asylums theaters streets homes ponds
Schools weapons skies zoos rocks runways

Parvati keeps to her long walk
Satyam shivam sundaram
She chants as she walks

The end is far
Farther than the farthest star

Perspections on Xalax Y

……

Is it heavier than its human

The weight of pride

Or is it lighter

……………………..

…………….

…………

Is it robust than its human

The frame of compassion

Or is it frail

……………………..

…………….

…………

Is it taller than its human

The height of hope

Or is it shorter

……………………..

…………….

…………

Is it stiff than its human

The body of will

Or is it supple

……………………..

…………….

…………

Is it brighter than its human

The complexion of anxiety

Or is it dimmer

……………………..

…………….

…………

Unsuccessful Obstruction

Over the balcony I sat
Sensing the rainy day’s sunset
Feeling alone I could, and not see
The atmosphere but sent music to ears

On the pathway I observed
A mother walking and her little son
The bearer of domestic burden
Sharing the baggage with her child

Then entered my view
A two-wheeler with two upon it
One rode with the other behind
Who as well are sons to mothers

The mango tree hid the four
From my sight for a short while
After the riders passed the walkers
The scream of the son surpassed music

An ornament robbery it was
Wages of months snatched and devoured
Though the tree hid from me the crime
It could not the helpless boy’s scream