featured in the poetry forum May 21, 2021  :: 0 comments

A measured gaze or grace that falls on roads, trees, and mountains.
Those things and you are not separate; neither your eyes
nor the surfaces of the objects scratched by them are distinct.
You and the objects have been welded together seamlessly
by the sun’s flames of affection and allusion.
This is not a materialist philosophy in which a gold-toothed tiger
devours the deer in a jungle composed of atrocious branches
which grow randomly like the moss with no particular objective
like your mind’s growth or the growth of the tangle on your head,
the unkempt bush that others name incivility, Asia, Africa, backwaters,
the colony but which is immensity and peace for the panther and the jackal.

The clunking of the cement-grinder in which particles are rolled
and crushed resembles the stone eroded by the action of the river
or better still clothes which are us that are kept going in a centrifugal
motion in the washing machine of the universe. The search, in the meantime,
continues not as much for dark matter but for the mythical god or the pied piper
who accidentally switched on the button of the proverbial machine
as you once did while rummaging like an ape for bananas in your apartment.
The ultimate goal in the search of laws of the universe is not a lofty aim
or is as much a debased game as the anticipation of the moment to lay claim
to the fact that you or I or they have discovered the ungraspable
or revolved dark matter in their hands.
All this narcissism is irrelevant in the scheme of space and slightly relevant
in the scheme of time, and the way in which the long stretch
of it could be spent. So, thanks to the mirror of the water that prompted
Narcissus to fall in love with himself. Thanks to the sliding doors, the glasses, and the lab beakers in which we may minutely observe ourselves and marvel
at out-bounded rationalities.

editors note:

Mixed up in the matter? Seek to survive the spin cycle. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 8, 2020  :: 0 comments

The blue printer of the sky drops
down the black tick marks of the birds.
Scanned by the sun’s laser beam
in stringent discipline,

the juxtaposed banana farms set
upon the fecund ground by prompt hands
that know the measure of toil
culminate in front of the scarecrow

whose domed skull is sculpted
by the sun’s concentration. Its eye sockets
glow like electric bulbs in the noon.
Goats goaded by thirst scamper away

from the fields to the metal-snouted
pump from whose vantage point
the three parallel mud-caked roads
that lead you into Ontimitta village can be observed.

Self-contained; it has a squat post office
on whose roofs the cranes stand in stolid thought
and a red-bricked school which learns its lessons
below the solid shade of the banyan trees

pregnant with the knowledge of sacrifice
swinging from whose bearded rope-like stems
you can leapfrog straight into the courtyard
of the Kodandarama temple

whose remarkable corbels crush ‘style’ into dust.
The verisimilitude of Vontudu and Mittudu stuns you
and the exclamations of the sacred colonnades
dazzle you with their terrific engravings.

editors note:

A stolen vision of a temple, built by thieves. (Kodandarama Temple, dedicated to the god Rama, located in Vontimitta town, according to the local legend, was built by Vontudu and Mittudu, robbers-turned-devotees of Rama.) – mh clay

Magnificent Coliseum

featured in the poetry forum February 10, 2019  :: 0 comments

Manacled by the rambunctious clematis,
Tiptoed upon by the rust-speckled pigeons
These were the exemplary one-roomed tenements
Whose roofs were the upturned coal-iron boxes’
Blazing plates that ironed the blue fabric of the sky
With the determination of a one-man army
Out to crumble a mountain into a handful of dust.
To a falcon plummeting down from a skyscraper altitude
Cutting the air with slashing pairs of scissors at the end
Of powerful wings appeared this magnificent coliseum
Formed from circular hills which like descending
Terrace plantations came to be inhabited by men undone
By sluggish existence; rotten lives stained by betel nut
And paan-masala, but was not the new generation adamant
To set things right like an iron-box moving across
Old clothes which warble like withered crops suddenly
Supplied water after a summery hiatus?

There were signs, almost imperial, of progress—
Karkhanas manufacturing antique woodworks,
Statues of gods and cell phones together!
And how the erstwhile corners of gullies that
Reeked of garbage stench now glimmered with
Gold-lettered proverbs. This coliseum that is
Touched by the tangent of the railway line
Whose engine’s soft gargling sound is the same
As that emanating from the rust-speckled pigeon’s
Throat presently tiptoeing across the oven-hot roofs
Of my tremendous town.

editors note:

Certain to set things right; town, hope, and purpose. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 1, 2017  :: 0 comments

The skeletal tridents of the equidistant electricity poles with their faint parallel
Metallic wires were the only marks of distortion on the otherwise crystal clear exhibit
On display that day. The eye with its lid was free to roam the distances unlike the buntings;
Eyelids of the window-frame that kept fluttering in the draughts. Wherever you saw, huge trees
Carrying not only the sunlight upon their canopies but also the load of adjectives— ‘green, yellow,
Airy, angular’ and which signified above all the verb ‘Grow’
Two cows, their flanks scintillating bright were pulling along the iron ploughshare
Riveted upon which was the ubiquitous farmer.
Strain and Push on that side
The black cotton soil breathing on this side
Man and animal were making the ground yield to the passion
Of crops that would bud slowly.
Dung smells, hovering dragonflies, the heaped-up sugarcane
And the fuming heat waves were pointing to something deeper lurking below the veneer of superfluity;
Were pointing to something more fundamental which could not be averted.

editors note:

The inevitable dirt nap which comes to all. – mh clay

When the sloping Earth…

featured in the poetry forum October 16, 2016  :: 0 comments

When the sloping earth within the latticed wooden perimeter
Of the duck pond cracks open in spaces from the fierce heat
Of the tropics it not only yields the anatomy of the wilted
Blade of grass but also the snapshot of its glowing core
That rotates non-stop. The plaited nightgown of water flows
Smoothly down your woman’s curved body of monolithic
Stairs landing into the pond. The paper-white ducks freighted
With the foreknowledge of future wade thoughtfully; the impending
Drought showing itself in their buttoned up eyes. Through the
Stiffened leaves lying scattered the wind steals like a thief and
Raising dust that settles on eyelashes, dictates the essay of stoniness.

Yearning with its cargo of incredible visions and perfumed ponderances
Enters the world through two pillared gates and Bells tinkle sonorously in
The ears of timorous hope.

editors note:

Earth breaks forth with its own agenda. (We welcome Bhupender to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

A State of Serenity

featured in the poetry forum June 19, 2016  :: 0 comments

As if in a dream the vast landscape
Of inexplicable splendours opened up
Before the eyes.

The scene was that of natural
Ornamentation: a rivulet making
Its way through the unknown ravine,
The green hill opposite prostrate
In a gesture of humility, free eagles
Gliding over their airy domains—
Knowledgeable of the ways of the wind.

The mist played its game of mystery
Across the face of the valley
Making moderate the vision
As wine does the senses.

Moreover, the sight was quite
Inspirational being a pearl ring
From a long-ago friend found after
Ages in the heap of useless things.

Paradises unknown shall always
Appear ordinary to those who
Witness this spectacle revealing the
Union of man and nature every moment.

editors note:

Best absorbed in situ. – mh clay

Bridging the Gap

featured in the poetry forum March 15, 2016  :: 0 comments

The self-possessed person who takes pride
In twirling his mustache, adjusting the bow
Of his tie, in patting his wallet like a pet
Is the poorest and the richest person is
The one who derives utmost pleasure
From not collecting the silver coins of the rain
That shower down incessantly from the
Mint of the sky but from watching its
Darts hit the earth’s board and his heart
Which is its bull’s eye.

Why is it that one does not see that the
Grave edge of reason can bloody the
Face of happiness, that pretentious behavior
Can lead to ruination and that a stomach ache
Can dissolve one’s ego, pride and possessions?

After it has finished raining, pools of pristine water
That contain the sky, newly born trees and the turtle
Floating downslope across rills say to us, “Only in
Proximity to us, can you gain your lost self.”

editors note:

Can’t fill a pocket full of coins with freedom or blue sky. – mh clay