featured in the poetry forum July 18, 2023  :: 0 comments

Time past is a hyena –
I am keeping just one step ahead.
I place a toe carefully on the marble
as though on a forest floor,
wriggle my toes, stare blankly.
I do not know what I have done,
or must do –

to either hide behind the door,
or bounce back like a fairy;
to eat stardust, or raid a dairy;
stuff myself with raisins, or millipedes –
And vomit out the rainbow that was you.

editors note:

Blessed to disconnect from such dis-enchantment. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 8, 2023  :: 0 comments

Sometimes you cannot live
and cannot die.
You snicker and snigger at yourself,
call yourself a baby-cry.
And just as you are drowning
in a vase of peonies —
You rise, choking, to the surface,
called by the tap of a bottle gourd
on the window, to verify.
You reason —
Life is Aloo Vindaloo –
no meat, but soaked in spices —
You are upset at the aloo, bleeding dry –
but you gotta give it a try!

editors note:

It’s the hot stuff, burns bad, can’t get enough. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 20, 2022  :: 0 comments

If winter comes…

A rhododendron shall march to meet
a girl in stilettos and red dress.
The man at the street corner shall
offer her corncobs and roasted
peanuts over a blaring radio.
The screen at the film festival
shall drape cream and psychedelia
over mugs of coffee.
The tanpura and the thumri
shall serenade the lovers sleeping
in the far seats. Bidi-cigarette-glows
shall signal thoughts into motion
over bonfires popping sesame and corn.
The red box in the attic shall
become a block of ice freezing you
and me in its middle.
And the red girl in stilettos
shall march with the burly
rhododendron, a queen commanding
pleasures from her kingdom.

* tanpura – an Indian stringed musical instrument
* thumri – an Indian classical music composition

editors note:

Here’s a winter we can warm up to. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 25, 2021  :: 0 comments

Yesterday is a gingerbread
soaked and slurped in syrup,
made livelier in a spread
of marshmallow dollops;
that pockmarked raisins
pester with sour questions,
and stomp off to gossip
in mock-parlour sessions.

Meanwhile each new day
dithers, waits and wallows.
Mornings that crumble
breadcrumbs over shallows,
become misty-eyed and clueless
evenings of tuneless swallows,
that peck and grovel at the hem
of yellow saints one hallows.

editors note:

No matter your days, messy or neat; make ’em special, keep ’em sweet. (We welcome Mandakini to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 17, 2020  :: 0 comments

Branching off into leaf-beds,
the limbs of trees become the sinews
of your arms that knead ecstasy into me.

Your embrace is a spider that ambles
bow-legged up the trunk of my body,
marking punctures at each bite,
trailing saliva that spins
a wistful web of welts.

Tendrils of poison shoot through blood,
making fingers clasp and feet thrash,
as a scarab scurries across my bare back.

In the morning, swollen-shut eyes
whisper the naked chant of happiness,
as my heart hums and whirrs
a lazy beetle’s song!

editors note:

An arach-Nin for the bug-lustful. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 23, 2020  :: 0 comments

All shapes are possible at home
with a dumbbell, opined a friend.
And I cocked an ear
and thought, indeed,
dumbbells also come in all possible sizes.

The sternness of a dumbbell is hard to match.
When I enter my room,
they look at me with a strict eye,
chhota bhai and mota bhai
(the thin one and the fat one)
lying under the almirah
in a covert mode of operation.

I panic, I freeze, I cringe with guilt.
I have ignored my passports
to Svelteland for too long.

Dumbbells, however, are all-forgiving
(coz they are dumb!).
Once you embrace them,
beef-steak or hourglass,
dumbbells are a panacea
for all-encompassing boredom
during an endless lockdown.

editors note:

What shape are you? Be buff, not bored. – mh clay