featured in the poetry forum September 6, 2022  :: 0 comments

(After a visit to cafe Lazy Suzy, Bangalore)

The walls of this cafe are painted
yellow, and there is hot chocolate
in china snuggled in our palms.
Colors must have something to do
with memory, because the yellow
of these walls reminds me of
the yellow Chumbak top I’d bought
earlier today, which had cost me
more than its worth, really. Just
last week we had yellow flowers
in our hair, me and my sister,
and we had clicked a lot of pictures.
The flowers lay forgotten thereafter.
I had told you of my sunflower
obsession one autumn, shared
a picture of the painting I’d made
with so much love. We’d both agreed
on just how bad it was. The walls, yes,
the walls of this cafe are painted
yellow, and there is hot chocolate
in china snuggled in our palms.
You see the yellow of longing
in my eyes, and you say those
three words, measured and exact,

‘Please Move On’

editors note:

Color us caught by so many seeds to savor. (This poem is one of the many you can read in Nikita’s new collection, My City is a Murder of Crows. Congratulations to her! You can get your copy here.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 16, 2021  :: 0 comments

This existence is
a cave
caged in unknowing.

My consciousness
and yours- two

figuring out
the aesthetics
of everythingness.

You rub
your words
against mine,

a fire
is borne
out of stone.

editors note:

And, thusly, we rock on… (We welcome Nikita 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 July 20, 2020  :: 0 comments

(Notes from mid-air,
Bir, Himachal Pradesh)

The world at fifteen-hundred-
-plus feet above
sea level is

the shivering underbelly
of a birdling thrown
roughly into air.

At this height, dangling midair,
with the sun poking
at the pupils,

body freezing up
in revolt, something gross
rising in the oesophagus,

comfort of land
many unrealistic airkicks away,
physics changes.

Air becomes water, its waves
pulling at your atoms
in all directions; sky

turns into gravity, sucking
you away from home.
Home is an incomprehensible

dot in a maze of green;
and you, you’re a frozen brain,
cold clay body,

nerves of rust,
fervently praying
for a miracle.

editors note:

Acro or Baso; it’s not the height or the fall, but the impact that’s a bitch. – mh clay

Zuw Myon

featured in the poetry forum November 14, 2019  :: 1 comment

You gifted me a sorrow and forgot your gift
I remain so obliged, it weighs me down
– Faiz Ahmed Faiz
(Tr. Keki N. Daruwalla)

For A.S.Y.

I bottled that sorrow in a pretty glass jar,
Sealed the golden lid shut with mellow
Labeled it ‘Zuw Myon’, and hid it under my
I carried its dull ache around for many a year,
one day its throbbing refused to give in.

So I retrieved it from under my
fed it wood smoke, bathed it in full-
moon magick,
carried it around like sun-kissed

And this time, it accompanied
me like

a glowing talisman, a warm patronus,
so I
broke open the lid one night. Through
the sharp-
edged light I saw letters blossoming
fireflies, nouns clenching and declench-
ing inside
Mexican daisies, sharp yellow and

And I knew just what needed to be
I swallowed it whole, and a new
glided over the ghost of my last

*Zuw Myon is a Kashmiri phrase of adoration.

editors note:

Sorrow, simmered and suffered until something to talk about. – mh clay