Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rosetta's love

I would have felt the thrill if I was that child again 
to see a washing machine sized capsule land  
on a distant comet hurtling in its orbit into darkness.
The probe itself stalked the comet for a million miles.
Similar mental distances one travels to stalk a date on earth. 
The commanding station's signals were returned with a curtsy
reply from the other end after considerable delay. But a patient 
wait marked this cold acknowledgement, much like with the date
who doesn't answer your calls. Only with Rosetta, it is an 
answering machine that the scientists seem to be dating. 

The mission here is to resolve that matter that is still in the dark 
The matter of our origins which makes us sit up at night 
and wonder at all the coded messages in the twinkling stars. 
The probe landed with a thud of a few hearts that skipped a beat
and clamped itself onto the comet and for once its life depended 
on hugging its love, that it has finally reached after a million miles. 
But before this it fell head over heels and tumbled and broke a limb. 
We go to lengths to keep our dates even in that other world. 
They say we pay with a limb for everything in life. Well, it starts 
with kneeling down in prayers and proposals. And one organ at a time
depending on the habits. One thing was clear, the comet had very 
low gravity and hence very feeble commitment traits. 

Even with these delays, Rosetta sent sights and sounds of that other world. 
Water jets oozing out of the comet were what caught my attention
They were whistling their way through the endless dark with Rosetta
hanging on with all its strength to something who is unresponsive and whistling. 
And before it was all over there was a selfie sent back to the parent planet. 
No time for patient oil paintings. The batteries of this love are running out fast. 


A professor of fluid mechanics in a recent meeting 
gladly mentioned to me a matter about the heart.
About how it tries to rest from all the pumping
while we are asleep, by encouraging us to switch 
to an easy sleeping position so as to use gravity. 
That night I couldn't help but thinking of this pump 
that acts so mechanically and coldly for its survival 
sidelining me into an embryonic position and
arm twisting me into using my hurtful elbow as a pillow. 
It seems to act like a powerful gyroscope that
quietly steers the ship while the captain is asleep.
The lamps of his eyes put out for the night. 
The steering wheel of life left unattended,
the ship slowly glides towards dawn and alarm!
A blinding iceberg, which I am somehow ready to face.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Night's language

The lights on the horizon become
the umlauts on a lengthy world.
They announce the banks of
a lively river snoring its way to sleep.
I am in an endless train
A centipede on wheels.
I ache my neck to catch the glimpse
of a tailing comma and watch for
the glowering pole red with its frown.
The breeze, unforgiving in its warmth
and urgency, is like a mail, full of bad news of
distant troubles that threaten to submerge
the lofty bridges built in dreams.
The journey continues between the lines of rails.
It is also between our patient silences
toughened by the weight of circumstance
and shining under the moonlight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What lies ahead

is not just a rosy bed but a thorny tread 
announces, the old thought for the day
inscribed on my memory's blackboard. 
A flash from somewhen in the middle school
where roses were not colored by blood
and thorns were made from harmless plastic. 
When smiles were spontaneous and out of place, 
as if there is not going to be any memory of the times. 
There wasn't a device that shuttered all the time. 
An anxious eye that recorded on the rusty keys of nostalgia.
Everyone was absent then from that banal scene
of a hopeful child looking at the notice board
and thinking, "Yes, I could deal with the thorns".
As the times demanded, that ambition 
was tucked under the carpet. 
To be later discovered by the thorn of time. 
An arrow heading straight to the Achilles' heel.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How it could have happened

A hand that once hunted for game
later jotted down by the fire side
A mouth that sifted through the intestines
With a vocal drum now, sings mnemonic lines
Our fingers, dipped early in a river of ink
Had to just touch the walls, or each other 
Poems often painted as cave murals and endearments. 
Their expressions staying solid for millenniums 
Rock hard truths of hunger and want.


A friend surmises: 
I have fathered a child 
Now I can go back, be wild.
His wife replies: 
I could say the same 
But a child needs 
both of us, to blame.

Written off

Written off most of the times 
Written down into oblivion
everything stands to be a poem.
The high points of metaphor 
are snow capped in mystery
and the meaning keeps itself low
in the between-the-lines valleys. 
It parts the stiff stanzaic blades. 
Tip toes its way into blankness. 
While the record worthy lines fall
into the I-don't-know bin
the sharp chin of the reader
consults the horizon, 
ever present just outside the window
and then something starts to make sense
and the poem is put away
like the years before and after the reading.