Monday, December 11, 2006



Love tickles
with erect pistil:

Oleander and
hibiscus blaze with passion—
making love in sun

on the spider’s web—
a hibiscus

Narrowly escape
the midair web of spider
perched on hibiscus

The lone hibiscus
waits for the sun to bloom:
morning’s first offering

Red oleander and
hibiscus calling morning
to Kali

Without washing hands
he touches hibiscus for worship:
her frowning glance

After little rain
lilies smile with hibiscus—
the sun in May

Too short
can’t reach the height:

on the mossy roof
deeply rooted

Too big for its web
between two roses—
a yellow spider

Around falling leaves
a lone dreaming flower—

Stands alone in
the assembly of flowers—
Valentine’s Day

Not sad to die
blooming after a day’s rain--
the mushroom

Shrouded in fog
the lone pomegranate
in the courtyard

December morning—
the first roses in the lawn:
fragrance in passing

Leaves sway
to fly like birds
free in the sky

Waving down
a leaf settles between
her breasts

All night trees wave
with roaring winds:
autumn in the courtyard

Bluebells and hazels
lost in rustic kisses:
morning stars burn

0n a lean
branch of neem swinging
a bulbul

The courtyard stormed
with dried leaves and tamarind:
her frail hands sweeping

From tree to courtyard
cotton balls blown on the wind—
seed in the centre

Her scarf—
a rainbow of flowers
moving in the sky

Her visit—
a transient painting
on holiday’s floor

Painting mom’s smile
with broken crayons—
smiling Winny

her voice
on the phone

Switching on
the hearing aid:
wife’s warm soup

With her saree
hitched up between the legs
my wife in bed

Raising her saree
above the thighs bends to ease
and blocks my way

Rising early
to make tea for everyone
the newly wed wife

As the duo sit
lights go out—
sofa springs creaking

Dissatisfied with
each other the two of us
in an empty house

In the grey of dusk
sway between hope and despair
their dream promises

Leaning sideways
she looks at mango pickle—
caries ache

She repeats my ills
to express her anger but
I know only her love

Basking in the sun
files nails in garden chair
my wife’s friend

No joy in lighting
the candles this Diwali:
both the children away

Awaits his son’s
phone call from the border:
dogs and cats wail

His son’s voice
not relayed by wire:
tense borders

Distance mounts
each time he visits home:
love’s last rites

Not age but
years of worries
his furrowed face

Shadow of age
on the wall—
second full moon

Whiteness of the moon
and rocks howl with the wind—
December in the veins

A star shines bright
beside the crescent moon
she fakes a smile

The sun not yet set
but the full moon rises
as if in a hurry

The half moon
on her neck reminds of love
before departure

all of the moon at night—
white chrysanthemumns

After the party
empty chairs in the lawn—
new moon and I

The sky couldn’t retain
all of the moon now enveloping
my house through windows

Setting moon
leaves behind sparkle
on the waves

Noisy birds
don’t let me sleep:
midnight moon

Through the window
gaze at the moon hid behind
cloud after cloud

Fearing allergies
he misses full moon party
savours white light

Wet bodies
of bathing woment:
full moon night

under the blue moon—
the dry sky

They all look for
a little more moon coming
back from movie

Standing behind
the window bars observes
darkness in shapes

Unmoved by the wind
he sits on a rock wearing
peace of the lake

Night bombing
leaves the garden
white as death

Vultures waiting
for the leftovers
of the sacrifice

In the ruins
searching her photo:

on her bed rings
the cellphone

A dead voice
calling up at dawn:
drowsy eyes

Waiting for the train
alone on the platform
swatting mosquitoes

All guests gone:
after the late party
night and I

Nothing changes
the night’s ugliness
in the lone bed

in a shrunken bed
aged love

In the well
studying her image
a woman

Knitting silence
my wife on the bench
after lunch

A moth
struggling for life
on wire

Between virgin curves
he deep-breathes evening mist
rests in the hollow

Shell-shocked or frozen
he stands in tears on hill top
craving nirvana

The lone mushroom—
a pregnant woman
stares out of the window

Facing the sun
the lone flower
dying to bloom

A dead leaf hangs
by a spider’s thread
invisible in sun

Under the tree
in meditation sunken
a lone stone

on the National Highway

So many headlights
and my myopic vision—
walking difficult

They walk on red coal
matching steps with drum-beats:
carnival of ecstasy

Keeps him sleepless
fireworks and high decibel
puja all night

on the cold floor
a mother with child

Awaits sunrise
to hire an auto safely
sits at the bus stand

Two women argue
over price and weight of fish:
the hapless huckster

Carbon flakes drift
high above the flat I cough
they widen the roads

Burning tap water
and seething house in the morning
heat wave cripples

Chanting mantra
with wine in one hand and
torch in other

A mother and child
stuck between concrete rubbles:
fidayeen attack

Setting ablaze
Muslim houses and children
seekers of Ram

White-yellow trail
the Mirage on mission:
ten souls buried

Amidst roaring guns
clouds blossom snow lotus:
light hilly terrain

On the margin of
home-to-work-to-home routine—
life’s achievements

Shivering in the cold
young boys sell balloons late night—
New Year revelers

Half-fleshed faces
track from behind the windows
rawness of journey

Journeying tries
to raise his silence
to prayer

Never enough
the earth’s hunger for graves:
peace barricaded

The red light is on:
they all have secrets to hide
no use peeping in

In measured pace
hit for divinity
two political golfers

Disposable blades
one over the other—
dusty switchboard

Seismic lab
a network of cobweb:
no earthquake for long

No Zen thought—
scribbling haiku with
gun in hand

Staring at the huge
stone penis at Shinto shrine—
two female lovers

With her breasts bobbing
up and down she challenges
the moon as she walks

Sees the eyes
in walls as I rise
to kiss her

in empty whiteness:

Wiping tears
from each other’s eyes
two souls in love

Writing with strands of
watery hair on her back
a love haiku

Love of three decades
extinguished in a moment—
anger in the mouth

Shedding bitterness
of the tiff in sex act
she and I

Moist lips parting
on a tea cup promising

Bending down to pick up
apple she presses
piercing embrace

Looking lovingly
she bends his head down to hers
twines like a creeper

She preys the body
behind obsidian sheath
fatuous flap

After burns
leaving the body
the dead skin

Rain-soaked sun
sheds its sultry light:
her bare back

Her palms
the only lingerie
in Fashion Show

Crouching out of the bath
with hand on the genital
his new tenant

A pregnant woman
bending over the mushroom
bloomed under a tree

Awaits the bloom
of love in her womb:
silent action

Lovely with hope
the glow in her eyes:
no need of sun

Her body—
the night’s perfection
in dim light

Seeing her
a liquid sensation
between the thighs

On a canvas
a poet in twilight
painting her skin

Sensing her presence
he stares down the street—
lingering perfume

A star in making—
but an island appears:
the palm amuses

Sipping gin with lime
he says he loves sex each night
but hates the smell

Looking for Taj in grains
through sand-storm find history
trapped between toes

Bleeding fingers draw
new domes of betrayal in
windy matrices

He walks down the aisle
looking for the nave in her
to kneel and slide out

His tongue
between the teeth—
sudden sneeze

Fed up with my sex
she threatens to move
to our daughter’s room

Leaves him alone
to escape daily rape
in bed his wife

The bedroom altar
no substitute for temple—
sacrifice of sex

Winter’s chill—
sweating under the gown
her thighs and breasts

her stooping breasts—
the first night

Measuring life with
ejaculatory rhythm—
envies sparrow sports

Her thighs—
resting place for my head
on bed

Trying to decipher
the complex curves on my palms
in the morning rays

Fondling her breasts
I incite a poem
on her body

A film of mist
between my eyes
and her image

Locked in her eyes
the bright glow
of the goddess

Melting in
the colour of the heart
the sun in the west

A lizard shrieks
before the climax:
love making

The blood passes through
green veins I hear the heart play
melody of dews

Every breath
love in action—
fire in the hole

No bottom reader
but the shape and the lines do tell
she can stir the soul

The aching limbs and
blood dripping between the legs:
love-making postponed

With his head between
the knees he squats and smells
the body’s sweat

Bones rattle to make
a song of flesh in the night---

blaming her
not old age

Lies with her
in freezing cold:
an empty tube

jangles odours presences--
twinges in bed

Drying on the line
pork venison and beef--
the room smells their vests

Don’t know their tongue—
the stars beyond the mountains
whisper among themselves

While I lie alone
shapeless fears rest on my eyes
heavier than time

Searching salvation
a moth flies into the lamp:
oily burial

Colours sparkle in
the morning’s dew on the blooms—
my breathing changes

Nobody cares
burial of my dreams
in coal dust

Besides allergies
so many other complaints:
sudden weather change

Bronchial breathing—
the only sound audible
in the soulless space

Noisy birds
don’t let me sleep:
midnight moon

He sweeps yellow leaves
or gathers years in a heap
burns to merge with dust

Cleaning dusts from
the old sandals for a walk:
again the same pain

Peeling paint
from the drawing room—
shadows flicker

Seeing no image
in the mirror of time—
foggy blankness

Hot bath or no bath—
the cough persists unmindful
of the New Year’s eve

Sees in a flash—
opening the eyes
takes a long time

Linked with anxiety
my comfort at his home:
Ph.D. viva

Fear of forgetting—
car insurance premium
paid a month ahead

Fears the approach
of night with him—
twisting tassels

In the lone room
prefers haiku to yoga
drinking scotch

My bedroom
a maze of cobweb
spiders breed

Sunday afternoon—
waving into gin
two drops of lime

Difficult to change
I am what I have disowned—
dressing down salads

The bed is short
and the covering shorter—
crouching alone

by passions and clamours—
Buddha’s calm

Seeks Buddha’s stone bowl
to win the bamboo princess:
she dwells on moon beams

Her heart
a thousand doors of

Standing behind
the window bars observes
darkness in shapes

into dust her last

Trying to read good news
I look at the lines taking
new turns on my palms

Looking for riches
in her left hand shortening
days on the pavement

They sculpture psyche
in the city of dumb dreams:
idols sweat in sun

Pulling out white hairs
she reminds increasing age:
time’s fragrance unchanged

Still a child—
embracing a breast
sleeps her man

anger with roses:
petals fall

They all walk
like shadows in night
for themselves

Lying on his table
a few unanswered letters
and unrealized dreams

A little child
chases the painted dreams
on butterfly wings

Two butterflies
racing with each other
perch on the wire

A child’s fingers feel
the butterfly lying
one with yellow leaves

Sudden rain drops wet
the wings of a butterfly
lying at the basil

Lost my way again
asking for direction:
a pleasant change

Locked between the cracks
cockroaches in the alcove
dropping their eggs

Awaiting their turn
to feast on a dead dog
crows in a circle

A crow hits
the scare crow and cracks
its earthen head

A crow picking
at the ripe papaya and
another waiting

A yellow spider
on the blooming marigold
weaves tiny webs

Two lizards fight
to mate on the wall—
balancing act

After the quake
a dog sniffing his master’s
presence in the rubble

Searching Christ’s sandals
in the pile of shoes at
the church’s entrance

Traffic snails through
the water-logged road I feel
a manhole cover

Dust mites devouring
the secrets preserved
in my diary

Seeing my shadow
three fish in the pond look
for a safe corner

In the well
studying her image
a woman

A hooker hides
behind the green letter box:
looking for a client

Cut wrongly
each body a slave—
grey faces

Too heavy
these man-made machines
choking weight

Students murmuring
over the class test result:
the teacher’s curved lips

In the moving train
sleeping on his feet
the newspaperman

Flowers inviting
seeds of love scattered in
the perumed garden

Looking for a prey
a snake slides through the fence:
warmth of the sun

Safe from sun
under nascent leaf
a gold fish

After sleepless night
a drowsy sun tears
the morning sky

With sunrise
gone to sleep
the morning moon

Two dreamy eyes
await the rising sun
through the fogged window

A sweating sun
after the midnight chill—
changing hues of spring

The sun conceals
aeons of darkness planets
mirror in the sky

Closing its eyes
in the setting sun—
the Ganges in autumn

A cloud-eagle
curves to the haze
in the west

A butterfly rests
on the butterfly tattooed
on her sunning back

The sun not yet set
but the full moon rises
as if in a hurry

Setting sun
leaves behind sparkle
on the waves

Suddenly rise
the sleeping waves from far off—
‘quake in the sea

Swollen sea
boiling over the head—
roars increase

The sun rolls
on the waving Ganges—
whitens love-hope

On the wave’s crest
travels a fallen leaf—
rot on the bank

Couldn’t erase the wind’s
soliloquy from the waves
breaking on the shore

Traveling back
from the waves of bliss
a foam-leap

On the waves rise shells
in accents lie with love—
beauty on the shore

A lamp floating on
river breast in bridal grace--
waves in the gloaming

Bathing in thousands
they float lamps on her breast
the river sparkles

Knee-deep in the pond
standing obeisantly
nude worshippers

Ends with ritual
one more morning—
sun-worshippers in the pond

Awaits the sunrise
in the chilly Ganges
a nude worshipper

Sees visions
eating food of gods—

Fills the void
with illusions and self—
names them god

December almost
over what new wish to add
to Christmas wish list

On Christmas eve
santa claus takes leave—
mist on chairs in pairs

between flowers
Jesus on the cross

Making holes
in the wooden cross
white ants

Colours of envy
stick on their colleagues’ faces:
Holi revelry

Krishna offering
parijata to Radha:
Narada looks on

The temple’s dome
in the flooded Ganga--
empty kalash

Fermenting spring
in the arms of lovers:
a secret sin

The cherry pink
in the spring—
a framed nude

suffocates in bed—
chill seeps through slit

Wintry chill—
enters the cold bed:
skips morning walk

Winter allergies—
I stay inside to escape
the wind in full moon

The long night passes
sleeplessly I deep-breathe
the December chill

Alone and sleepless
count hours by asthmatic bouts—
the long winter nights

A part of the night
hidden in the morning moon:
the sun waves bye bye

Nothing changes
the night’s ugliness
in the lone bed

The first night
spots on the sheet:
clothes wake up

Long wintry night—
opening the mail box
for a date

darkness of the opening:
standing erect

Whiteness of the moon
and rocks howl with the wind—
December in the veins

Seek my haven
where the sky arches the sea—
a white gull leads

Stars mock his drinking
alone on the cement bench:
moon in the glass

Spend our short time
together after a long
watching the moon

all of the moon at night—
white chrysanthemums

Seeking smell
in cactus flowers:
late monsoon

Clouds don’t rain
coldly come and go—
icy bed

All night rain
the gaping roof
her shelter

Sudden rain
on the way home—
a peacock

After the night’s rain
the sky’s still overcast:
wet Christmas today

Through thick clouds
sees an arc of moon—
her belly

Shadow of age
on the wall—
second full moon

Lonely nights and
days of non-stop rains—
depression mounts

on the wings of winter
ill news

return of the light and warmth:
winter solstice

Feels the shadow
with wet fingers
in the fog

Mist surrounds:
the steel statue watches
few visitors

Morning fog:
her face invisible
even the sun

The evening fog:
invisible her hand
on my shoulder

Slowly clears
the morning fog—
end of the year

Swollen fogs
ready to make way
for the sun

Her make-up spoilt
in the evening mist:
looking for light

After dust storm rain
alloy with cool colours:
rainbow in the west

Splendid with the moon
night in silver peace dreams
through folds of light

Sees beard
shining in the mirror:
morning on the face

In a flash
trapping eternity—
the camera

Post-lunch solitude
filled with thoughts that couldn’t become
even a haiku

The first night:
spots on the sheet:
clothes wake up

A sly lover
ejaculates poison—
sting operation

With glittering diamond
on the navel swinging
an item bomb

The phone rings:
in the middle he rises—
prayers unsaid

With a telescope
view the lunar eclipse—
midnight shadows

Out of wood and stone
he carves his vision of peace:
night’s secret visage

In the ruins
searching her photo:

Suffer animals
with a peculiar smeel:
men in white khadi

Crossing the shadows
in the Indo-Pak match—
the last ball

Drunken with force
spreading the century’s sore:
nine eleven

Freedom to kill
with faith in divine regime:
terrorist’s peace

Watches the snow rain
with finger on the trigger:
insurgence in Drass

Reaching nowhere—
ideas flying from the minds
of top echelons

Himself doesn’t
listen but teaches

Her anger shifts
from manure to cellphone:
10 o’ clock soap

Winking at her
in the dark—
power cut

Two peacocks
on a dancing spree:
see water

a few muddied crocs:
the river returns

Nibbling a leaf
between her fingers
a dragon-fly

A small frog
leping on my hand
from the pothole

Birds crouch in nests
along the snowclad path—
wheezing silence

Away from home—
smell of frying fish
in the air

Swimming afresh
in the glass box
two gold fish

Peace in silence
of the heart and body’s cells:
Buddha’s calm

Weaving its nest
Grass blade by grass blade

Sad and dull
his backyard poultry—
fears of bird flu

Mooching about
a rose petal in the sun—
a butterfly

An orgasmic view
from behind the car’s window
the Taj Mahal

Perches nervously
on the fence a squirrel
nibbling its luck

Puppies groping
for the tits of our doggy
relaxing in sun

Sudden screech of tyres:
a frog from the pothole
perches on the car

Selling tea
a mustachioed Mizo
in shanty

Awaits the train
in November night—
insects all around

Truce between
two lizards inside
the light fixture

Ten fish in the tank
rising in twos threes or fours
to the bait atop

Hiding in the shade
of toilet brush in the bath
a frightened mouse

Awaits a rickshaw
under the gulmohar tree
a girl with lilac

Jumped over the head
a sticky frog on the ground---
stoning to death

the cellphone on her bed

In the changing hues
of rainbow in the east:
sun and lightning

Flashing a rainbow
at the dining table
her diamond nose-pin

Reflects the rainbow
in the mirror of water—
Yamuna Bridge

R.K.SINGH,Professor & Head,Dept of Humanities & Soial Sciences,
Indian School of Mines,Dhanbad 826004 India.

Haiku included in THE RIVER RETURNS (2006) published by Prakash Book Depot, Bafra Bazar, Bareilly 243001, India. ISBN 8179771881

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