NEW AND SELECTED POEMS TANKA AND HAIKU

Dscn1462by Ram Krishna Singh17 Jul 2013

NEW AND SELECTED POEMS TANKA AND HAIKU

--Ram Krishna Singh

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The poet and the publisher are grateful to the editors of the following journals, zines and anthologies that carried some of the poems presented here:
Sarasvati (Leicestershire, UK), The World Poets Quarterly (Chongqing City, P.R.China), Kō (Nagoya, Japan), The Tanka Journal (Tokyo, Japan), Chairman Poetics (Taiwan, ROC), Magnapoets (Ontario, Canada), Create4U (The Netherlands), Moonset Literary Newspaper (Oregon, USA), Time Haiku (London), Atlanta Chinese News (USA), Paper Wasp (Queensland, Australia), Modern English Tanka (Maryland, USA), Kelaino (Athens, Greece), Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo), Poet (Belgrade), Ambrosia: Journal of Fine Haiku (Maryland, USA), Poet (Chennai), Poetry World (Chennai), Cyber Literature (Patna), Research (Patna), Indian Book Chronicle (Jaipur), Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literature (Thodupuzha, Kerala), Triveni (Hyderabad), Bridge-in-Making (Kolkata), The Journal of Indian Writing I English (Gulbarga), Indian Journal of English Studies, and e-journals, Lynx, Asahi Haiku Network, Simply Haiku, Asia Writes, Syndic Literary Journal, New Mirage Journal, EPN, Mann Library’s Daily Haiku, Akita International Haiku Network, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Haiku Reality, and World Haiku Review.

Some poems have also appeared in the following anthologies/collections:

Busy Bee Book of Contemporary Indian English Poetry (eds: P. Raja and Rita Nath Keshari). Pondicherry: Busy Bee Books, 2007.
Contemporary Poets (ed: M.S. Venkata Ramaiah). Bangalore: Biz Buzz, 2009.
A Dictionary of Contemporary International Poets (eds: Choi Lai Sheung and Zhang Zhi). Chongqing City: The Earth Culture Press, 2010.
Sense and Silence: Collected Poems (R.K. Singh). Jaipur: Yking Books, 2010.
Sexless Solitude and Other Poems (R.K.Singh). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2009.
The River Returns (R.K. Singh). Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2006.

PREFACE

Life is too real to be believed, yet we must keep dreaming and try to live with a resonance of what we think while we touch various levels of reality—political, social, personal, or spiritual—and be ourselves.

Genuine poetry happens as an event to be truthful, clear, courageous, and honest to oneself; to be open about things one often tries to conceal. Poetry provides an opportunity for expressing ones intimate moments with the same passion as while talking about the interwoven outer realities.

I also view it as the expression of cosmic, organic, erotic life, creating its own forms, expressing itself and, in being expressed, finds its voice.

My experience convinces me that we are not limited by what we are, but we are limited by what we are not. Poetry becomes a means to overcome this limitation, and thus, allows us not only to know ourselves but also to expand on what we are.

This means we should remain open to healthy revisions that we can make to our way of thinking, and incorporate new perspectives into our outlook. In other words, we should not let our own rigidity destroy our potential, but rather we should evince a forward-looking, tolerant, and open mindset if we wish to create future.

I don’t know if my poetry fits in what I think at the moment but poetry does help us traverse the boundaries of hesitation to see the joy of fulfillment.

I am grateful to Mr Sudarshan Kcherry for readily agreeing to publish this collection and support my creativity.

--R.K. Singh

Contents
1. Death
2. Labyrinths
3. Mistake
4. Smoke
5. Fisherman’s Song
6. Threat
7. Midnight Cry
8. Games of Convenience
9. Unheard Silences
10. Revelations
11. Poetry Unsafe
12. Dust Smells
13. One Day I’ll Sleep Well
14. I Carry the Tomb
15. Temple
16. War
17. Saints’ Blasphemy
18. Rituals
19. There’s No Music
20. Time is Running Out
21. Necklace
22. Vision
23. His Smile is Fake
24. Trekking
25. When She Smiles Her Sex
26. Hunger
27. Delusion
28. Pollution
29. Creativity
30. Liberation
31. Kamakhya
32. Debris
33. Tombstone
34. There’s No Grace
35. Meditation
36. Karmic Credit
37. Bones Breathe
38. A Long Game
39. Tunnel
40. Rainbow
41. Solitude
42. Rotten Rat
43. Too Painful
44. Pain
45. Valley of Self
46. Snake
47. Wisdom
48. Helplessness
49. Elements Clack
50. It’s More Voluptuous to Float
51. Eyeless Jagannath
52. Decay with Divinity
53. Night’s Silence

SOME SHORTER POEMS
Tanka 67-90
Haiku 91-121

1

DEATH
We do not know
who cares for us
live or dead

nor do we know
our end
now or ever

which meeting with whom
is the last
we do not know

when darkness gushes
in from the breach
sky sinks down

as stranger we come
as stranger
we pass

like withered grass
uncelebrated
unmourned, unknown

2

LABYRINTHS

With sudden twists and turns
popping up each new day
life still awaits intrigues
through meandering pathways
I search the golden light
the rising Capricorn
held for a Sunday child

the labyrinths are dark
and scary but I know
the way in is the way out
I can’t trip along the way
like others in blind alleys
the guarding angel
leads me to golden reward

3

MISTAKE

Don’t defile
my goddess you smell
private parts

with sexy
hibiscus don’t crack
the centre

take bath first
and touch Kali
with clean mind

I can’t let
your wandering hands
make mistake

4

SMOKE

I can’t enter
the sky high mind
of a crow or eagle

but I know
how it feels
in cold-wet air

I have lived
breathless winter
in the open

and no star woke up
to clean the smoke
I slowly became

5

FISHERMAN’ S SONG

Walking along the beach
they collect empty shells
that fascinate senses
in the salty air

feel the life now no more
but argue about the sex
of a conch ignoring
the fisherman’s song

6

THREAT

We chase myths in self-made Amazon
fish turtles that change colour in new waters

we create landscape of nightmares and wade through
anacondas that threaten our confidence

lost in the jungles of our own making
we beat about thorny grasses now

look for the twin flames for convenience
cloud judgment and reality for control

challenge the Republic and divide
the defence that could never be

7

MIDNIGHT CRY

No use abusing
or cursing anyone when
restless and breathless
I cry to god to help me
for a while let me sleep

sexless meditate
in the darkest of hours
negotiate peace
with self and rest even if
I exist in my sufferings

8

GAMES OF CONVENIENCE

Before the ant-eaten roots
yield to storm and the roof cracks
I must find a new shelter
to escape the full collapse:

the façade of specious house
and dead wood midst dust and green
have popped up myths of ages
academics recycle

holding gods in the hand
in cozy illusions
perpetuate newer
games of convenience

9

UNHEARD SILENCES

The hosts of the earth dismay me
and my mind stays in the gutter
she says I poison her nights
with chosen expletives
and keep her awake:
she doesn’t believe I live my cries
in unheard silences

10

REVELATIONS

Widening cracks, leaking roofs
choked drains in the courtyard
water logging and myriad
such small things make rains a pain

there’s no romance in rainbow
I can’t shape colours of morning
morning shapes my colour:

I’m the victim of my views
that shape my head each day
realities and yoga conspire

drinks and pills deride from clothesline
flowers and trees speak in grey
compost of years oozes no wisdom

whatever the poetry, it stinks
idols on the beasts and cattle
overload the carriage
I can’t deliver the burden

prostrate and worship
touch the feet, foolishness
makes me small, frustrate
sitting on the ground
in the dust, degrade

it’s long fog, with blurred sight
virtually blind, no seer
no revelations

11

POETRY UNSAFE

She doesn’t like to see me
take bath in the sun
or cross the doors naked

the body frightens her
even in the dark
as if buried in dust

the whole year passes
with her turning on me
like rheumatic twinge

emptiness haunts
with mind in the gutter
poetry unsafe

12

DUST SMELLS

Searching mother
in the thickening dark:
the tree stands

through the twilight
hear the bridge I cross with
creaking bones

wheeze December
in lonely drizzles:
sun’s last glow

measure wisdom
to unknow, now lower gaze
and look within

the heart’s rhythm:
dust smells beneath the feet
above the head

13

ONE DAY I’LL SLEEP WELL

God
not helplessness alone
but man’s mortality
too

the guardian angel
keeps alive hope against
locked doors

one day I’ll sleep well
and get up refreshed
with no black halo
screams of fear or pain

in myself I’d end
or go as rain in sand
leaving no trace

and
no place to return
too

14

I CARRY THE TOMB

While volcanoes rehearse to show their teeth
lovers shouting from the well of the house
wave broken condoms rather than broken trust

conflate dissent on self-erasing slates
and prove worse than the old oxen
long following circuitous ways

billowing opposition, discalced defenders

they all assert superior dishonesty
sell cheap what is most dear or make
offences of new affections

I carry the tomb of unburied days

15

TEMPLE

Some scattered petals
incense smoke
and a couple of paper deities
in a lonely corner

enough to create
a sense of temple

to pray for a moment
and be at peace with oneself

16

WAR

The flood failed
to cross the banks
yet I drenched

tied up to the prison
that didn’t exist
I checkmated

now waver like shadow
without drinking a drop
feel drunk and cry

like a soldier
without fighting the war:
see night inside

17

SAINTS’ BLASPHEMY

I’ve lived so many deaths
now I fear living

there’s so much ruin
inside and around

no tattoos on breasts hide
the rusty cauldrons

none hear the raging fire
voices multiply

the darkness of earth seems
beyond verbal face

sun is stopped in temples
stones explode in hands

it’s vain to dream a new
picture of the world

the viewless shapes of gods
eternal twilight

it’s no use flying so high
the sky seems shattered

the city is haloed
in saints’ blasphemy

18

RITUALS

Hiding helplessness
in the luxury of prayers
he raises a wall
a babel of deception
through cocktail of drug and desire

meanders through dream-
miracles and wakes up to
unheard alarm
each morning repeats rituals
ageing time is ashamed of

19

THERE’S NO MUSIC

Walking in the once
familiar street this evening
I feel foreign
the dust seems known
but people are unknown; missing
the urgency of the past
the traffic goes on
there’s no marriage for me
I’m lost in the procession.
They all have matches
who cares my daughter is married
or not. I am here just for
the ritual of relationship
suffering yet another stasis
there’s no miracle
in the flash of darkness
nor any music
in whatever vibrates

20

TIME IS RUNNING OUT

I need a few hours
without god, thought, or self
and just be free

restlessness of night
now frightens the morning sun
I can’t even breathe

I can’t lie like
uprooted pole on the roadside
rubbished by all

no prayer helps
trust shrinks life without love
time’s running out

21

NECKLACE

Hidden
in the cave of the heart
little fire

unextinguished
by thought, hunger, desire
constantly watches

the body, mind, self
the world without
the necklace that shines

and enchains:
I’m no Nachiketa
the spirit burns

22

VISION

The mind’s eye too
grows cataract-vision
and needs surgery

some new lens
to see through self-doubt
that blurs the sight

there’s no mantra
to help penetrate
without erection

23

HIS SMILE IS FAKE

Each time he goes out
to walk the dog
he becomes dog
but barks like man

no one trusts him
his smile is fake
I’m used to his ways:

he stretches his legs
and moves away
counting the holes
stars leave each night

today I tiptoed
up to the kennel
he was on his knees
peeking into
his own clasped hands

24

TREKKING

Is it my senility
or effect of the pills
that in half-sleep
I hear someone say
I should massage her legs
as she’s returned
from a long trekking

25

WHEN SHE SMILES HER SEX

While they sexed together after midnight
I sexed with myself in teens
lived the neural itch
drying between the sheets

now years later in aloneness
it rises like ghost
when she smiles her sex
my fingers don’t even stick

26

HUNGER

Seated by fireside
a crying child wards off flies
on her tear-stained face:

both hungry in a rich house
the master picks stars in her hair

who cares how this sullen place
turns golden with mask over
a poor woman’s face:

the bull performs the act
and flees hiding
blackness in the dawn

and distorted relics

27

DELUSION

I won’t know my chakras
when I’m drunk even if
I do yoga nidra
and fool myself
consuming a peg or two

read dissertation on stylistics
and comment on what is not done

it’s still the ego that dominates
and I think I’m great fool

28

POLLUTION

Who sees the smoke
of the thumb-sized flame
the body burns

the ashes of silence
float on the holy breast
tears pollute

29

CREATIVITY

The wind couldn’t convey my message
it was Shelley’s

the daffodils too couldn’t make sense
though these looked good

I failed to change any thing with
Wastelandish view

only wasted words

missing native sense
in bed and body
field and farm
river and hill

gods and goddesses couldn’t be myths
nor philosophies make mind fresh

Zen proved dubious with Basho
Issa, Tagore, Aurobindo
and so many mimicking the past

I couldn’t be I in six decades

with childish cries
I killed my self in pieces and
buried in smoke my poetry too

30

LIBERATION

Away from home in academics
sex, philosophy and religion
I’ve been sceptic about all these years
revels of hell in lost memories

couldn’t be a new dialect for spring
turn nude with refreshing orgasm

I still wander in my mind with fire
but no heat or light, sterile emotion
routs the spirit to live making
all presences dark and absence

fears are no bread from heaven
nor unfilled emptiness any sky

yet the eagle flies with wide eyes
nose opened to stinking patches
the mud- and ghostscapes that yield
mandate for dreams wrapped in nightmares:

I live preying for liberation
and decay with divinity

31

KAMAKHYA

Nothing turns me on
in aloneness self-rape
is no eros:
the blue hill hides the seed
in the sex of goddess

I can’t awaken
nor can I rise from the ash
to be my real self
I am still lost in meanness
no third eye could locate

32

DEBRIS

It’s near but
every place has a distance
and people too

they flee to see
me in their vicinity
sense a danger

I don’t belong:
they curse me for what I’m not
self-made misery

traps them to hell
I can’t help their doom nor stop
their wanton rage

down to smallness
they hate only themselves and
sculpt new sorrows

I must erase
the debris of dreams they leave
and be at peace

33

TOMBSTONE

They pour sand in my hair
and fill my shoes with stones
to make me heavy

like many I too grab
the grass and try to float
but my fingers slip

they refuse my pleas for
a rope or staff to help
me drift in currents

they wish me to become
with facial epitaph
my own tombstone

34

THERE’S NO GRACE

Dusk is doomed
when I shovel light
in darkness

fail to live
the intensity
of prayer

moistened eyes
draw me near divine
for a while

soul is light
and flowers and wings
furl in moon

but soon pain
overwhelms my space
and tears swell

fingers feel
decaying fireflies
in lamplight

voice turns blue
I scare my vision
there’s no grace

35

MEDITATION

I wish my room too
had a window opening
to the sun and moon
and not to the windows
that remain always closed

perhaps with people
meditating their ego
in dark light and air
switched on or off against
the resounding echoes

36

KARMIC CREDIT

The cracks, cobwebs, dusts and spots
in the house reveal how neglected
I have been. The roof and base tell of
the wild growth, the expanding peepals
snakes, scorpions, lizards have free time
round the year it’s the deserted look

an extension of my existence
without repair or maintenance for
decades their apathy disturbs sleep
I suffer scars and sparks, burn my skin
measure my shadow at different hours
yet I couldn’t become the skeleton

I watch the earthworms on the corpses
that swell stomach of headless mummies
or lie dormant to kill the spirit
the elements, ochre moon, sun, tongues—
the Buddha’s fan fails to renew faith
I can’t redeem my karmic credit

37

BONES BREATHE

Bedside phone
a chocolate box
and condoms

rising thrill
smell makes body swirl
as bones breathe

38

A LONG GAME

I can’t change body
can’t belittle nature
prophets of doom

can’t cross rainbow bridge
nor go to underworld
to reach heaven:

water and mountains
I can’t negotiate
with my burdens

burial no end
living is a long game
that goes beyond death

39

TUNNEL

Evening’s slow pace
against lifeless trees
is within me

a whole grows
against dull sea
stars fall mute

dark fingers harpoon
my name through tunnel
night chimes shallow

40

RAINBOW

They colour their hair
paint the face to look younger
and speak aged lies
to match rainbow life but stare
into the sky to find
which colour follows which
before melding into one
they wonder what to do
with beige and indigo shades
that stick their vision

41

SOLITUDE

I don’t seek the stone bowl
Buddha used while here:
she dwells on moon beams

I can see her smiling
with wind-chiselled breast
in sexless solitude

her light is not priced
but gifted to enlighten
the silver-linings

42

ROTTEN RAT

Man is an animal
with a peculiar smell
says Bertolt Brecht:

he smells a rotten rat
as he waves his khaddar arms
with fake smile

43

TOO PAINFUL

Blind
with their own sight
don’t see the wonders
round them but kneel
and ask why
only me
too painful to see

44

PAIN

With taste of bitter coffee
still lingering in my mouth
I gaze through the window
drawing in the harsh smell of water
beating on the crowded green

I remember how dreamily
I floated over her body
in the rains like this

but she won’t care
now the storm numbs
and nothing lives save
the clouds that drift and squeeze
pimples on the scrotum

45

VALLEY OF SELF

I don’t know which psalms to sing
or which church to go to feel
the flame within for a while

sit or lie still with
faith weather the restlessness
brewing breath by breath

I don’t know the god
or goddess or the mantra
to chant when fear overtakes
my being and makes me suffer

plateaus of nightmares
paralysing spirit to live
and be the promised fulfilment

I see no saviour come
to rescue me when mired
I seek freedom from myself:

my ordeals are mine alone
in the valley of self
I must learn to clear the clouds
soaring high or low

46

SNAKE

Hiding or waiting
it raises its head when least
expected, snake

glitters in the eyes:
looks for the moment to slip
and reveal the fangs

47

WISDOM

I always dreamt the world
as one and thought I belonged
but none let me live

my simple soul at home
with differences
they kicked me into exile

for their prejudices
forced me seek my nest
in myself

I share the wisdom
of peace and life in tune
with nature

48

HELPLESSNESS

I have no magical power
to change my restlessness
into glory radiating
peace or purpose in living:

they give me no room to better
men or myself but condemn
as one hanged for nothing:
poets are no living lessons

I stand aside ruminating
what I couldn’t do or be
or await miracles through
circles and zigzags of the mind

even corrupt faith and curse
destiny for the maze
of my own making and yet say
I know the spirit’s upward fire

49

ELEMENTS CLACK

I don’t know how
the bones grow in the womb
still in darkness

elements clack
in the small house shudder
the harp and strings

the heartbeats pronounce
the balance of nature
against heat wind rain

look for body’s love—
the mystery song echoes
some truths not spoken

50

IT’S MORE VOLUPTUOUS TO FLOAT

We cover our hells with roses
and fear foreigners digging deep
into our glorious projections

the stinky growth from diseased weeds
no gene therapy can erase:
we reflect the chaos as gold

trying to shed the crust of small selves
invite death for a change and lick
the narrow lake between the thighs

it’s more voluptuous to float
in the sky and come out transformed
with Kali’s blood-dripping light and grace

and recast the seeds of destiny
in undying flowery perfume
without fear of quake or collapse

51

EYELESS JAGANNATH

I can’t understand
their mystic heaven or thrills
housed in awareness

time’s intricacies
or sources of plastic mist
through mythical depths

the wings of my thought
are too short to climb God’s height
or blue deeps of peace

I stand on the edge
of earth’s physicality

waiting on the brink
with shadowy lines
and curves to image march of
eyeless Jagannath

if nobody sees
the collapse of procession
and the dark precinct

don’t blame the poets:
there is too much emptiness
and gloom to ignore

52

DECAY WITH DIVINITY

Away from home in academia
sex, philosophy and religion
I’ve been skeptic about all these years
revels of hell in lost memories

couldn’t be a new dialect for spring
turn nude with refreshing orgasm

I still wander in my mind with fire
but no heat or light, sterile emotion
routs the spirit to live making
all presences dark and absence

fears are no bread from heaven
nor unfilled emptiness any sky

yet the eagle flies with wide eyes
nose opened to stinking patches
the mud- and ghostscapes that yield
mandate for dreams wrapped in nightmares:

I live preying for liberation
and decay with divinity

53

NIGHT’S SILENCE

Unmoved in the wind
the rose still stands erect

in the night’s silence
I imagine my teens

the street is lonely
and love-ache ever fresh

with stolen fragrance
now halting rhythm of sex

SOME SHORTER POEMS

TANKA :

1

The hotel’s backyard
littered with empty bottles
paper plates, condoms
and damp smell like the washroom’s
puts me off, deletes all colours

2

From its cozy nest
between the fallen logs
smells my arrival
a hedgehog in backyard—
cataract vision

3

Overcautious
my wife after midnight
pushes me away
forgetting the ever alive
ever present, NOW

4

The drying trees
give my age:
autumn
warmth of new day
hot tea and singing birds

5

Trying all sides
and every position
to sleep a few hours
but pain in the neck conspires
with long winter nights

6

On the prayer mat
the hands raised in vajrasan
couldn’t contact God—
the prayer was too long and
the winter night still longer

7

Muttering prayers
in the silence of exam hall
a new comer
with seized wit:
teachers delight

8

Doodling
at the cement bench
in the park
a mother and child, perhaps
waiting for the day’s end

9

She says she is
a pure vegetarian
and hates to take
even an egg ‘coz it comes
from the chicken’s vagina

10

Too difficult
to negotiate demands
of my libido
and her interests these days—
whom to ask to mediate?

11

Hearing him talk dung
she doubts his integrity
and curses him for
emitting lava from mouth:
I regret stomach upset

12

I can’t know her
from the body, skin, or curve:
the perfume cheats
like the sacred hymns chanted
in hope, and there’s no answer

13

Decomposing in
the PC’s memory
a frozen image
they try to trace logging in
the lady of charity

14

With henna hue
the ascetic’s matted hair
and net of words
fish innocent women
at the holy Ganges

15

She stoops low
to the bottom shelf
in black jeans
her curves flattering and
red lace groping her hips

16

On getting up
it couldn’t be the dream jasmine:
knelt between his thighs
in dance their aerobic stunts—
couldn’t savour moment’s applause

17

A tress of hair
she drops over the mole
on her forehead
thinking it’s ugly and
hides her own gazelle eyes

18

Her look
unspoken flirting
or artful riff
on snaring my soul
for playful exchange

19

The beads of sweat
on her breasts do not touch
her years or face
in candle light her shadow
is more restrained than my thought

20

No cakes or cookies
to celebrate my birthday
this New year eve
lunar eclipse and blue moon
cheer the cup in foggy chill

21

The sea smells
from far off leaps to the sky
I drive through
the maze of returning folks
with fresh catch on their heads

22

On the roof top
she waits for her man with
moon cake and lantern:
a flash of silver showers
on the mist-shrouded figure

23

Transparent
in a one-piece dress
she tiptoes
waving from the window
not seeing him leave

24

A black dog moves
freely among reporters
lying on the ground
to shoot militants in Taj
resisting the commandos

25

Plodding away at
season’s conspiracies
life has proved untrue
with God an empty word
and prayers helpless cries

26

It’s not ageing
but eternal delight:
you under me
smooth belly nude necking
slow stroking parting flesh

27

The thought is sin
she thinks and denies me sex
to protest against
my mind in the gutter
that breeds erotic in verse

28

Watching the moon
in the western horizon
two haiku poets
scratch each other’s back and mock
the rest as neophytes

29

Resting his chin
on the back of his palms
he stands at
the dusted railing to watch
the planes roar and take off

30

Unable to see
beyond the nose he says
he meditates
and sees visions of Buddha
weeping for us

31

A mist covers
the valley of her body
leaves memories
like the shiver of cherry
in dreamy January

32

The cocktail of drink
drug and meditation—
nightly yelps
tease unshared guilt
the hell of silence

33

Short nights and long days
sleep loss rustles a friction
echoing in bed
the cycle of cravings
over and over again

34

Unknowable
the soul’s pursuits hidden
by its own works:
the spirit’s thirst, the strife
the restless silence, too much

35

Her letter smells
the lotus she wore each time
meeting in the dark:
I touch her fingers again
with all the hopes and passion

36

Awaiting the wave
that’ll wash away empty hours
and endless longing
in this dead silence at sea
I pull down chunks of sky

37

Watching the waves
with him she makes an angle
in contemplation:
green weed and white foam break
on the beach with falling mood

38

The sun
on a mountain
grave illumines the path
to divinity unrealized
in soul

39

I can’t cement cracks
nor save the frames from collapse:
the wreck reveals the myth
I need not knit new dreams
if truth’s so cold and stingy

40

The lips in her eyes
and long hours in the mouth
no moist secret
between us to reveal:
now our backs to each other

HAIKU

hanging
door protector—
Buddha

wiping his face
under the umbrella
an old man with books

frightened
of my muddy feet
god in temple

a quick brush
with snake in the fence:
plucking flowers

painting the glow
in the green of forest
unseen fingers

magical horses
and nude deities of Hussain—
empty canvas

bedside altar
smell of her hair:
dreams light up

dangling her necklace
below the drooping breasts—
milky stream

tangle together
flames of a double lamp
on the terrace

after the storm
picking fallen tamarind—
too high the tree

3-year old
asking name of changing shapes
in the sky

my bedroom
dust-covered crucifix—
still time

crushed bedsheet
the same as
months ago

lust in mirror
models in lingerie:
winter rain

a stray dog
sleeping under a car—
wintry dawn

hear in the slow
light-footed arrival of sun
sound of silence

shadows waver
in the dewy grass—
butterfly

carrying the tomb
of unburied days:
New Year

musky perfume
open unsleeping eyes—
drowsy sweetness

time to talk
to the inner child—
baby sitting

leaves fall
wearing more layers—
flu season

returning home
to the swaying of branches—
spring’s first rain

an aged toad
awaiting sunrise—
damp grass

rising godward
prayers on the waving
incense stick smoke

seeing eye
of the vacuum—
ocean waves

sunrise
behind the temple
cloud’s edge

a round moon
rises early this evening—
pale creeper

seeking shelter
a leaf falls into
the puddle

inviting
sandal attar from the wrist—
summer evening

her gaze
stirs the soul—
clay in void

reads his eyes
in the mirror—
emptiness

padmasan
at sea front hearing
empty waves

clings to the body
her wet red saree—
waving wrinkles

perfume of wine
remembering the bouquet
she gave me once

lonely sunrise—
birds flying away in search
of worms in ash

winter rain
bends the roses low—
lumbar pain

flower beds
purple pulsatilla
winter’s end

caressing
her pregnant belly—
water lily

waxing crescent
searches the setting sun
worshipped in water

a thin moon
on her neck hides love
in silk gauze

on the beach
she combs her long hair:
aphrodite

parents pelt stones
at the mating street dogs—
nosey children

a pregnant clown
on the squalid mattress—
crying inside

feeding spirits with
limbs of uncircumcised boys
a Ugandan witch

pulled from the rubble
a newborn’s limbs with dead mom—
earthquake in Haiti

measures loneliness
sip by sip
at dining table

the mirror is so small
I can’t see the ocean
beyond my own look

making holes
in the wooden cross
white ant

filling
emptiness of the room
with ikebana

pausing between bites
on the guava tree
the parrots

still fresh
in the hanky’s fold--
jasmine

after the party
empty chairs on the lawn
now moon and I

the lone mushroom--
a pregnant woman
stares out the window

a load of wood
on her frail back--
autumn evening

chrysanthemum
on a mossy roof
deeply rooted

vultures waiting for
the remains of sacrifice
on the temple tree

night bombing
oleander garden
white as death

sunrise
behind the temple
cloud’s edge

sea waves
roll from faraway
white peaks

after the sunset
wheels of a returning cart
along the paddy

love tickles
with erect pistil:
hibiscus

wet bodies
of bathing women:
full moon night

her body
the night’s perfection
in dim light

a cloud-eagle
curves to the edge
in the west

her lonely grief
melts in the candle wax
evening's dark floor

the perfume
from her armpits --
yoga

lovemaking
he melts into her
time stands still

candling in vein
leaves marks of teeth on her neck
utters holiness

writes with strands of
watery hair on her bare back
a love haiku

after the tumble
buried between the sheets
leftover passion

locked between
my bed and quilt
December chill

bedside—
our night clothes
await washing

______________________________________________________

Copyright:

Professor R.K.Singh,
Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences,
Indian School of Mines
DHANBAD 826004 (India).

Published by Authors Press, New Delhi, 2012, ISBN 9788172736354