Confessional Poetry, Haibun, Haiku, Life, Memory, Poetry, Prose, Verse

Haibun – 4

Gestalt

The air is heavy with the scent of crushed grass and last night’s rain. Driving through one of the few straight stretches on the ghats of Sahyadri, I glance at my watch. It is nine-thirty in the morning, almost an hour has passed since the last bustle of the maximum city. The throbbing roar of the engine feels like a just-hatched dragon between my thighs.

The twisting road embraces a scraggy rock face, forcing me to breathe-in the present. The road, though now in a state of disrepair, is still serviceable.

another bend…

the road snakes into

memories

I remember this road from the times I was dating my wife. The expressway was yet to be built and every weekend, a six hour journeyon this two lane highway, would mean meeting her. Sometimes just after the rains, we would drive down to a small hill called tiger’s leap and spend hours talking in the bleeding glow of the setting sun. The journey had never seemed long or tiring then.

white bedspread…

a thin mist takes over

our silences

I take the next exit, parking by the side of a small lake to stretch my back and legs.The lake is shallow, it may have filled up in the gentle rain of last two nights. A pair of lapwings walk its muddy banks. The yellow in their throat and beak stand out against the washed out landscape. I have never noticed the pattern or colour of a lapwing before. But then I have never stopped mid-highway weighed down with a sore back either.

I guess one has to be old enough for both…

the dull throb

of your absence

waxing … waning

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Confessional Poetry, Haibun, Haiku, Life, Love, Memory, Night, Poem, Poetry, Prose, Romance, Separation, Verse

Haibun 3

Distance

One of the three roads that led to my house may have been the longest, but I was sixteen, had a bicycle and could ride really fast. Putting all my weight on the handle bars, I could pump the pedals and whizz past the lime-washed houses, the landscape passing by in grey-green blur.

But back then, I liked to slow pedal down this road. Through the shimmering heat, I would see the road-tar turn black beneath the scarlet Gulmohar blooms… would smell the besan ladoos, long before crossing the sweet shop… would whistle to the sleepy mongrel by the side of a shuttered comic book store and then stop awhile to cheer the local cricket team.

This road wound past a kids’ park, hopped over a culvert, snaked past a kite maker’s workshop, stuttered near a century old banyan tree… and then gently careened beneath her balcony.

aching to read
the braille of her mounds –
sleepless night

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Haibun, Haiku, Life, Memory, Pain, Poem, Poetry, Verse

Haibun – Atman

Atman

Acutely aware of the hands that dig into my shoulders, the unbearable heat of a thousand flames licking my skin, the scent of sandalwood that fails to mask the smell of charred flesh, the whispers of how young she was, the slowly bleeding sun going down a banyan tree and then the certain reluctance with which they press a long wooden pole into my hand…

Almost as if this act is supposed to purge her out of my thoughts, memories, existence, breaths… I am asked to perform the rite of the skull.

early darkness –
the jagged flight of
a firefly

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Confessional Poetry, Free Form Poetry, Life, Love, Pain, Poem, Poetry, Romance, Separation, Uncategorized, Verse

In an empty house

The bed unmade in the tenor
of our last quarrel, when my guilt
shattered against a brick wall

Like the shards of a fun house mirror
the faces bloated, sucked, thin
fat, tall, short, crazy, delirious, demented

I wonder which was the real me
the dog yet un-fed, the pillow unslept
the taste of your skin undone

From moonlight and orchids
evening mist and morning dew
my fingers that caressed your song

From the trill of the last free lark
the howl of the first wild wolf
or the flicker of an old oil lamp

Could I ever distill your absence –
your presence and all that’s lost
between the two, lost between us…

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