Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ghazal ("a special form of losing")

You chose me for   a special for of losing
my face is calm   my heart's a storm of losing

I entered college   like the average fellow
but lived like Kafka   in a dorm of losing

I'm getting now   the hang   of conversation
I'm gaining ground   & growing warm   in losing

a hundred voices chatter   bright & blithely
a thousand actions   feel the karm   of losing

I wander parks of greenery   & babble
where golden leaves   the lawn adorn   in losing

the afternoon is bland   the moment lingers
the tissue of the hour is torn   in losing

the sould is never lost   but in its sojourn
it wildly veers   to keep the norm of losing

the game goes on   and to Raphael's credit
his poetry   regains the form of losing

(for Chitra Mudgal)

Song ("Nothing but you") (more or less ghazal)

When I look into the sky   I see nothing but you
when I gaze into your eye   there is nothing not you

though the day is long & weary   and the night shows not an end
though I live or though I die   I see nothing but you

in the market of the merchant   where the price of pearls is high
what I sell & what I buy   contains nothing but you

in the stream of limpid water   when the fish is running free
when the bird begins to fly   I see nothing but you

in the city with its hubbub   every car must honk its horn
red or green though I espy   I see nothing but you

Raphael   the thought you utter   is a thing too plain to speak
even though your lips may lie   I hear nothing not true


song composed Monday morning (29 Oct.), to a melody in raag Bhairavi; and sung (with surpeti drone) as a concluding item in the reading I gave in evening of the same day, at the Opus Lounge, Vasant Vihar, Delhi -- an enjoyable event organized by Delhi Poetree.

Monday, October 29, 2007

ghazal ("the rhythm of your song")

I haven't yet caught   the rhythm   of your song
though having long sought   the rhythm   of your song

in the annals of night   we read how even your friends
initially fought the rhythm   of your song

in every village   they play in pools   of your color
where murthis are wraught   in rhythms   of your song

light's history is preserved   in the banyon's shadow
where students are taught   the rhythm   of your song

where kettles are filled   with water   from this stream
there whistles a pot   in rhythm   with your song

while my hair grows thin   my heart still longs to find you
there thickens a plot   in rhythm   with your song

wherever I look   I see enigmatic pictures
all hover in naught   in rhythm   with your song

not yet have I reached   the city   of your secret
I am still en route   in rythm   with your song

a surprising twist   curls out   from the branch that's breathing
no one learned by rote   all rhythms   of your song

each syllable finds the ridge or groove of feeling
chistled out by thought   in rhythm with your song

from a distant mountain   to her exotic shop
has a merchant brought   the rhythm   of your song?

Raphael   whose pockets kept   dull coins of thinking
perceptively bought   the rhythm   of your song

Thursday, October 25, 2007

ghazal ("only for your ear")

No one hears me!   what if I wait   only for your ear?
I came early!   what if I'm late   only for your ear?

jewel! speak truly   isn't it you   somebody mentioned?
something pearly   might lie in wait   only for your ear

from dim twilight   weren't my ears   sharp & attentive?
dawn soft-girly   eve dark-sedate   only for your ear

phoenix hairpins   could be procured   passing through China
are you curly?   is your hair straight?   only for your ear

through the window   leisurely gait!   languid illusion
through the night   a'droop at my gate   only for your ear

hello stranger!   nice to see you!   how was your journey?
put your feet up!   (ancienet soul-mate!)   only for your ear

some who sit here   seem half-familiar   with the pathetic
thoughts come swirly   feelings florate   only for your ear

mocking smiles   pitying eyes   brush off your dumb poem
Raphael!   I've polished a blind date   only for your ear


Who is absent?   who is present?   who is asking?
what if "is"   bleeds into "isn't"?   who is asking?

is the question effervescent?   who is asking?
could the self be evanescent   who is asking?

is it true   the silent painting poses questions?
who will answer?   it's the docent   who is asking

we're aprey   to what's apparent   quiet carnage
does the son   sire the parent?   who is asking?

social circles circulate   they're rarely static
was the party merely pleasant?   who is asking?

for the question that I'm probing   ground needs breaking
here's the loam that tills this peasant   "who is asking?"

asking questions   is the habit of the thinker
one who feels is also present   who is asking

from clear problems to solutions   draw a distance
where the poser's barely nascent   who is asking?

from the posture of the tree   a hundred branches!
for reply of every percent   who is asking?

some find   the question's form   leads to its answer
but mind you   answer this doesn't   who is asking?

by the lane of implication   through the meadow
in the land of ever-wasn't   who is asking?

Raphael!   your merry riddles spin around   but
one who's grinning   squarely isn't   who is asking

ghazal ("without you")

Whatever I do is useless   without you
my arguments prove excuseless   without you

you are the flower   and likewise   you're the fruit
my poetry   remains juiceless   without you

don't you exude the answer   questions yearn for?
mind's monologue   can't produce this   without you

the engine of existence   dwells in your smile
the train of thought   is cabooseless   without you

the world's a mere mirage   cast by your shadow
but how could a man deduce this   without you?

every bloke hankers to bloom   his ego's glory
we're powerless to reduce this   without you

granules of truth   ground the cuisine of meaning
what cook has skill   to couscous this   without you?

your blends of energy   brim with jasmine fragrance
our empty cup   can't infuse this   without you

the sober world that looms   darkly comedic --
what loon could Lenny Bruce this   without you?

I'm up the proverbial creek   lacking a paddle
what savant of streams canoes this   without you?

the bend of the note invoking   depth of feeling --
no artist perfectly blues this   without you

your presence crackles electric   like the raincloud
what weatherman could conduce this   without you?

O slender moon!   you're the alchemy of the night
can day transform my obtuseness   without you?

yours is the veil that hides   and then reveals!
no Salome dance seduces   without you

lies poetry in nearness   or perspective?
what vantage truly enthuses   without you?

yours is the whim behind   facades of reason
no chance anyone chooses   without you

the scope of your gaze isn't just   encyclopedic
illusion's pierced!   we confuse this   without you

adrift in the world   a'float in poetry's bubble --
experience   cannot use this   without you

seven seas of feeling echo   with your laughter
Narcissus   emptiness cruises   without you

reports filed from the front   of beauty's backside --
the blundering world   old news is   without you

that fool Raphael   presumed he might cardsharps ace
his babble but "what the deuce!" is   without you

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

light ghazal ("in China")

This evening I stroll   all around a lake   in China
the girl with me born   in the year of snake   in China

we mention Wang Wei & the Li Sao   over dinner
fresh centuries flow with ancient heartbreak   in China

the charmingest damsel I meet is   a Tibetan
for English lessons   her email I take   in China

musicians from India   fetch we thence   to China
Allah alone knows what might be at stake   in China

that Raphael scrawls   occasional verse   you've noticed?
seems like an old habib he couldn't break   in China

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ghazal ("this moment")

Can scraps of yesterday   ever suffice this moment?
we've got to fight our way   to paradise this moment

your lore   when painted gray   patently hides your story
the shore where palmtrees sway   seems so precise this moment

when round & round she goes   who knows her destination?
the denouement at play   twirls with the dice this moment

each character on stage   blends a bouquet of nuance
by gumbo   this buffet's   spread to entice this moment

I wonder how it works!   that's why I play with language
the marvel of today   teems with device   this moment

a bevy of intrigues   joust in a tiny teahouse
the man in the beret   calls the police   this moment

you cast elegant lines!   when you reel in?   slim pickings
you spend your last cliche   merely concise   this moment

so much one cannot say   hovers in implication
painterly stacks of hay   subtly slice this moment

I'll meet you 'round the bend after the race   inshallah
I've seen the hotshots   hey! they don't play nice   this moment

the wise concur   her cheek plots out the curl of meaning
some girl beside the bay   so satisfies this moment

excuse my breeze through town   I'm on a lethal errand
the soughing of the ney   exacts a price   this moment

a hundred times we've failed   to comprehend bare sunlight
the road to Mandalay's   covered in ice   this moment

I thought I'd proffer garlands   in the rosy season
my pocket   guards a grain or two of rice   this moment

you're tardy   Raphael   but from the lobby   listen!
her single voice conveys   everything twice   this moment

Sunday, October 21, 2007

ghazal ("into the weave of the poem")

How deep can you pierce   into the weave of the poem?
the hand disappears   into the sleeve of the poem

the peering eye blears   panning & sieving the poem
careening who steers?   pulled by the heave of the poem

to sweep through its spheres   null disbelief in the poem
the heart's balladeers   loll on the leaf of the poem

through hours & years   patient   retrieving the poem
hope fending off fears   blindly believing the poem

* * * * * *

if ink perchance smears   painting's conceived in Rabindra
if old   get new ears   quaintly naive in the poem

to hazard careers on   rash irrational gambles
the danger zone nears   then   the reprieve of the poem

strange symmetry steers recitative   in the crow's nest
the symphony tears   into a reef   in the poem

the lamp becomes fierce   seemingly manic-depressive
the laugh becomes tears   sweetly you grieve in the poem

* * * * * *

man booted from Eden   loss is gaining its gesture
solicitude nears   bosomed by Eve   in the poem

the ground of the fall   springs from primordial heartbreak
where pathways appear   all interweave in the poem

night's chanter declares this ink   an ocean of love-notes!
till dawn's chanticleers   let's not take leave of the poem

you love a beloved   hence are the heavens moving
her tress   with star-gears   gets interleaved in the poem

* * * * * *

perfection's her hangout   an inhibiting address!
esteem of one's peers?   petulant peeve of the poem

where writers set snares   Rama himself couldn't see through
iridescent deer   darkly deceive in the poem

a good doctor swears by   what's engraved   in time's marrow
why settle for   merest aperitifs   in the poem?

to tell you the truth   I'm often stunned   with confusion
as dust anon clears   where went the thief?   in the poem

I tended my desk   playing their game   in the office
a stalemate nears?   I've gone on leave   in the poem

* * * * * *

impossible grace   punctured by fate   gets deflated
the clip of the shears   you might perceive in the poem

in dream you descry   nuggets gone gold!   but awaking
the threshing-ground sneers   grainless these sheaves of the poem

creation inspires   yet things require   dissolution
you witness Shakespeare   greet Mahadev   in the poem

to Delhi I've come   seeking a tumbler of ocean!
don't hawk souvenirs   bring me the wave of the poem

sharp entrepreneurs   hone what a hundred heads fancy
might one dull heart hear   what you achieve in the poem?

what architects build   myriads of bodies inhabit
soul's secret frontiers   hide in the eaves of the poem

we face dismal odds   dear Raphael   you ignore them
your countenance cheers   even conceiving the poem

Friday, October 19, 2007

ghazal ("my life")

I wouldn't go   so far as to say   I've wasted my life
if bitterly   yet sweetly today   I've tasted my life

in editing   the author of fate   shows surgical zeal
it's startling   how cutting away   he's pasted my life

on pilgrimage   the shoes must be shed   & then you bow low
at every step   it's proper to pray   while pacing through life

in youth I leaned   toward falling in love   at drop of a hat
grown old   how draw (she shoos me away)   her waiste in my life?

why needle me?   I'm mixing the brew   that bubbles with joy!
your poison glance   with little dismay   is laced in my life

if news-breaks blare   some newspapers say "the blood flowed like ink"
with dawn's quiet crack   can none your soiree   erase from my life

exploring roadways rarely described   on regular maps
aren't finest pearls   if widely I stray   encased in my life?

at fifty   can you mount new careers   in painting & film?
dismount time   is when Yama's display   is placed in my life

why's Raphael   a'brew with fat plans   embracing the globe?
a slender moon   with branches a'sway   I've faced in my life

ghazal ("how poetry operates")

I've lately been struggling to see   how poetry operates
observe   in a company of three   how poetry operates

when she you feel powerless to seek   embodies the soul's ideal
engage   intermediarily   how poetry operates

in language   the energy lies where?   why wax theoretical?
locked in   show by groping for the key   how poetry operates

the trill of the songbird deconstructs   its golden captivity
by dreaming   the prisoner might free   how poetry operates

how song is the shimmer of the dream   implies through the vertical
(through A   shines a glimmering of Z)   how poetry operates

is hazard   endemic to the road   of artistry's pilgrimage?
what scholar   can glibly guarantee   how poetry operates?

we stew in our superficial brew   till she deigns to fish us out
transforming like wine   or else like brie   how poetry operates

the play of the generous   is glimpsed in language's labyrinth
you smuggle   through coverings of me   how poetry operates

some poets grow terribly intrigued with   cosmic conspiracy
some lean   feel the gravity   & ski!   how poetry operates

the point of society involves   the beauty of courtesy
in archways of solitude we see   how poetry operates

when begging the operator for   your telephone numeral
she whispers   "ask zero one two three   how poetry operates!"

I'd love to hear Raphael expound   his muddled philosophy
mud shows   longing for the wide sea   how poetry operates

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ghazal ("where have you gone?")

When candidly I ask   where have you gone?
with silence as your mask   where have you gone?

beyond the effervescence of beginnings
where empty sits the flask   where have you gone?

you were so bounteous   with hope & promise
let me take you to task   where have you gone?

inadequate   proves every explanation
flowing from reason's cask   where have you gone?

a basket filled with figs   for Cleopatra!
she mentioned death by asp   where have you gone?

when jewelers spread their wares   beware the dazzle
where price exceeds your grasp   where have you gone?

the musk-deer went in search   of heady fragrance
our hearts desire your musk   where have you gone?

I lose you   in a hundred lines of discourse
forgive me if I'm brusque   where have you gone

I meant "where are you?"   not "what was the menu?"
forget tomato bisque   where have you gone?

the chick within its nest   is sitting pretty!
one rude push   comes with risk   where have you gone?

no rice within the bag?   in floral districts
the water trade is brisk   where have you gone?

we'd go to endless concerts in that city
of Debussy & Liszt   where have you gone?

such tales of light resounded   like a dream-world!
before our eyes could bask   where have you gone?

that heist was so banal!   I'd call it hackneyed
the de rigueur ski-mask?   where have you gone?

they say   you've moved to India   for your painting!
sounds rather Gauguinesque   where have you gone?

deep poets absorb Tasawwuf   morn & evening
till such a cup is quaffed   where have you gone?

Farhad!   don't yet describe your wondrous needle!
until the mountain's cleft   where have you gone?

Majnun was like the other lads   till Laila's
stray glance set him adrift   "where have you gone?"

I thought I caught your scent   but then you vanished
here winds forever waft   where have you gone?

for Raphael you posed   demented riddles
he's lost it   & gone daft   where have you gone?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ghazal ("improvised")

I'll show you my hand   my life of late   is improvised
as time reels me in   I cry   "the bait   was improvised?"

who knows how the map of fortune finds   its imprint here?
the way that you might meet your soul-mate   seems improvised

if crookedness comes most naturally   we learn to curl
geometries of the sharp & straight   aren't improvised

we've scope to make plans   when things appear   half-knowable
our program   where unknown worlds await   is improvised

though tardy in life   I'm studying sastri sangeet
the timeliness in my balding pate   is improvised

the currents of conversation   bring astonishment
the course that the boatmen navigate   is improvised

emotional language can spark   a creative ring
harangues of a man waxing irate   are improvised

when Valmiki sat in dhyana   and the bird was felled
the sloka of one compassionate   was improvised

you glimpse her perhaps across the room   & go to chat
the banter that might lead to a date   is improvised

a camera-dealer from Fez   managed to hoodwink me
the train of thought carrying this freight   was improvised

distinguishing real from false   refines the amateur
the mesh of mind   when we meditate   is improvised

cacophony in the marketplace   is marvelous
the stall fashioned from a mango crate   is improvised

the size of the shoe you seek here   is negotiable
the measure with which they calibrate   was improvised

the birth of the soul!   but you've said   soul is infinite
whatever birthday we celebrate   is improvised

tell me what it means   to spend my life with poetry?
this coin that I spend   if marked by fate   is improvised

for paying the bills   one needs   a certain livelihood
the prospects of my uncertain state   are improvised

new notions appear   from disparate points of origin
the breezes that can cross-pollinate   are improvised

each hour of the day requires   a differing melody
the music that we anticipate   is improvised

religion & science each describe   your unseen face
the features that they extrapolate   are improvised

no sooner we blinked   we gazed upon your   curving cheek
are dreams that the heavens allocate   just improvised?

our yearning for you is basic   like the earth itself
the song that the valleys resonate   is improvised

I wanted to find a sweetheart   who might kiss my brow
imaginings are most delicate   when improvised

the path to her heart   is not described by fixed ideas
can Salome's dance decapitate?   it's improvised

this darbar has yet to hear   the poetry I seek
what Brahma's reluctant to create   is improvised

perhaps Saraswati's vina hides   my final home
the hovels my thoughts now cogitate   are improvised

I've travelled the world a little bit   and washed up here
the waving hand   as it raps your gate   is improvised

verandahs of antique poetry   seem scalable!
occasions when they defenestrate   are improvised

I trained myself in qafia & radif   you know
now beher   the cadence with its gait   I improvise

I've never been schooled in Urdu like   Mirza Ghalib
his elegance I impersonate   is improvised

that Raphael has a heart   we learn through inference
its beat   drumming up a lavish plate   is improvised

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Each morning arrives   from a distance hard to fathom
with slumber it strives   from a distance hard to fathom

the lure that would hoodwink the fish   spans air & water
one flounders or thrives   from a distance hard to fathom

the internet opens a window   on life's causeway
they advertise wives   from a distance hard to fathom

the call center fielding your question   plays at banter
in manners contrived   from a distance hard to fathom

old films & recordings reel out   the voice of dead men
still talking their jive   from a distance hard to fathom

when Mahapralaya has halted   every story
the world will revive   from a distance hard to fathom

stray childhood feelings return   in wizened musings
dim glimmers survive   from a distance hard to fathom

industrious bees   having swarmed   retain their culture
reconvening hives   from a distance hard to fathom

the conceits of reincarnation   are too surreal!
fabricating lives   from a distance hard to fathom

the circus is chok-a-blok   with amusing side-shows
some pummelling knives   from a distance hard to fathom

while the band plays on   see the deaths & births & dramas!
partiers high-five   from a distance hard to fathom

considering this   Raphael   why are you pensive?
everyone swan-dives   from a distance hard to fathom

Monday, October 15, 2007


Experiments may be conducted   in isolation
diseases are never contracted   in isolation

the life of the world is collective   like puzzle pieces
each scene of the play though enacted   in isolation

each day of the life is a question   awaiting answer
experience must be dissected   in isolation

sitar doesn't emulate Western   orchestral music
the voice gets completely perfected   in isolation

a million droplets are seeking   to reach the ocean
each dot on the pane is rejected   in isolation

solutions are finally reported   in public briefings
the clues of the crime were detected   in isolation

the thread running throughout the ghazal   is strong confusion!
bewilderment's pearls are inspected   in isolation

we seek you in every desire   and every question
your myriad forms get depicted   in isolation

embodiment's prison   while public   feels deeply private
each solitude cell seems a study   in isolation

where Raphael's thirsting for knowledge   the clouds drift distant
his garden has not been neglected   in isolation

the impulse to love is implicit   in every valley
we live below mountains impacted   in isolation

should Raphael die from his pining   a lonesome stranger
please title his volume "collected   in isolation"

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I'm just a croaking frog   and nothing more
a wisp of urban smog   and nothing more

the flow of language moves through veins & breathings
I'm here to clear the clog   and nothing more

do warblers ever tire of crazy singing?
I'm barking like a dog   and nothing more

each moment brings another wave of music
my life's an open blog   and nothing more

what was the point of name & fame & glamor?
suave falling from a log   and nothing more

some feel the universe   a dream of Kafka's
some say   he lived in Prague and nothing more

should I awake from Maya's dark deception
I'll mutter "guten tag"   and nothing more

religion gets diluted through convention
is Christmastide eggnog   and nothing more?

the wheel of time's too vast for comprehension
I'm living as a cog   and nothing more

don't bid farewell   if Raphael should exit
he's going for a jog   and nothing more

Saturday, October 13, 2007


The one one seeks   isn't precisely anywhere
till silence speaks   how may its voice be anywhere?

the days & weeks   flee!   in a trice are seasons gone
time vanishes   when you would kiss me   anywhere

I leave your house   hoping to find   the road to you!
without your hint   none will apprise me   anywhere

the benefits flowing from you   are mysteries
mere catalogues   rarely entice me anywhere

pursuing you   how could one look for wide acclaim?
your narrow eyes   strictly suffice me   anywhere

now here now gone!   poets endure your fickle whims
figure of grace!   prithee reprise me   anywhere

one struggles on   stories are gained from journeying
while bread-crumb trails   threaten to lose me anywhere

around your board   myriads of eyes are looking on
the dice you toss   always surprise me   anywhere

complaints emerge   whispering in autumnal wind
soft petals might   spring to amuse me anywhere

thin paper boats   entering the stream of asking "when?"
some villager   already knows me   anywhere

the thought of you   serves for the soul as food & drink
your fragrant words   waft in to sauce me   anywhere

a hundred songs   strive to describe your simple ways
unknowables   solely arouse me   anywhere

a settled life   seems like a modest aim to seek --
horizon smiles   quietly craze me   anywhere

won't Raphael   finally begin to feel your breeze?
the rustling leaves   really amaze me   anywhere

Sunday, October 7, 2007

ghazal (fragment)

(draft / fragment)

Tomorrow I leave my home   but where is my home?
one morning it's hope   one eve   despair is my home

we travel because   our hearts   are scattered in bits
both railroad track and   the city's glare   is my home

the people in houses have settled   their lives are firm
I flew from the nest and now   a snare is my home!

I've lived in apartments & basements   houses & huts
seen not   the manse of a millionaire   as my home

rubai (questions)

When the voice has something to say   does the ear discern it?
when the heart's felt prompted to pray   does the void return it?
the world is a network of subtly tuned   communication
when the ocean elaborates spray   can the shore-life learn it?

Saturday, October 6, 2007



After the stories have all been told   what is there then?
after the objects have all been sold   what is there then?

after the avenues have been strolled   what is there then?
after the embers have all turned cold   what is there then?

the time of youth is a season of search   and imagining!
after the children have all grown old   what is there then?

you're slated (let's say) to visit a friend   at end of a voyage
after the compass has lost its hold   what is there then?

to live in the world isn't so clear-cut   it requires courage
after the inmate has been paroled   what is there then?

sensing great doings that baffle the tongue   silence thickens
after sunyata has been extolled   what is there then?

he desired the gift of making each object   highly precious
after mere touch renders all things gold   what is there then?

the bread is a product of yeast   & time   & internal change
after it surface exhibits mold   what is there then?

some friendships deepen   some friendships prove unreasonably fragile
after the quarrel   after the scold   what is there then?

when he sold me a camera   O what amazing skills of deception!
after the internet page has been scrolled   what is there then?

ten pins stand proud   at the end of a palpably lengthy lane
after the bullseye ball has been rolled   what is there then?

each day is a stage of my search   don't hide too wonderfully!
after the beloved's trail runs cold   what is there then?

the Messiah is placed in a cave   and three days pass
after the stone is removed   behold!   what is there then?

abiding a while with Raphael   I studied his poems
after the tidal wave has unrolled   what is there then?

sunyata (Skt.): literally, "emptiness" -- perhaps the most fundamental concept or principle in Mahayana Buddhism

Thursday, October 4, 2007

ghazal ("in the market of now")

Another blank sheet of paper wants   a fresh idea
another night with its crickets daunts   a fresh idea

the gatherer with his basket hunts   a fresh idea
the epicure in its absence grunts   "a fresh idea!"

foundations seek to support with grants   a fresh idea
the fearsome slugger's surprise? he bunts   a fresh idea

the actor's wrinkling brows evince   a fresh idea
some look to China   some seek from France   a fresh idea

the youngster yearns to experience   the unknown world
alert for   whether from peers or aunts   a fresh idea

the correspondent who likes to tell tall tales   finds
confirmed   in the "LOL" response   a fresh idea

from such a corner   who dreamed there should arise anon
from underneath the hat of the dunce   a fresh idea?

it's said that Einstein was bad at math   yet shook the world
his publication I'm told propounds   a fresh idea

could ancient wisdom be found today   through rote or rite?
antiquity had for provenance   a fresh idea

the weltanschauuang of the circus   is banal perhaps
yet clever clowns show amid their stunts   a fresh idea

the pleasantries of the social world   sketch human cheer
the maladroit conversation blunts   a fresh idea

the courtroom's hushed when the gavel pounds   the sentence from
the poet-jurist   will it pronounce   a fresh idea?

tradition's frenzy self-replicates   while fashion's ruse
seeks from familiar elements   a fresh idea

the flower trade is so delicate!   its bloom fades fast
the stone shop's wares needn't run avant   a fresh idea

the monk who journeyed in search of scriptures   sought your trace
"truth can't be written!" the tale recounts   a fresh idea

too high regard for mere novelty   while ludicrous
yet in the market of now   what counts?   a fresh idea

in wilderness   didn't Kalidas find sustenance?
with freshets drawing through sylvan mounts   a fresh idea

the one for whom every line I scrawl   remains unseen
time's scroll with its star-procession taunts   a fresh idea

eternal seas far beyond my ken   surge beckoning
each beckon gleams like a wave that prints   a fresh idea

the sands of mind show to Raphael   a thousand forms
each pounding wave divvies out an ounce   a fresh idea!


"honeyed textures of reflection"

Is poetry no more than   talking to oneself?
what's on the yonder shore of   talking to oneself?

does art purvey the lore of   talking to oneself?
might psyches suffer gore in   talking to oneself?

the mobile phone lets each pedestrian   unleash
loghorrea galore! like   talking to oneself

does dance portray self or another?   can painting
crack wide the dim door of   talking to oneself?

diplomatically   somebody's sent to negotiate
a quiet civil war of   talking to oneself

where one may adore honeyed textures of reflection
some antsily abhor this   talking to oneself

since language self-propagates   you'd better beware!
is literature the spore of   talking to oneself?

old Proust made a name   in recalling his callowest
emotions   brill or bore for   talking to oneself?

rich idyll of the world!   fond tale of the home!
what storied stories pour from   talking to oneself!

what is the self? a figure on the wall of the mind
whose mind?   go search the core of   talking to oneself!

what's interesting?   ah! the objective subjective
dive deep   or be a boor just   talking to oneself

when the chessman says "check!" does his self reply "checkmate!"?
the golfer shouts "fore!" when   talking to himself

some ponder the silence   and search for its music
some mention the roar of   talking to oneself

isn't it high time we begged Raphael   to initiate
colloquey?   no more this   talking to oneself!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007



That you might yet exist   seems strange to think of!
I'm long since lost in wist   no change to think of
ten thousand delicate songs   I've thrown away!
where seas are made from mist   there's range to think of
you were the one   whose hide-&-seek intrigued us!
there's still your stock-in-trade exchange   to think of
don't dawn & dusk   illuminate your enigma?
who mention seas   have quite a plunge to think of!
what if world & faith are premised   on unknowables?
life sans the hope of you   I cringe to think of
the Buddha's sarvo dukham   sounded so general
among life's maladies   there's mange to think of
who've pondered everything   except the beloved
might yet her fragrant tress   arrange to think of
for Raphael   let's wait on sending condolences --
not death yet (just a bit deranged)   to think of


sarvo dukham [Skt.]: "everything is suffering"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


"slo-mo avalanche"

Time's like a slo-mo avalanche   set to crush us!
in such a lethal circumstance   do not rush us!
there's nobody on the stage   the theatre's dark now
should we enjoy a final dance   will it touch us?
the proscenium of the culture shifts to cable
if none require our elegance   do not push us
whatever we came to do remains undone   yet
we feel the hand of providence   firmly clutch us!
when falling through the air   belt out your aria!
with cosmic humor's provenance   apt to cush us
where bloom a hundred flowers   amid the gallery
you what comely inheritance   count as precious?
some vivid traditions parry   pre-fab POVs
fresh-blood outre exuberance   is propitious
we resemble   not a clean slate   a developing negative
whatever's held in imminence   will impress us
ability might not bloom   in every sessionette
we'll overcome incompetence   if you smooch us
the universe itself   presents performance art
what's tragic is when indolence   doesn't blush us
we can't hold on to anything   in this vestibule
the ocean's blue impermanence   comes to wash us
to Raphael I proffer   a candid missive
our portrait of her luminance   was too much us

"Watching the full moon rise" [ny times reflective prose]

Just discovered a rather amazing thing on the New York Times website. At least with one article (and evidently with others -- perhaps all others), there's this notice:
To find reference information about the words used in this article, double-click on any word, phrase or name. A new window will open with a dictionary definition or encyclopedia entry.
Even better though, is the simple fact it's a fine, thoughtful, reflective article.
See: Watching the Full Moon Rise Over the Northeast Corridor
(October 1, 2007) by Verlyn Klinkenborg