Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Matcha soy frap   [rubai]

In this matcha soy frap   Far Eastern sanskaras delight
granting life is a trap   it's pleasant to ponder at night
my first paycheck today   (five years since I left the last job)
has allowed me to map   far regions now hidden from sight

Matcha (Wikipedia)
Soy (Wikipedia)
Frap (Wikipedia)
Sanskaras (Wikipedia)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Illusion meet Truth [gnomic verse]

Truth lands at your door without seeking it
while Illusion finds me without labor!
where grain grows the bird is found beaking it
Great Illusion meet Truth! your old neighbor

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Purple Sunbirds" [ditty]

If it's not difficult to spot   Purple Sunbirds   in Delhi
can it be all that hard to glimpse   Fushia Moonfish   in Goa?
if it ain't impossible   to hide the Sky   in your belly
why's it so far a stretch   to find Nothingness   in Samoa?

Purple Sunbird (Wikipedia)
Moonfish (Wikipedia)
Would I invent these things? :-)

"Ways & means"   [shi]

When the sun hides over the hill   the palms loom dark
the radio shares   a modernist music strange
you sit again in your car   beside Sunset Park
considering all of the   ways & means of change

At least it's possible now   to again proceed
at length may the puzzle's pieces   fall into place?
am I not a man? if you prick me   don't I bleed?
will I never glimpse   the sight of your candid face?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"To be an artist" [a quasi-contrarian ditty]

To be an artist one must first retire
from water (if one seeks the art of fire)
from earth (if one desires the art of air)
from self itself (if art equates with pyre)

to be an artist   mint a saying terse
the phrase to be   might twinkle in your verse

Playfully responsive to this Mocha Arthouse dictum:
There's no retirement for an artist, it's your way of living so there's no end to it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dog Walk   [gnomic verse]

A palimpsest of pee
that dogs alone perceive
arouses canine glee
no human can conceive

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mario's Mot [gnomic verse]

Campaign in poetry   govern in prose   quoth Cuomo
remain in poetry   wiggle your toes   say I
the aim of poetry   baffles the major domo
the house of poetry's   built upon   dream & sigh


Friday, August 12, 2011

A version from the Urdu

Astute connoisseurs of letters claim
this alone in my favor
it's useless to seek within meaning's frame
whence flows my poem's flavor

Based on this:

Connoisseurs of literature / say only this in my favour:
The beauty of his verse / is not in its meaning.

--Shahryar, trans. Baider Bakht & Marie-Anne Erki
[according to Vivek Narayanan's Facebook Status Update]

Modern Living [ditty]

Claking at the keyboard
texting on the phone
snacking at the seaboard
yes you're not alone

For Kendra

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Melding" [rubai]

An amalgam   of memory and grief
an interfusion   of doubt with belief
an emulsion melding zest   with ennui
an illusion long-protracted   but brief


The poem's first line is borrowed from Sharanya Manivannan.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Mythologies" [boomerang poem]

Cars pass without surcease
pedestrians are seen
mythologies of peace
hide nestled in the green
sun glints amid the trees
the pool hosts carp & geese
I've pocketed the keys
cars pass without surcease

Sunset Park (Beverly Hills)
August 9, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Remind me"   [gnomic verse]

Who among us can teach a dog to bark?
who in our midst can make water be wet?
remind me who compels night to seem dark?
                                                        I forget!


Responsive to a tweet (comprising 1st line, above). Hat-tips: @KGrey_Com
Verse's terse final line was occasioned by Twitter's 140-character limit.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

14th Way of Looking at Happy Birthday [song]

happy birthday   Barack Obama
why are you dubbed   Mr. No Drama?
may great peace today   fill & surround you
not unlike your pal   the Dalai Lama

The title alludes to this: 13 Ways of Looking at Happy Birthday

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"When things don't fall apart" [boomerang poem]

When things don't fall apart
perchance they fall together
what darkness in the heart
prefigures stormy weather?
life ventures with a tether
the horse plods with a cart
all things emerge together
when things don't fall apart

for David Hykes

Sunset Park Redux   [gatha]

Back with cigar   in the car in the park again
back with a gig   in the firm in the town of charm
back in the game   of the heart & the hands & brain
back in the effort   of doing more good than harm

the game of the heart & the hands:
  alluding to a Sufi saying, "Heart with God, hands for work."

"Quietude"   [gatha]

In Sunset Park toward sundown water splashing
the fountain is a feature of the pool
cars roundabout make noises with their dashing
yet here the quasi-quietude grows cool

July 11, 2011