Small in our flesh

He interrupted us ,smiling,
In our endless daydreams,

An earth would come alive
Where stone feet touched .

Thick conical stone leaves
Intertwined with his torso

Hid a splendid nakedness
From that sleeping world.

We felt small, in our flesh,
When an earth came alive.

( The statue of Gomateswara , a Jain saint stands tall at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka- the world’s biggest monolithic statue constructed in the 10th century )

The ghosts of Golconda

Yesterday’s Golconda was the rhizome
That would make it a new green verse,
From a poem lost in transient memory.

The shepherd’s mountain hosted ghosts
Over matchstick sounds across bushes.
Today it is back again dreaming out of.

We better exorcise female ghosts from it.
They are a flesh turned stone with men.
Their sleeping tombs are cold with past.

Bodies were covered in a male darkness
And their stomachs homes to male egos.
Now they are in the same stone as men.

Bricks to our understanding

Let us make bricks to our understanding
From the foot slush of a twelve year old
In Peru or Orissa, not one with the i-pad.

Bricks are so much like the sleek i-pads
Gleaming in yellow bus, in school bags
On backs weighed down by knowledge.

The brick slush feels soft on child’s feet
Ankle -deep in the earth mother’s love.
Let us make bricks to an understanding.

(about the child laborers employed in brick kilns of India and Peru)

Train journey

From train window one saw audio tape
With songs ripped from broken player
Unheard by any one’s new ears for CD’s.

The train would go on like running tape
That lay curled in a passing paddy field
With bird up and down on phone wires.

Some time, a mild journey had to stop.
Songs would stop to play , birds freeze.
Drizzles would pour like bodies of flies.

Flowers for worship

Flowers are not art but science of beauty
Where they sit softly on a walled picture.

Here they are not taken apart but add up
To a canvas of beauty in all its fragrance

And camphor flame is raising its dancing
Hands on the glass covering gods frames.

And taken apart they are flung at pictures.
Their beauty adds up to the wall’s picture.

The gods stand in peace, in bow and arrow
Their necks heavy with old painted flowers

That will never wilt nor smell less in beauty.
Flung flowers will make up our mountains

Rising in glass casket, like far off snow hill
Where a three-eyed Shiva softly meditates.

Concentration

The temple is beauty cast in flowers and dust
A concentrated thought by a chisel in a spike

And a still beauty being explored by creatures
Existing for their death’s immortality benefits

Where they lie in niches they project horror,
Darkness of soul in bodies thought and lost.

A man- lion -God lies concentrated in stone
A horror of stomach pierced by denied God

In stone pillar of chi|d’s love remonstrating
A father’s egotistical demon ripe for a death

A picture of God’s anger, a child’s God love
A stony concentration, exquisite stone child.

A music of times is concentrated in temple
As ether of a sky lost to a myth and history,

The wind still blows in music of transience.
Death is not here nor there but in doorway.

(a visit to the Ahobilam temple of Lord Narasimha, the man-lion God who slew Hiranyakasipu the demon who refused to accept Vishnu as God)

The tortoise and the sun

As the sun climbed the temple banyan
The tortoise carried the world on back

As in apocalypse times, a flood coming
And a kind earth quaking with disaster.

We offer our eyes closed and in prayer
Our palms joined in a tortoise gesture.

We then go forward to the sun in silver.
We offer prayers to the sun in whiskers

Lighting our eyes with camphor flames.
Our silver eyes are for his safe keeping.

( Visit to the temples of the tortoise God (Kurmavatara) in Srikurmam and the sun god at Arasavilli)