Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus)

Helianthus

Tanned yellow tiles,
The open face of a sun flower,
Pollen-clutched bees and butterflies,
Composite, compound soul,
That keeps vigil on the forefront
In an anthesis of a celestial sun,
That can swallow yellowcake,
Through her sieves and tongues,
And stands untouched through time,
Like an Elizabethan virgin,
Who smiles for the simple reason
She is not just an artichoke
Plucked at budding, before she emerges
As a flowerhead, just a Jerusalem artichoke,
Giving the tongue, a meager divinity of taste,
And the tummy, the torment of the wind,
And yet, perpetuates as persistently,
As Christian tradition.

The Walk Through No Man’s Land

Refugees

The faces eager for survival.
The long walk through the cracked earth,
And little tunnels of Ataturk’s land.
The dawns of regathering your mettle,
The eves of laying down your arms,
The days that bridge dawn and dusk,
Courage and desperation.

And you just have to look at a little child
To see, how amber like, their eyes are,
Preserving the fossils of a long walk
While the soft-proteins, on their soles
And palms, turn to hedgehog skin,
And you can only guess the horror
That two innocent eyes can witness.

And here, you find entrapped
Inside a palpitation chamber, the locked
Ammunition of hate, that like
A tall pine tree, opening up and detonating
Thousands of tiny yellow pollen, shoots with no aim.
You hope to god, that invisibility boiling below
The poker face, will never hold an AK47
Or a grenade, or wear a detonating vest.

Hate, the kind that manifests in rage,
Is a sleeping giant, who when awakened,
Is no match for the innocent Lilliputians,
Little children who are caught
In the crossfire, of that never-ending war,
Divided by the count or absence, of a small piece of open skin,
That shoots little bullets, bridging life with life,
And yet lives mightier than a ballot slip
Through an open heart, the vote that counts,
In the most primal democracy of them all – love,
Which cares little, about a snippet
Of redundant skin.

Growing Up

Kite

You’re born, with a barometer
On every tip, sahara to the taiga
And yet, you hope to god
You never have to grow up
And learn the art of survival.

With survival comes
Thickening armadillo skin
A steady heart that is a contra-ataxic constant
A soul that ransacks and evicts
Every possible life, or her vestige.

And you’re dressed in a poker face,
That could hold centuries of survival stories
Together, in the frigid temperatures of shelved ice
Layered to become “cool”; perhaps “cold”,
Hoping to god you still bear
A bevy of lifeforms

Reindeer and mosses, foxes and lichens,
Koala bears and walruses

Inside your Arctic Tundra.

Blonde

Blonde

Dim wit, or nitwit
Is a borderline insult and doormat,
Is just plain bulldozing and still, look at anything
Blonde, you get a feeling of
Being a perennial understatement.

“How many blondes to write a poem?”
One to put the thinking Viking hat on,
One to look at the northern lights,
And the midnight sun, looking for inspiration,
One to pitch Swedish words,
Sounding like English, and one to
To draw metaphors from arctic foxes,
Reindeer and lichens in the Tundra,
One to be a muse, like the little mermaid
In Copenhagen,

And finally, one dynamite blonde,
To define beauty, as the colorless, pallid
Tone that accompanies blue eyes,
Which becomes a poem on her own right,
A bombshell hiding a cluster bomb,
That like an open tinderbox,
Needs very little to kindle.

In the Garden Near the Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Looking out
I cannot gather enough evidence
Why everything in nature
Seems to be a perfect setting.
Like the rose petals that crowd
And yet are concentric, the myena bird
So brown-black in plumage,
And yet crazily streaked in yellow.
The tree filled with lemons
Like yellow-green breasts hanging down
For tiny babies to suckle,
And I, looking at the perfection
Of every form and function
Brokering a gaze, a shot
Of the ambient, that almost like
A spider’s web around a beetle,
Closes in on me. I’m the ogre in the garden.
The anomaly that sits on a chair
Sipping a cup of orange pekoe tea
While nature holds me hostage
To a definition of beauty. I’m just
A chemical reaction at best, wavelength to impulse.
And beauty, it can never crowd
The field of sight, it alludes
Proximities, of what it takes
To make thousands of perfectly-placed
Sculptures, devolve me to
A state of chemical ataxia.

Homeless

Homeless

We are an invisible race
To the governments, the passers-by
Sometimes even to the charities.
We are not beggars but still we pass our time on steps
The kind that has two or three,
And gives us a concrete plank
To keep ourselves horizontal and asleep.
We see invitations everywhere
On the arch where the highway stretches,
Or the cathedral that is ever open,
And yet we are never really there..
Many of us, once were on cushions, stretched on coir
Seated on stools, climbing tree houses
And yet today is a just faint glimpse of yesteryear.
When we are just estranged from a front door, a doorbell,
A doormat, just about anything
That has door written on it, to enter
And hold at hello, a place near your heart
Called one’s home.

We are the most common reason
That trolleys are stolen from super markets
We are the hobos and the ragamuffins
We are the dirty folk, and still
We have our own little virtues;
The moon is our 100W bulb on the porch
The stars are the fairy lights in the veranda,
There are no walls to asphyxiate us, nor are we
Packed in claustrophobia, we are
Just a family of deplorables, who will always be free of
The municipal councils, electricity bills
Water rates, and we are never
In danger of overstaying one’s welcome.

We are not to be branded as squatters
Or freeloaders, just the temporarily displaced,
Those who fall through cracks in the system
With no welfare checks or day wages,
Always looking out of an invisible window
Whose curtain closes at night,
And open to the spectacular epiphany,
Of Aurora’s colors bathing dawn.
Yet you’re in the same place as yesterday
A little stiff in neck and back,
A feeling that something good could happen
To you and you’re only at mercy
Of the lottery seller and the meteorologist
And you have scratched more than 100
Lottery tickets this year. The only
Math you know are the dollar you spend on a lottery ticket.
And the price of a Mcdonalds burger,
Which is true to the words “Happy Meal”
We only have small pockets and smaller tills,
I guess we are good to be McHappy,
Living on that preservative called hope.