Islamophilia

Man Arab Male Muslim Seashore Clothing Walk

The thawb and kefiyyah
Of a man, with olive skin
Tanned, golden, prosperous
In waist, in wealth and in wives.
He worships a god, just like I do
He prostrates, while I kneel down,
He and I, we both pray,
He looks after his wives and daughters,
Like his own prized treasures
The way I look after my wife,
And the beauty here is,
This man reminds us all that,
We are all wadis without religion
And oases with god.

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One Plus One

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One plus one, is two.
The formula of marriage,
Symmetrical like man and man,
And woman and woman,
And when you make it unsexual,
It becomes creature with creature,
Or organism and organism,
And from time to time
I look at my friends, who treasure
Equality just like we Christians do,
In shoveling their way
Through this gas fortress,
The atmosphere, like olfactory-gifted
Armadillos, smelling for
The fragrance of love, when
Breath becomes breathless.
And all one creature needs to do
Is tear all the clothes off,
Express-inhale those lumps of gas,
Let out dewy sweat and
Accelerate an unsteady heart,
When through animalistic sounds
You can breathe in an ambery musk
That like a body of ambergris,
Smells like something from the deep,
Slowly rotting away,
Until you’re no longer “one and one”,
Only a sum of two. Some foul-smelling company
In spit-trading distance,
As aloof as two fruit tarts, out of the oven,
Caramelized on the inside,
And crust browned in afterglow.

The Poet

Poets

You ponder what is life?
The American poets have it easy,
Being the ones who get to shove
Their poems down so many journals.
While in this part of the world
There is very little we can do
But postbox a poem down the shaft
Of an editor, at a reputed journal far away,
Who will blindly look at the poem
Hopefully without any mention, that it is from
Sri Lanka. I’m public enemy number one,
A proud virgin, even a prouder married man,
Who worships god – a type scarcely
Found in poetic circles – that makes
Me easy to be erased from pages of history
Only a blog holding her fort
To who I am and what I write about.
I’m no perfectionist, but I strive for perfection
No qualms there, it’s not to feel like God.
If you want to feel like God,
You can use technology and infiltrate
Some poor man’s mind 24 hours a day.
I’m a just a lowly poet, traded in
By friends and foes alike, a Christian
In these times of islamophilia.
Yes, you get special mention
If you’re a poet from Iran, who like
Rumi, is worshiped for the words.
Perhaps I will always be invisible
On paper, perhaps I will die with
A cancer the size of a tennis ball in my spleen,
Perhaps I will have a poem in the New Yorker
When all prejudices are lost,
To the thinning of ice, air, ether,
Anything between me and the anti-me
The invisible duels between Christian and atheist
Or any strange vendetta below
The cover of a poem. We are all
Here to live and die, and hope like mad,
We rise from our frailties
To garnish our reputation the way
We see it. Hope is all I’ve got.
That stardust on the end of my nib
Which makes a nebula on paper.
Whether it will become a star, is up to
The armchair warmers,
Who from this small island of ours far away,
Look like gods on thrones.

Life and Death

Moon 2

There is a small water fern
Called Azolla, which I do scientific
Experiments with. This water fern
As a symbiotic partner, which has co-habited
The plant, through 140 million years.
A symbiosis like no other.
The symbiont, a life form called Cyanobacteria
Lives inside a cavity in the Azolla leaf.
So what makes this co-existence special?
It’s the complete dependency of the endosymbiont in Azolla
Similar to what marriage does to you.
I now cannot live in independence
Of my wife, deprived of the small things,
Like, heating the food in the microwave,
Making me shake from time to time, like a vibrating
Mobile phone, joking on small
Things that we take for granted
Like our toes and the way they angle.
We are like the Azolla plant,
An eternity beckoning, yet knowing
The almighty truth that we are
Limited by a lifespan, that indefinite
Period of finding our way through
A maze, that riddle always on the tip of one’s nose,
But can never be coughed out as words,
Tipped out from tongues.

Archimedes, Newton and Me

Isaac's Apple
English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) contemplates the force of gravity, as the famous story goes, on seeing an apple fall in his orchard, circa 1665. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I learnt by accident,
That a bath tub hides many evils
In water. The first is, the Archimedes
Principle, that displaces water
As you settle on the floor of the
bathtub. The next is how small
An average bathtub is, for a 6’4” man.
Still what I learnt mostly that day was, epiphanies
Are bigger than an education. I learnt that Archimedes
Was epiphany-charged that day
In Syracuse, like I was this day
Learning that, displacement is a common event in
Hydro-mechanics, and more so,
I learnt that we learn something new
Everyday, like in my honeymoon,
When I learnt that missionary was not divine praying.
It was just a sport powered by
One of Newton’s laws, which too was an epiphany
Charged by a falling red apple.
Archimedes, Newton and Me – two greats and one mortal,
Making the bulbs inside the brain lit,
With what comes always unannounced
Through the veil of mystery
That learning moment, which collapses
Walls of ignorance and opens
A chest filled with cosmic light.

The Perfect Love Poem

Dedicated to all men and women, who strive to become as perfect as they can be
In a callous, uncaring world, short of real courage. 
cropped-poetry-2.jpg
 
A poet starts with three pennies
In his mental pockets, which become a title
That could capture the essence
Of the modern day anti-hero – the lover.
A metaphor, as sharp as a thread cutting through soap
Or a sniper on a vantage point 100 meters away,
Makes a statement – the opening. Then you follow
With some lines on love; the inescapable plot,
The climax when stars cross and the ending, in an angina.
Every love poem seems to be a tragedy these days.
– Aren’t we poets all Shakespeare wannabes?
 
Still, Neruda leaks through
As a motif that obsesses on the female form.
Strangely, you need to look through the eye of a needle
To find a metaphor for breasts.
Fruits are in every poet’s manual. Pillows are plain crude.
What if I tell you, her breasts were so sensual, every god known to man,
Transformed to an infant, to be pacified by her breasts.
What if I tell you she could make you blush
In hundreds of ways, and sometimes all at once,
Without any of your senses knowing.
Still, would that make her the perfect Juliet?
 
And still how could they not be together.
Goddess with an unholy honesty,
Daring like Lady Godiva and still the prince could only
Make eye-contact with her, until the villain
Choked her to death. And sometimes
We poets are beasts fracturing love
With the head of a sledgehammer.
Modern love it seems can only spell doom.
 
But what if I tell you, a love story is
All about the ever-after, the fairytale.
The jellybean moments, colorful and sweet.
The perfect love poem, in honesty,
Is never too far from any poet.
 
And that poem can only be,
As purple as a field of lavenders,
Primal than kama sutra,
Honest as glass,
Shorter than a sonnet,
Simple yet compound as a kiss,
Softer than Cashmere fleece,
Brighter than Aurora in blush,
Swifter than an epiphany,
 
And as recurrent
As the crack of dawn.

Yellow Thanksgiving

Sunflowers

The myena bird has streaks of yellow
Like yellow paint has been
Sprinkled on her brown plumage.
Yellow are the bamboos that rise
Towards the sky, holding nothing aloft
Just bowing towards the passing river
In sheer humility. Yellow too, is
The jaundiced moon, shimmering from afar
The bile of light radiating through
Craters, making nighttime a foray into sublime beauty.
Yellow too are the sunflowers that absorb
Nuclear radiation but stand their ground,
A symbol of resistance and will.
Yellow is the pumpkin that is served
As pumpkin pie at the thanksgiving table
That moment in late November
Which translates through the thin
Veil of your skin, when you’re
A disciple of fate, lighting a candelabra,
Knowing, tokens sometimes, are
More priceless, than treasures chests.