An Inspirational E-mail from the Deep South


There are stories of inspiration
That surpass the trendy must-dos
Relayed through a click of a button
On the information superhighway.

And at the other end, lies a black teenager
Looking through the prism of time,
At the beautiful south that grew a dark courage
And painted the white squares, with color.

And through the turmoil of segregation
Cries of freedom ballooned out of laryngeal trumpets
To open gates that remained closed at best,
That you could walk through now.

And held by a long history cuffed around
The ankles, the march of buffalo soldiers edges forward
As the benign freedom of the white man,
Metastasizes through pixelated melanin.

For the transfiguration of a dream


donald trump

Only god gets to say
Looking in the eye with a little arrogance,
“you’re fired”, while flipping his quarter pounder hair
Like a Big Mac, striking fear through every muscle
On the chin and cheek.

And still there’s something about God
That you just cannot ignore.
Like the mogul heart and boyish twitter account,
A virile potency that shames most men his age,.
The flaming beauty sharing his bed,
An eastern-European accent that makes among
Other things, empires rise and conquer,
And a babyish chubbiness that makes
Plus-size, a little extra chin and muffin top,
And still, an endearment.

And he will always be the great white hope
Of a land that has seen decibels of brays and trumpets
Dividing a patchwork land
Both crying freedom and foul. While the seed
Of Kunta Kinte rises like the tide of the river Gambia
Demanding equality – Martin’s dream
That echoes at best, like the lonely dribble of a basketball
At the hands of a young black man
In a Washington DC court.

And God-haters will line up in the streets
In the name of science and arts
Or for the 14 year old felled by the albino trigger.
They will sing, dance, write and explore
How to make America a bunch of God hating atheists.
Forgetting for a moment that landslides
Of the heart and ballot, were once a story
In the American heartland.

And God will promise little things
How to balance opinions and cheque-books
While the polls see-saw. Storming on
Like a Walmart cart on a Friday night
Opening up like a packet of Lays chips
And watering the flower bed of the American economy
Long before taking time to smell the blooms.

And God is everywhere.
He is on CNN and Fox, on the church nave,
On twitter, in every sensitive issue
That needs some political incorrectness,
– Some long-needed honesty –
On the lips of every refugee and drug mule
And on the long road to recovery
Of mistakes made long ago.

And they say Moby dick was a fat white whale.
So is God. Pequods will rush, Ahabs will roam
And still there’s an ocean that needs
A larger than life. One day they will say
God went through this dust bowl
And made it into a promise land.
And protecting the ten commandments
Of the great American constitution
Will be his greatest redemption.

And there’s something sharp about a God
Who drives the message in like a golf cart.
And knows when to play the trump card.
And heaven is just a little oval office
And command central, from where
He will send angels and thunderbolts
To the great turquoise playing field.
And do wonders with the hearts
That need moving.

And bridge he will, everything symbolic
About America, The tint and the shade
The ghettos and the mansions
The sleeping and the sleepless
While stalemates slowly turn to landslides.

And there’s nothing ironic about
That beautiful autumn day in November
When fate wished America



Landscape America Skyscrapers Metropolis Manhattan

They look North
And they see a welfare system
Of a generous maple leaf nation.
The sugar maple destinies of Syrian refugees
Slinking through Ataturk’s ambit
Through little geometries in Cappadocia.

They look South
They see mules stashed with babies
And fetuses, crossing the Chihuahua dessert
Plodding on cracked earth
Crawling through a little hole in a wired fence.
For a rendez-vous with Lady Liberty

They look West
They see the great ocean,
Nicknamed “peacekeeper”, an oxymoron of sorts,
Where great battles were once fought
On atolls and harbors
A dominion that acquiesces to forgive
And retains no memory

They look East
They see beds of beefy Atlantic Salmon
Outnumbering the sea plankton,
Now embellished with their Genetically Modified
Sisters and brothers, filling trawlers
With the catch of the ocean

And they look within
And they see two hands playing a piano
A piece, an opus, a score of little harmony
Where the privileged and the marginalized
Are at war, in a battle of color and disenchantment
Where a mosaic of 50 states are glued together
By the great promise of freedom

And years back,
Yankee Doodle sang of Uncle Sam
And the great patriots, of a nation like no other.
And America is still great, perhaps even the greatest;
For there is nothing greater
Than the sheer dissonance of democracy
Slaying the silent tyrant, Peace.

The System


They say the white boy cannot milk
The system. His only welfare
Is a map of hierarchy, where
He stands on top among the white fellows.
Privilege in the 21st century
Has become Lucifer’s virtue.

All the while the Indian kid
Born to the Computer Engineer from Calcutta
Enters Harvard on merit.
Genes are erecting geniuses
On the east coast.

And the young man from Harlem
Tunnels through a minority scheme
And enters the walls of Stanford.
The under-represented becoming
The ghetto over-achievers.

And the system is littered with
Statements of purpose, of dreams
That were built on shoulders, and not on text books,
Breaking open the system.
A system that no longer forgets
The hoopster from Bronx.

And the system is just pigeon holing
Destinies. The ladders, the quick fixes
Of an education. Still there are no easy ways
Out of your birth rite – Just ask the young black man
At John Hopkins how colorblind
A cocked gun can be? He will only smirk
In scorn.

System can never break the stranglehold of color
Of how a white piece of cardboard
With a few letters next to a name
Dwarfs next to color-coded ethnicities.
Young black men are only paper-boatmen
Floating their dreams on puddles of water
When there are rockets to be made.

And the dream is still not a dream.
Like wings trapped inside cocoon walls
Searching for a little orifice
To use his paper wings to fly away
To a colorblind world

Holding one hollow ribbon-tied parchment
To resist the hollow barrel of a gun.

Tragedy of America


How the world revolves
Around the mania in the Unites States !
Scientists are at rallies blaming the Trumpist movement
For not being the climate change faithful.
The common folk blame the new white house
Of being brash and ignorant.
The poets rally around shame and guilt
The shame of being part of a rightist government
And the guilt of the conscience
Of how the masses didn’t vote in Bernie.

And through this terrible amalgamation
Of divisive color and heritage
We see the anarchy of democracy
Ravaging the diners, the malls and the town halls,
Of how a nation of curd and honey
Of shale oil and cobs of corn
Of run-down ghettos in South Carolina
And mansions in Beverly Hills
Of street paupers and the Hollywood rich
Still looms in darkness.

And men in a little Barber shop
In Georgia, where black men gather
And a little mosque in New York
Where Muslims frequent, look in disbelief
At the renaissance of the white American.
Of how a little bald white man who used
To scream discrimination, looks different now
Holding privilege in his hands.

America was not divided by hate, only by
The disparity of wealth. When black translates
To poverty and how a skull cap resonates
Affluence and how the Indian-American
Owns Silicon Valley. The legacy of being too young
In an old world. Too infantine to understand
That the mammoth economy does not always
Run on market forces and
That democracy is best served from
The breasts of lady liberty.

The Black Woman


To hell with the white chicks with floral dresses.
She’s the devil in bed, a black woman
On the back seat of a bus
A seat that barely fits her big booty
No wonder the black man walks behind his ‘sister’.
The brother is in dire hoop pains,
In aching need, to molest his palms with
Two basketballs, and do ambidextrous hook shots
From where his eyes are slaves.

And it was Rosa Parker that gave
The black woman the god-given right
To fit her booty as she belongs.
On the flank of a bus or a company director’s chair.
Its all about the black woman, with staunch
Thighs and effortless strength in her shin,
Carrying herself to a colorblind world.

The black woman will always be Sheba’s heir
Beyonce’s wannabe, Lathifa’s presence
And Rosa Parks in legacy. Of how a race
Of women, can rise from slavery,
From the forced prostitution,
To being the custodians of their bodies.
Women who crash through glass ceilings
To become their own kite goddesses.

Little curls, or big ones, fleshed thighs
And a trunk that outgrows all dimensions
Stereotypes her. Still, a black woman is defined
Not by the size of the booty, but only
By the casts that are sculpted, as she perches;
By the seat, the bench or perhaps the throne
Playing a game of musical chairs
Inside her dreamful heart.



I know some countdowns will never start
Or end. Of life, the launches that we do
In our bedrooms, in our heart and in our books.

We make hairstyles redundant,
And some avant-garde, and a little difference
In how the privileged call all the shots.
The dichotomy of stripes and stars.
In one first-world country

And there is one man
Who with a comb-over took the peoples power
To where there is an oval bureau inside white facades.
A man who can comb the economy in so many different ways
And stabilize it with gel or hairspray.

And I still think of that great nation.
Of how the corn bowl carries bigger than life maize plants.
And how in a border town, stunted yellow-skinned Mexicans
Look up to a species domesticated. For renewal of their god-forsaken lives.

And they hide inside their hearts
Kernals of teosinte, wild corn, hoping for
A bigger cob of maize, prosperity. Knowing
It only needs one cross, some chiasma, to breed fat cobs
Spilling over with juicy kernals.

And they carry rosaries of the Virgin Mary.
In their pockets, and recite Hail Marys
As they make the long journey over a dessert.

And they will meet lady Liberty one forthcoming day
In a dessert town in California. When they
Will smile to each other and give each other
Hugs and high fives. A much-anticipated play date with freedom.

Holding little memorabilia,
Little toys – a map, a flag and a statue

Made in some lowly sweat shop in Sri Lanka.