My Grandmother’s Last Days


The cigarette slowly burns.
There are no sounds in the surroundings,

Solitude is a gay old time
Defined by the altruism of cigarette.

Inhaling the nicotine, I look around
At my garden, the honeysuckles

Deadly yet beautiful, the anthuriums
Like sails on top of a boat,

The orchids, as mauve as the decorated
Courage of an American soldier,

And as I burn, I know that a cigarette
Is just a transient habit, a pastime

That makes me aloof. Like the last
Remaining mango in the mango tree,

Eyed by the squirrels, glowing
Like a moon in the sky, luster

Reflected off her peel. I remember
My grandmother, in her last days

Just like the mango, still a source of light
Enlightening me with stories

From her past. There was nothing
To do but listen to her weak voice

Knowing that the end was nigh.
She was like that lone mango on the tree

That fell with a thud, to the awaiting ground,
The jaws of death, like squirrel teeth

Had gripped into her fragile heart
And taken a fatal chunk.


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.

Garden of Eden

Diary 2

A waterman pen
And a letter to myself from the former me.
A love poem to a girl I knew a while back.
A garden full of Barberton daisies
A little diary from years ago,
Grafting through the pages in caution.
A box full of Danish Cookies
A pastry with egg and bacon inside
And an unopened wine bottle
In the middle of my small garden
Nostalgia brimming through
Anatomical devices and a handkerchief keeping track
Of the little joys, small mercies,
Accidents and watersheds that run
On the mental screen
Of my own history channel



You are spending your time
In the garden for a change. The worms slither

Like miniature snakes. The myena birds
Fly around searching for a nesting place.

There’s a crow on the asbestos roof
Greeting you like an ominous omen.

You hear a bell from the postman
Delivering a letter from Australia. There’s a rose

Blooming as the cynosure while
Butterflies are curling around the blooms

Searching for nectar. And as I gaze
At this hodge-podge of unfazed beauty

I could feel my senses train to the surroundings,
While my mind confesses to the soul.

Its almost like having a new screensaver

Cats and Us


Our front yard, which is a deserted plot
During the daylight hours
Has now transformed to a little
Comfort room for the neighborhood cats.

Cats of so many diverse fur coats
Brown and white, snowy all over,
Dark as night and even the patchwork
Can all be seen scanning for the ideal
Spot to lay a memento, an alibi
Of a little dehydrated poop.

And they say cats will go to any house
That is hospitable. Our front yard
Has humus rich earth and a little lawn
Which acts as a burial place
For cat excreta.

Its amazing how opportune cats are
Whether in personal comfort acts
Or preying on a little nestling alone inside a twig enclosure.
And our front yard which used
To be an aviary, is now a ruthless killing field.

And we too search for comfort care
In all the empty places. We go to empty churches
To rekindle our spirits, we lay flowers
By tombstones to remember loved ones
Gone by, we like our own solitude inside a little
Attic, which plays second fiddle
As a writing pad.

And we enter a garden filled with cat poop
Every evening after work,
Searching for a lone rose or a the promise
Of an orchid bud. And cat poop has become our duty
Towards the garden, as we shovel them out
To fill a plastic garbage bag.

Cats are what made us appreciate
What we took for granted – a garden that gives
Us so much joy. And that garden is the first sight
In the evening as we enter our home
And the last sight in the morning as we
Leave through the open gate.

Now every day, we search for cat poo in the evening
And in doing so, we inevitably water the garden and gaze
At the peduncles filled with flowers.
It seems, we have embraced the little joys
Of living with nature.

When I see a cat in the front yard
I look at it like an angel sent from God,
To remind us of the little things we neglect in our rat race,
To succeed and make a living.
It seems the cats have given us
A lot more than poop. The garden has become our
Comfort room to excrete our anxieties
And fears and to live larger than our
Own capitulations.

Now I look forward to gathering cat poop
Even sighting a lurking cat
Knowing it is only a prelude to a bigger pastime.
It’s amazing, how absolutely little it takes
To germinate seeds of happiness
On a fallow heart.



Flowers grow taller every day
Trees become greener
As the garden in the heart of spring looks
A spectrum of vibrant interwoven colors

I too grow like an inflorescence
My face becoming darker with an earthly outgrowth
As I become conscious of my own
Manliness on the bathroom mirror.

I shove my innocence and the residue of mango seed
Hopscotch out and caress the stubs on my mandible
And chin. I’m growing my own man-locks
And soon I will be my topiary master.

And the garden is where birds gather.
A fresh faced lad looks at himself
In the mirror and wonders, when will spring usher in wings
Of a cinnamon-breasted tit?