NEITHER THE ERROR OF SILENCE
NOR THE DEPTH OF VOICE

…Neither the error of voice nor the depth of silence.
Only snow kept on falling upon the sea
until the waves’ blood froze.
Huddled under the lamplight,
hair clothing her all the way down,
and glowing with a childishness of yore. Though the years had passed
and the nightingales muddled their words like oldsters, she kept at it.
In the afternoon she’d read in this empty space,
the floorboards creaking old talk,
the faces mirrored and eternal,
deeds outlined on the windows
not cleaned for years.

She was sitting there,
her mind more bent on embellishing the morrow,
a calm, faint grace spreading shiver-like across her shoulders.

Neither the error of silence nor the depth of voice.
Only snow kept on falling upon the waves,
and her mouth shadowed with big secrets  dreadful secrets
shading her heart and brow.
That light of bygone days surfaced in waves
from inside out.
And the moment life touched it, it turned to dust.

STREET CROSSING

As if the room were a street crossing,
the door bursts open
and in comes that old girl
all wrinkles round her eyes
and stares at you laughing ironically for long.
And she keeps feeling her face and the wind rages around you.
You whisper to her to leave,
but she doesn’t hear nor budges, only gradually
the wrinkles vanish from her face
and she grows infinitely more beautiful, child-like,
a chrysanthemum that opens in the room.
And the walls blossom
and the furniture starts shifting
as she lowers and shyly fondles the heavens on her skirt.
And her eyes reek with a devilish innocence
and of a sudden she starts to shrivel again and grow ugly

and abruptly over you she closes
time’s black fan.

WHERE WERE YOU…

Where were you when I looked for you
and once I learnt, I passed a hand
over my clothes to feel my body, that blazing
dream of life in the mirrors of sleep.

But we don’t reveal the dream.
We save it.
And it makes us grow stealthily,
like a tree singing through its roots.
I invited people again. For you to be young.
Keep away, shadows.
Houses forgotten in the square
with vacant windows, odd clothes
discarded on the stairs.
A laugh creaked that a child’s wardrobe
should open. Now it’s after me
with the demands of an old fogy.

Room in a shambles, windows
pulled out, a poison-amassing
sun. Some are looking for the tree-laden
upper sky. Sirens wail
behind books, valuables and rags.

And the sole reader, my
dearest invalid, pressing his eyes
on me lest I should leave. We’ll all freeze to death,
we’ll be burnt.

What audacious flowers in the soil,
soil black and seasonless.
Everything spoke in secret.
I’ll remain with a dress hanging a thousand years
over my arm.

Whatever was to speak has spoken.