Monday, December 28, 2009


It's 646,
the ceiling's telling me things
of tales carved in invisible circles
my vision suddenly disperses into restless waves
as tears invade the moment,
announcing themselves to my eyes,
an abrupt mist interrupting a guileless landscape.

I know not why - I was laughing just a while ago
leaning into that brown door - and I find myself sitting up,
my cold feet suddenly pining for the floor's compassion,
and they trickle down to my dwindling lips,
singeing my skin's language like harsh tenses,
salinity, that unforgettable taste of childhood.

I know not why,
maybe it's just the dying decade's final december
maybe it's Larkin's eloquence with countrysides
maybe a loneliness caged in a velvety absence
maybe the evening's turquoise humanity, I know not

but before the unforgiving glare of my desk lamp
reduces them to obsolete trails on my cheek,
I catch a fleeting glimpse of my world - a roll of cellophane,
a wristwatch lying sideways, a yellow push pin,
a torn receipt, bronze keys on a steel ring -

and a smiling dawn breaks on my moist lips
as I fathom the imprecise whispers of eternity
through the magnanimous transparence of life.

[24th December, 2009 | 6:46 pm]


Aarushi Uboweja said...

Stunning blog.

Here's something by Neruda that I think you, but obviously, would have read. But just in case.

And this is Dilip Chitre's translation of a poem by Tukaram. To arrange words.

To arrange words
In some order
Is not the same thing
As the inner poise
That’s poetry

The truth of poetry
Is the truth
Of being.
It’s an experience
Of truth.

No ornaments
A crucible.
Fire reveals
Only molten

Says Tuka
We are here
To reveal.
We do not waste

Dheeraj said...

Yes, I have read Neruda's piece. Quite a few times already. :)
But thanks for reminding it to me yet again, it's one of the greatest expositions on the act of writing poetry, captures its beauty in its entirety. Especially the lines..
"there I was without a face, and it touched me..."
"the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense, pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing..."

If you can write about poetry that way, you know poetry doesn't exist just in words for you anymore, it's what the world around you is made of.

Dheeraj said...

And Tukaram's piece is new to me. Lovely words, thanks for them.

Of course, he reiterates what I believe to be the most important truth in all of art,
poetry is truth is poetry.

Aarushi Uboweja said...

It is what the world is made of. It is what we live for.

"there I was without a face, and it touched me..."

This always makes me smile. How beauty is so intangibly transient. How we yearn for something that is always there. Reminds me of the Sufis.

Here's another. Auden.

"For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth."

And thank you for Borges. I feel like I've been ignorant for a very long time.

Aarushi Uboweja said...

And Keats' Endymion, a beautiful composition.

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'

Dheeraj said...

Yes, Auden. Those lines were beautiful. "... a way of happening"

As for Borges, try out his 'The art of poetry'. The closest to perfection anybody can attain when trying to depict poetry, or art, for that matter. And also his 'Browning decides to be a poet'. You won't forget those lines, ever.

Aarushi Uboweja said...

I won't. I have a battered copy of Browning's verses. I opened it again, last night, after I read "Browning decides to be a poet."

Read this. I read Prufrock again after I read this. Just 2 minutes ago. It's funny how everything reminds one of everything.

Dwiti R said...


Dheeraj said...

"And what ruined
my heart was ...not how they forgot things, or remembered
what had not yet happened. It was how little
they ate; it was the way my mother rallied
all day in the kitchen and then arrived at the table
with platters and great dishes that were always
almost empty. It was the way their portions
became lost in the vast, pale arenas of their plates.
If observing the world keeps us honest, what truths
do we glean watching a body we love
going into the ground? The body is both everything
and nothing.
It was the way they’d come to need so much
less of the world. And how this, perhaps, was enough."

I could just have written this myself, this realisation of coming to "need so much less of the world". (Would've chosen to do so in very different words, of course, but the essence would remain the same)

Thanks for giving me this.

Dheeraj said...

Well, if you were indeed a Prufrockian once, it isn't too surprising this one took you back there. :) Enough references to the frailty of bodies, the pervasive concern for aging, the descriptions of the afternoon and the evening, and the brilliant flow of consciousness through the piece till the end...

But Prufrock was Prufrock, one of those characters in poetry that never let you go once you meet them. Don't think there are many people who get the intense romanticism of his voice, the lovely love song that the poem actually is.