drool of law

The law is naught but Ought
           Where is reason
           Able and when? which sound will
           Love make as it descends upon
The breaking of all law, the
           Sense of non/ the
           Frolick of crush and meaning &
           Tendency, pain, thresholds..


The crow, which now dominates the totem of the Haida nation, was the grandson of that great divine chief who made the world.

When the crow wept asking for the moon, which hung from the wall of tree trunks, his grandfather gave it to him. The crow threw it into the sky through the chimney opening and started crying again, wishing for the stars. When he got them he spread them around the moon.

Then he wept and hopped about and screamed until his grandfather gave him the carved wooden box in which he kept daylight. The great divine chief forbade him to take the box out of the house. He had decided that the world should live in the dark.

The crow played with the box, pretending to be satisfied, but out of the corner of his eye he watched the guards who were watching him.

When they weren’t looking, he fled with the box in his claw. The point of the claw split passing through the chimney, and his feathers were burned and stayed black from then on.

The crow arrived at some islands off the northern coast. He heard human voices and asked for food. They wouldn’t give him any. He threatened to break the wooden box.

“I’ve got daylight in here,” he warned, “and if it escapes, the sky will never put out its light. No one will be able to sleep, nor to keep secrets, and everybody will know who is people, who is bird, and who is beast of the forest.”

They laughed. The crow broke open the box, and light burst forth in the universe. – From Eduardo Galeano’s, “The Memory of Fire: Genesis”.

I’ve got daylight in here, cawed
the harbinger
I’ve got the measure of all things
stray, pray
Tell me what should I do? But there
is law that
Inhibits the stroke of the sun, the
measured qubits
Plying, playing with truth – ooof!
i’ve got day
Light in the shades of a distant
hades, you’ve
Got to speak with a bent garble to
make any sense
These dark, dark days – I’ve got
daylightinhere.

this pretext is known

The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.

Tao Te Ching

         The seed of knowns and pretexts have at my side nothing but a compensatory bulb    these are non-expositions gaining ground as it seeks further ground as it pronounces the tenor and say of what precedes    this pretext is known    it is seeded alongwith supposition    the compensation has life only when it tremors bulb-like    these are non-expositions    seeded in known ground    unknown in all ways except in what is granted supposition

movement song

This movement slows your inward
slope    it

has the river’s back it has the
kind face of

molten deed    this movement will
wish you a

smile upon its hearse    we can
not say we

will not begin to sing    unless
the movement

flips out its mirror song and
all chant us

a further sentinel

terminal seedling
An ugliness settles down well
with the 
grass of
lonely abominations: terminal
seedling, dormant,
          effaced

a further sentinel
on the steady possibility of
this mirror being

a pawn in the dream of things
this mask being

a sentinel for the furthest
harp of hope &

this now being yet another how
of tremblings

coagulated enough
when the brew has
       coagulated
           enough

times to strangle
hard, enough
times to 

know what it does
know what worries

this willdofornow

the starched sky
I could starch the sky white
But would it respond

With its claws immersed in
A shy disappearance?

I could disappear the noon’s
White into a worthwhile

Void, but would it rest upon
My shadow till

The ink dries?

fortune as remnant
to breathe with the fury of:
i) an ancient stalk, ii) the
   last remnant of void in
   relation to time,
   iii) space as it unwinds

relative to mind, iv) luck,
as it depends on v) mere
   fortune, the remnant of
   void in relation to
   vi) more luck, chanced

the song prepares

i
in movement, the song prepares
to break its

peace with the architects of un
peace    in movement

the ink will never run out of
bleed    in movement

we  you  I are personal pre-nouns
attached to the

still core at the heart of re-move

ii
In dream we subtle,
supple dare – and as the ink
of each morning graves a tender

Slide, moves, lives, meanders;
as the will of my eye slices
off each whiff of dream, we

Care subtle, supple & we dare –
in dream we meet again, again
as the whiles of yesterday end

iii
as the harshness of word
formations create a ripple

of touch – as the mounds of
hate course through actual

pillars that are the past –
as we coax the sweaty now

to unveil, to be, to sing
along with the yet to be

Abbajee, reason & faith

Survivors have all the prerequisites to be rebels. Abbajee, my father in law, who passed away yesterday in Karachi – while I am in Accra for work – was testimony to this. His childhood (and here’s a story by Mun on her dad’s youthful grittiness) was as tough as his uncompromising yearning for reason in the face of a world as uncompromising on its insistence on unreason to get by.

His was a scientific, tinkering, inventive mind. Playfulness doesn’t sit well with conformity, so he had no choice but to question relentlessly. When we met, he sensed a kindred questioner, and he never stopped sounding me out (not everything that we exchanged concurred, but that is dialogue).

(I was a bit scared of lending books to him: nothing but the content mattered, so much so that by the time he got through some of them, they could no longer lay claim to their bookly sheen.)

Last year when my dad passed away, I quoted my dad’s favorite lines from Saadi, which speak of the humility of the raindrop upon meeting the expanse of the ocean. And it is relevant again now.

Faith and reason have had a contentious history, but there is a meeting point as elusive as it is beckoning which compels the questioning to seek, always. Abbajee sought, always.

I do not know its name, so I call it Tao

Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

Abbajee with my mum-in-law, daughters and sons-in-law at his 50th wedding anniversary 3 some years ago.

Mohammedi Mamoowala
Seeker, Survivor
December 23, 1935 – June 26, 2017

The moon remembers

Returning in her blood, the
moon remembers which

near star is no more, and
it sinks its shade again,

builds up the root of the
mountain as it climbs out

of yet another shadow.


Here is Muriel Rukeyser’s poem:
Martin Luther King,
Malcolm X

Bleeding of the mountains
the noon bleeding
he is shot through the voice
all things being broken

The moon returning in her blood
looks down   grows white
loses color
and blazes

…and the near star gone—

voices of cities
drumming in the moon

bleeding of my right hand
my black voice bleeding