parable illegit

protector of secrets1, harbinger, truth-in-stain 
      as the scream that wills 
      as a parable illegit as a mountain-stone
      rolling threads of incomprehension
      So that in the depths of the darkest night
      The sun shines forever a

tell us that story again2, of the flow and its night
      as the sandgrain that wills
      as a parable illegit as a mountain-stone
      rolling waves of inconstancy
      So that in the depths of the darkest night
      The sun shines forever 

worshiping love alone3, subsisting in subsistence 
     alone, so that in the depths 
     of the darkest night, the sun shines 
     forever - harbinger, truth-in-stain
     parable illegit as a mountain-stone, I,
     sandgrain, subsist, scream -

qudrat ke puraane bhedoN may jo bhaid chhupaae chhup na sakay, is bhaid ki tu rakhwaali hai

– from ‘haraami’ by Meeraji

So that in the depths of the darkest night
The sun shines forever

– from ‘Songs That Cannot Be Silenced’ by Hien Luong from Vietnam

puraani kahaani may kya lutf aae, hamay aaj kis nay kaha tha — puraani kahaani sunaao

– from ‘aik thee aurat’ by Meeraji

jo chaahay reet ki baat kahay, hum peet hi ke matwaalay haiN

– from ‘haraami’ by Meeraji

Gratitude lost

Used to be the bird settled down on the green you sowed, its chirp saying thanks    Gaia glad    now when it perches on some green, there is a riddle for the sky - and you - to solve    how can the bird even speak to the sun's flare with such flutter?    Gaia spins an urgent tale    no sooner has it been said than the words are felt futile   then forgotten

koi kahe ye kis ne kaha tha, keh do jo kuch kehna hai
meeraji keh kar pachtaaya aur phir kehna bhool gaya

who said say what you have to say?
I said, regretted, then forgot to say


3 ways of looking at Meeraji

  1. The classical is weight as well as fetter, the gravitas choking the possible
  2. Meeraji (1912-1949) can most aptly be described as a “tragic” poet, where the tragic is silent on the joy infusing his song
  3. i. The guardian of the past is calm / standing fearless and firm on earth
    ii. magar ye maazi ka paasbaaN pur sukoon dil se / zameeN pe ik be-niyaaz andaaz may hai qaaim
    iii. Father fear, can you calm the
    — possibility of fear,
    — the child alone in the knowledge of fire,
    — the woman quiet as the burn within rages without?


the storytellers tail

when you spin the tale, the x-axis meeting the why of forlorn metastasized asymptotes of utmost hubris, the storyline mutates into song mutates into symbols that retch out meaning from the shell that numbed as it echoed –

when you tiptoed on the storytellers tail ouching the eastern spirits sense of unwantoncy, the tarred streets cried for old ground compelling the poem to tend to the low – the burn of roots & the crafting of impossible syllable –

the borrowing of the forest

Noting the absence of ceremony fire in her stories, Dharamsherni took to a desert where no sants, bhakts or shaikhs - sacred or recreational - were remembered. Sand took form as poetry sprang to quench the mirages’ imagined thirst. There was Number and then the science of Number where taking earth apart from its founding poems - though a tad violent - was deemed benevolent . Dharamsherni saw no forest so she borrowed one from stories from a passing mirage. It was borrowed on market terms with high interest, the science of Number being the middleman. Joy longed to breathe fire back into the forest, but the Numbers intervened citing the infeasibility of it all: the imagined debt was unsustainable, but something could be worked out, the professor of Numbers claimed. Of course there would be war and senseless killing, but nothing that could not be wrapped up in benevolence and parceled off as bits of future. This is one telling of how dreams stopped being fountains.

ballooning of the sun

when red wandered along dust-spoked streets, the orchid 
lamented loss of color as it spun around an axis that 
separated the darkest shade of red from others –  the visible 

dis-unity shook no flower from its root     each knew their 
place in the sun     now ballooning in solitary knowledge of 
starless dreamscapes marking time, marking inkblots of time -

Poet as inkvapor

the ungatekept poem shunned being enclosed -
sun spoke the unencumbered poem before its
spokes were enumerated & circumscribed  -

what did it mean to gatekeep a poem? it meant
worshiping the friend & differentiating the integral
it meant snagging the sung into so many fragments

you could no longer call it song    the new poem has 
the same bark as the oldest tree    soothed with the 
sharpness of water and the roundness of sky, the poem 

meets ink in remembrance, the cord is thrown off its 
moorings & the trail of cordlets form a vapor that 
makes story out of birdsong -

Exigency of water

Take the withered  mountain and try to find its lake whose atoms 
are forever running late    they cannot choose between the exigency 
of water and the posterity of stone    reach of loss equals the reach 
of small equals the hundred wishes that stand with petals & fronds
I catch the passage of these petals & fronds as if it was my name 
carved out in song    as if the algebra of difficulty is measure of frailty
if only finality confirmed origin    would that the child chide sky -