India

  • The sourness of mountain surfaces and the crunchiness of raw, plain-land breeze. The velvety strips of night, specifically encircling the toughness of a moon crater. All the world's scents that thrive on your fingertips. Ah! The ever-changing aroma of the Northern Lights, so cold and mystical, and the defined truth of summer afternoons, the stickiness of Jalebi molasses, which leave translucent patches on my palms.

    And then, I shall venture into wildflower evenings, where the "wildflowers" pose as botanical representations of the myriad hues of sunset. Over there, I shall ponder over my character. But, the character has departed, leaving me to stuff the world's fragrances into mere words.

    windowpane...
    a misty moment
    of migrating birds

  • battle of words
    we forget
    who we are

     

    fork in the road
    I leave the choice
    on the driver

     

    nocturnal visit
    the rat knows
    where the trap is

     

    rain dance
    the squirrel's dash
    to the next pole

  • wrong train
    every passing station
    my destination


    children at play
    paper birds slip through
    the open door

  • dandelion
    how far the wind rolls
    each seed

    Wales haiku journal - Spring issue 2018


  • sunrise and I the curtain

     

  • tiring day –
    i capture the whole fort
    in my camera


    mountain peak

    i find
    no moon


    sunny day —

         people busy
    chasing shadows


    between two hills

                     a cloud
             turning into night


    not spring yet

    a cockerel crows
    away my dream

  • spring predawn—
    the janitor sweeps
    the night away

    Heron's Nest Vol XX, # 2: June 2018

  • shifting house...
    mother wraps Buddha
    in my ragdoll's blanket

     

    dolphin show...
    dad tries putting a hoop
    around my nose

     

    winter pond...
    a chameleon's tail curls
    around a cloud

     

  •  

    long journey he promises two raindrops


  • my first hijab...
    a shadow 
    on the flower 

    Red Moon Anthology 2017

     

  • crack of dawn...
    the moon slides off
    a fish's fin

     

    shades of dusk...
    the darkening orange
    of birdsong

     

    dragonfly wings...
    just enough space
    for a cloud

     

  • obituary–
    the raven's caws
    fill our silences


    tombstone...
    clearing fallen leaves
    to reveal her name


    autumn night...
    which of these stars
    is grandma?

     

    physics exam...
    cursing the apple
    that fell on Newton

     

    temple offering...
    a boy lets loose
    one of the goats

     

    doodling my boss
    on the notepad...
    office meeting

     

    coffee break—
    stirring a whirlpool
    of thoughts

     

    cheese thief...
    a purring shadow sneaks
    into my kitchen

     

  •  

    midnight train tales never cease to emerge from

     

    no clouds sky the moon in slow motion

     

  • honesty is not always the best policy. sometimes you need to lie for your own good, sometimes you need to change your color and wear a mask. people may call you a traitor or laugh at you behind your back. but remember that your life is yours and yours alone. someday the one who calls you a coward will sing of your success.


    transformation
    no death warrant
    for the caterpillar

  • Circa 1977

    “Soul searching is best done whilst sitting on a wall overlooking a garbage dump,” says Guru, my new office colleague-cum-friend.
    I nod in reply.

    It is late evening. We are sitting on a dusty ledge looking down at a mountain of human refuse. The smell wafting up is nauseating and I fight the impulse to throw up.

    My pal isn't a 'guru' in the classical sense of the word, meaning spiritual master. But once in a while, he lets loose profound statements that has earned him the nickname.

    Guru is an eccentric introvert and I am his only close friend. For some reason, I find his thoughts attractive and like listening to him.

    “This is Tamas,” he continues, pointing to the dump below us, “what we human beings are stuffed with. Darkness and filth.”

    “Hmm,” I murmur. He has a point, in a strange, unexplainable way.

    “And it is our duty to recognise this fact, shake off our delusion, and elevate ourselves from our despicable situation. Bye.” He hops off the ledge and walks off.

    The next morning, I learn that Guru has left town and moved to somewhere in Guyana, South America. I feel a pang of regret on hearing that, wishing he had told me his new address. It would have been great to visit him and discuss spirituality.

    I don't hear about Guru again until one year later.

    smoke-screened…
    the lingering stench of
    bitter almonds

    wrong map my Driver takes the right turn

     

    Notes:
    According to Hindu philosophy, 'Tamas' is one of the three qualities that constitute the world. It represents darkness, ignorance and destruction.
    In 1978, the cult leader Jim Jones killed almost a thousand of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana. He is supposed to have convinced or forced them to consume potassium cyanide, a poison that smells like bitter almonds.

     

  • geography class . . .
    is it just the equator
    dividing this world?
      
    9th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest
     
  • old age home –
    a pill for everything
    but loneliness

      
     
    old books sale
    beating me to the top shelf
    a silverfish
      
     
    mourning –
    the loudness
    of a ticking clock


     
    free period . . .
    even the blackboard
    screeches
     
     
     
    Buddha’s half-smile
    for a moment I forget
    the moment
     
     
     
    Hiroshima Day –
    flying across the globe
    our paper cranes
     
     
     
    home after holidays
    the doorknob shimmers
    with a cobweb
     
     
     
    cumulus clouds
    shimmering through the window
    the airplane's wing

     

  • heavy rains
    streets drown the voyage
    of paper boats