Can you hear that.
Can you hear the screaming of the wind
As it is strangled by the emptiness
Of a road we used to walk together
And the dust we kicked up.
The dust settled so long ago,
There are pavements there and the road
Lies broken, and the pedalists fall,
And there is no money.
The train is a better option,
Because the children are never quiet
And I am never left with my own thoughts
Which usually contain you,
And the seats are so worn out,
And the tea sellers have grown old,
But broken cups litter the station
And I will never truly leave
Because there are no destination thoughts
In my mind and the space next to me
Is without you.
You aren’t here.
Have you seen the far away lights,
I wonder who lives there,
I wonder who died there.
Lives are lived on a horizon and we glimpse
Past these bars and broken leather.
I can hear the howling of the wind through
Which the train breaks,
I can see the fields which run through this land,
And the women that tend it.
The same women I cannot touch,
Because I was born into a system made
A thousand years ago,
And perhaps a thousand suns have died
And a thousand sons have died
In the grief of this.
Things can change in a day
I once read.
But a day is not enough to reorder
A world so stubborn
That I can’t even love you.
I carry that burden in my mind,
And now, I carry destination thoughts in
my lungs which dance with anticipation
as the rains dance with content.
We used to dance in the rain
On a terrace from which Orion
Was seen. He watched us too,
And in the night the stars of a thousand years
Counted us, and our conversations.
One. Two. Twenty.
That’s how many generations we can count.
Two. That’s how many generations it took
For everything to fall apart.
Now we can’t wander very far,
and roads are left unwalked on
and baghs are left undiscovered,
and freedom is held in captivity.
So we seek a world in words and
On marble steps under the trees we become
So wise, but just for a summers worth.
And in the cold winter,
This memory will fade,
Because you can’t see very far in
The snow who’s chill sets of over my skin
And soon I feel nothing at all.
The arrival of a changing season,
The glimpse of a lot more cannot warm
These emotions and that’s why I write poetry,
Because words know no seasons,
And it’s so cold the windows are frosted,
But in hear I can feel the wind of summer harvest,
And the smell of swings.
The subcontinent is calling.
I hear it through the voices of strangers,
And I heard it within you yesterday because
you’re eyes carry a warmth I have not felt in months,
and suddenly it’s summer again.
You are summer.
You are here.
I am here.
And lights have never been bright
Because everyone looks far more beautiful this way.
That’s why they never complain,
Of electricity that only lasts a few hours,
Because when the night graces,
The poets and dreamers come out from
Underneath the coarse hands of field work
And under banyan trees they sit and pass
a cigarette and wander back to the youth,
when idealism was in freshly ironed clothes
and trains that ran from the east and west.
When idealism lied in new brides and wasted grooms.
Before he beat her,
And before they’re children left with that
Same idealism gleaming in their eyes,
And returned with their own children
Who would never know the winding path
Through mango trees or how the monsoons
Make children of everyone.
They find everything in screens and markets,
Never knowing the beauty of a handmade fan
Or a doll which will be drowned every year
The cities dig deeper into the ground
And rise higher into a gray sky
And we can barely breathe through the smoke
And dust and we are choking of progression already.