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Acid Rain

I wrote this poem in response to a writing prompt “Eye in the Sky” – the brief was “Write about someone who is desperate for something. They should look up at the sky frequently. Describe how the sky looks at that particular time.”

I wasn’t sure if I should break the stanza after “vermillion”, but I prefer this unbroken version, I think.

Blacker than coal
bluer than copper sulphate
whiter than cotton
grayer than elephants
more orange than orange
pinker than a whore’s lipstick
redder than vermillion;
my head hurts
my lungs burst
my knees quiver
my palms sweat
my ears ring
my skin burns
my nose bleeds;
tell me
what rotten colour were you
when the acid
scarred my body
worse than abstract art?

Shape-shifting vessel
of particulate matter,
I piss on your water
I can no longer feel
and that is fine
I mock your thunder
I can no longer hear
and that is fine
but why, tell me why,
must I imagine your colors
I can no longer see.


Those Small Hours

MUMMY, she screams,
Her voice loud, stricken, immediate,
drilling, like a trepan,
into your just begun nightmare;
stirred and shaken, you imagine
her fall down, from the bunk bed,
having hiked up sleep-walking;
an earthworm wriggle, in the folds of her blanket,
having crawled slowly from the bathroom;
her forehead, cut open and bloodied,
having struck the wall as she roiled in her nightmare;
but while your brain weighs up
the many unlikely possibilities,
her mother

is already by her side,
having navigated, in perfect certainty,
the fraught path across the living room,
it is as if her daughter’s scream gathered
the chairs, crayons and toys together,
frightening them into a heap to a side;
soon you hear a nose blow
once, twice, thrice, break, repeat;
utensils rattle in the kitchen; a toilet flush;
a reassuring conversation in the dark;
all seems well; you close your eyes,
and before you know it, nod off again
to find yourself

in a room
with Leonardo Di Caprio, watching his totem
spin, wondering if it stopped or if it didn’t,
when a space craft lands close by,
inside, Matthew McConaughey rages
at a fragile Anne Hathaway,
his friend having aged twenty one years
in the five minutes it took
your wife

to return to bed and awaken you
with a ‘kick’
“I am not sending her to school today”,
which you know, after nine long years,
is a question pretending to be statement,
so you finally do wake up,
and proceed to gently talk
her out of her perpetual worries.

On Ghosts

So I wrote this one rather ordinary haiku which had the word “ghost” in it, and that led to a set of haikus and tankas, where I used the idea of “Ghosts” in different perspectives. A self-set design challenge you could say, and I was kind of pleased that I managed to put together what I did. Here they are.

That Sick Feeling

When you are unwell
In the City the Mountains
ghost in unannounced.

Second Child

When you have one child
the second is the ghost in
your conversations

Always On

This mute Android ghost
echoing in my dreams an
eternal tapping.


Poetry and math,
two ghosts haunting your pursuit
of career growth

Interior Design

Deciding between
all the dazzling laminates
and woodwork options
lines grow on your face as if
a ghost transplanted the grains.

Slices of Love

Every night the dog waits
on the road, expectantly,
for my tired wife,
the gentle balcony ghost
feeding love with bread slices

Street Photography

Cameras moving
in the market, ghosts sniffing
unwary victims

Cameras moving
in the market, inside them
roam staccato ghosts

Tanka and Haiku overdose #3

And I continue excavating my Facebook and Twitter timeline to deposit a few more nuggets here.

Death in Paradise

The world through her eyes
was heaven for her parents,
now they wait their turn.

You have to dive

A blank document
stretched out like a white ocean
containing a world
waiting to be discovered
by a bold scuba diver

Perforated memories 

Chill winter evening,
Pigs nestling in open drains,
Bats whirring above;
hushed memory of that girl’s
slow long death from brain fever.

Fairy in the room

Watching Tinker Bell
with my daughter, pixie dust
transforms my morning

Work-Life Balance: A haiku here, a tanka there

Work From Home (WFH)

This first winter day
snuggled inside old blankets
taking office calls

Value Addition

So much back and forth
to craft this communique
for the sales workshop;
Bemused, I still fret over
the comma no one catches.

Story-boarding Insights

I tell the rookie
Begin with the storyboard
because I can’t think.

Revenue Recognition

When you generate
no revenue, you can
see the expression
of corporate dysfunction
via SAP attribution

Tanka and Haiku overdose #2


We, filling water
in the inverter, distill
spousal cooperation

Paying our respects

When his mother died
last night, we paid our respects
by resisting this
acute urge to forward jokes
drowning other whatsapp streams.


It is an odd thing
the passions women with rings
on their pretty chins
provoke in men with odd stones
on their stiff fingers

Secrets to a happy marriage

When it comes to food
degust what’s served with fondness
even when your tongue
wants to use that other word
quite likely on your mind now.

Tanka and Haiku overdose #1

I haven’t posted anything here for a while, though it isn’t as if I have not written some. While the words for longer verses have dried up, I have been unusually productive with respect to tankas and haikus. And as it is, when you are unusually productive with anything, there’s a lot of riffraff mixed in with some pretty good ones, even if I say so myself. I am not the best judge of my own work however, just inordinately proud of anything I come up with :-), so rather than curate, will merely present both the best and worst of the past two months, over the next few posts. All of them have already appeared on my Facebook or Twitter feeds, but this is where they shall rest for posterity, as all my creative endeavours do. So, here’s the first of the lot – two tankas (well three, if I have to be precise) and one haiku.


The unseen shadow
of a cellphone tower looms
over my bedroom;
Saunter, Thoreau prods, gently
in hills, woods and wilderness

When the Cuckoos call

Three times the Cuckoo
rings – Koo-Koo Koo-Koo Koo-Koo.
Such a lovely day
Sliding into nothingness
When the dilettante day dreams.

Three times the Cuckoo
sings – Koo-Koo Koo-Koo Koo-Koo
Such a lovely day
Sliding into nothingness
While the jogger runs her rounds.

Where we are who we are

Wood water grass stone
Firm flowing gentle tempered
Out here we are born.

Protected: Being Human

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Protected: Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13

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Four little alternating pieces


My happiness is
derived from small little things,
and greatness stymied.



Her observations
fill my days with contentment
I don’t desire;
A summertime caesura
arrives, bringing misery.


When she laughs

When she laughs, her eyes,
exploding in happiness,
simplifies our world.



Sometimes you attend
the wedding of a couple
you barely know, for you think
it is a good chance to meet
that someone you barely know.