Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Cinnamon Peeler

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
— your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers…

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.

- Michael Ondaatje

Monday, April 13, 2015

Outlaw

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Hey hey hey!
Shyam will wait,
Shyam always waits
Shyam did not wait.

A travel memo was sent: Nature is an outlaw!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Un-hate

Red Hill & White Shell by Georgia O'Keeffe

To you who prompt me for
poetry of hate, I say:

Hate is too strong a word,
And life too short,
For anything but love.

- Neha

Friday, April 10, 2015

Journey

Chasing the light by Neha
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- Mary Oliver

Thursday, April 09, 2015

I am use

The Potato by Joan Miró 
Shadow puppet said,
"Use me!"
Wooden trumpet laughed,
"You a muse me!"

- Neha

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Her Tea Ceremony

1794-1804c Supplies for the Tea Ceremony
color woodblock print Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

She poured tea, as she opened gifts.

She 1: Ecstatic mad mystery quest
( no wonder her tea spill'th with a childlike love, gift covers frantically torn apart)
She 2: Careful discovery of the hidden
( no wonder her tea is beautifuly contained, gift papers delicately unwrapped and saved)

[ A rose bud tea ceremony memo was sent to welcome the spring: 
As she shall live, thus shall she open her gifts, 
As she shall open her gifts, thus shall she pour. 
And how would you like to pour?]

- Neha ( For Lu, with love)

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Burning Waves

Wheatfield with Crows by Vincent Van Gogh
Yogi tea fortune
announces:
a relaxed mind is 
a creative mind.

then what, of
this turbulence,
and the poetry it
churns with the turning
w   i   n   d   m       i      l           l       s
  of our burning minds,
on fire,
on fire,
on fire.

- Neha

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Laughter goes down the drain!

Most by Joan Miró

And the drain laughed,
(his knowing gurgle of a laugh of course),
to announce:
"Under no circumstance,
Absolutely under noooo circumstance,
Under no circumstance,
Should you mix
toothpaste and shampoo!"
(bubbles burst rolling over the floor
laughing,
the knowing laugh of course!)

- Neha