Thursday, July 21, 2011

Part I: The Beginning

Chapter 1: The Garden

She stood there covered in mud. The air was thick with the smell of wet soil. It had been raining intermittently for the last week. The house in front of which she stood had a long sloping roof. It was covered in red convex tiles, splattered in green and brown moss that lay hanging off at the eaves. The rain water dropped down through the twisted dreadlocks of moss, shrouding the house in a curtain of a manmade waterfall. A family of pigeons had hijacked the overhang of the roof. They mostly spent their time in the rafters and sometimes would come down to the garden to peck at the seeds dropping from the ­­­­Elm tree that grew on the left hand side of the garden, a few feet away from the main entrance of the house. The pigeons would swoop down to the garden and prance around swinging their heads forward and backward mechanically and dig out the seeds from the lawn. They would eat at all times of the day and then fly off to the rafters, preening themselves and rumbling like storm clouds.

Beneath the overhang, on the edge of the garden, the pigeons had cast their droppings for months on the cement and it had accumulated over time and caked over. The waterfall was washing it in a palette of dark green and white muck swirling in little vortexes of pigeon manure flowing down to the garden. Azalia bushes grew wildly due to the generosity of the pigeons and the owner of the house had planted some red roses in front of the house that flowered only once or twice in a season. The rain was stripping the rose petals from the bud and they lay freshly deflowered on the muddy ground, swiveling around each other in a beautiful pool of rocks and long grasses rearing their heads like icebergs.

The owner of the house, a middle aged man of forty two, lay peering out the curtain of rain water at this woman covered in mud. It was hard to tell her age from all the muck covering her and even though she was shapely, he could barely discern her womanly figure from behind the waterfall. His look was of curiosity and he had no intention of helping her.

He was smoking his Cohiba. As he looked at her, he chewed harder on the stub, squeezing the bitter juices in his mouth, lacing it with slow drags of the burning tobacco. The room smelled dank and offensively of cigars. The window in front of which he stood was on the left front of the house, in line with the Elm tree guarding the garden. In the room, he had put in some cheap furniture bought at a garage sale: a couch and a side sofa, a dressing table between them, and a low rectangular wooden table in front of them covered in stray burns from his cigars.

He would usually sit on the sofa with his tired feet up on the table, massaging his defective right knee and vigorously reading a book, over tea and Cohibas. The furniture lay on top of a Chinese rug he had bribed his dry cleaner to obtain for him for a small price. The walls were bare. There were no paintings, posters or even family photos hanging on the walls. He had put up three cloak hooks near the door on which a soggy black umbrella was hanging, dripping water on the part of the floor uncovered by the rug.

He was still peering outside the window, studying the mysterious figure on his territory. There were all sorts of weirdoes this time of the year braving the coldness of the rain to get a cheap thrill out of getting wet. Once, a group of college boys had trespassed on his garden to pluck azaleas and a few roses from his prized collection. They were probably trying to impress their half witted girlfriends. How he would have loved to smack them on their heads, these intruding college boys. He moved to the part of the window, where the moss on the roof grew thick diverting the rain water and parting the curtain. From here, he could have a better look at the ghostly figure standing motionless in the garden. He contemplated getting his gun from the dressing table to scare away this abominable wench that had desecrated his Sangrila. He decided against it; it was not worth the effort. So, he stood there watching, trying to gauge the enemy’s next move.

Beneath the mud, the woman wore a short brown dress that came up to the middle of her thighs. Her hair was shaggy from the rain and plastered to her face which was stained brownish black with illuvium. She stood roughly in the middle of the garden, past the deflowered roses when looking from the house. At this moment, the rain intensified and started really pounding down on the roof. The garden frogs started jumping here and there and forgot to croak. The rain pecked away at the mud clad woman and slowly started to undress her from her hideous cocoon. The ground at her feet, where the mud was starting to flow, was darker than anywhere else in the garden which was now a swamp of floating tubers, bark and dead leaves. As the mud washed away, the owner of the house could see her soft skin wrapped in her wet brown dress which was once actually covered in a pattern of miniscule bright yellow sunflowers. The metamorphosis showed her skin to be whitish brown; the color of a glass of milk touched with a pinch of ground coffee. The woman looked towards the entrance of the house. After a few minutes of staring at the main door, her unwavering strides carried her to the front porch and the man could not see her anymore. Then he heard the familiar sound of the door bell ring.



Chapter 2: The Move

The man tiptoed barefoot to the dressing table, took out his gun, checked the magazine for bullets, and walked softly on his Chinese rug until he reached the doorway. He flicked the umbrella off the hook, hid the gun inside it with the nozzle pointing towards the ferrule, placed his finger around the trigger and carried it casually in front of him. He took a right towards the main entrance and then stood in front the main door inhaling the air in deep silent breaths.

He knew the woman was standing there. Her frame obstructed the light visible beneath the door. He stood there motionless and in that moment, it seemed the rain had frozen on its way down to the earth. It seemed the rose petals falling from the bud remained suspended in mid air on their downfall. It seemed that the sound of the pigeon flapping its wings softly before alighting on the rafter would never pass. He could feel his heart pounding at his chest and wondered if the woman outside could hear it too. Most importantly, he wondered if she had come to stop it from pounding. And like this, he stood behind the door for a quarter of an hour but the light underneath the door never changed.

Then came the knock on the door, as if she knew he was standing there. He placed his calm but pulsating hands on the doorknob, unlocked the door and gently opened it. The first thing he felt was the refreshing gush of air cooled by the rain rushing into his house. Next, he found himself facing the woman whose wet hair ran to her shoulders and black under garments were visible through her wet brown dress that he could see now were once yellow. She was speaking to him in a language he could not comprehend. He scanned his eyes over her body, looking for a weapon: a gun, maybe a knife, but he found no sign of it. He stood there facing the woman in the rain but he never offered her his umbrella.

It was clear to the woman that the man did not understand a word she was saying. He carried an umbrella while she was soaking in his front steps but he never made a sign to offer it to her. She brushed past him and ran into the doorway escaping the rain. Then, she took a left into the first doorway she encountered. She found herself in a dank room smelling of burnt tobacco.

The man followed her and found her standing there shivering and dripping water all over his Chinese rug. He had no intention of drawing first blood. The woman lay hugging her shivering profile. He went to the drawer, still carrying the umbrella, and fetched a dry towel never removing her from his sight. He fetched the towel out of sheer necessity of keeping this wet woman from spoiling his rug. He felt no pity towards her. He had been in the game too long. The woman hurriedly took the towel from his hand, faced the other way and started to dry herself, while murmuring to herself in her alien tongue.


)---To be continued------------------------>

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brain Haemorrhage (2011)

 Brain Haemorrhage by abhigrad 

I was in the crowd down in the square
And I could feel the stinking breath
Of your anger down my neck
And it summoned a beast
From the misty darkness
That dwells underneath my amiable face.
At my feet lay a brick;
Red, cuboid and dangerous.
At the altar,
They were getting ready to hang you
And in that moment,
My mind formed a picture,
My heart skipped a beat
And I had to exhale deeply.
So I picked up the brick
And hurled it at you feet.
For I thought,
You would be dead in an hour
And guilty dying men
Don’t feel any pain.
How my pulse ran at the thought
Of the blood breaking out
Of your guilty bones.
You, my brother with the stinking breath.
Yes you, the one breathing down my neck,
Made a cry like a rabid animal
And aimed another brick at the altar,
Foam dripping from your mouth.
The cry resonated through the crowd
And the crowd showered the altar
With a hundred bricks
And killed all the innocent children
Of the guilty man
And my hand was stained dusty red
From the brick.
I hid the stains behind my back
And slipped out of the crowd.


Night was falling softly
Spreading its bat like wings
With pin pricks for stars.
Creatures were croaking in the wild,
Insects were chirping from the grass.
I saw an old wizened man
Laden down by burden
Of a hundred lonely years
Walking barefoot
Down the unworn path.
So I struck a match
To guide his wavering strides
And my cohorts struck a bonfire
And burnt his village down.


When there was the war,
We were soldiers
In the leather boots
Too big for our feet,
For they belonged to men
With empty eyes.
There were a thousand wounded
When I walked into this haunted town.
There I saw a woman,
Festering with disease,
Flies licking her open wounds,
Her lips were quivering
And her eyes were pleading,
So I fetched a bowl of water
To satiate her thirsty parched lips
And my brothers in arms
Followed in my steps.
How should I have known that
At the middle of the night
I had gone drunk raving mad
And poisoned the well
Killing the entire town.
My captain patted me on my back,
Uttered a few sorry words
And put the poisoned ones
Down as the casualties of war.
He opened another bottle of rum
And we played cards into the night.


Next night I dreamt my pillows
Were full of bountiful cash.
I woke up in the morning
And cried when my scouring hands
Came away full of chicken plume.
If I were to find that cash,
I would go to the mall
And buy bags full of emptiness.
I would have diamonds swapped for my eyes,
Rolexes sewed on my ears
Telling me the good time.
I would lay curled in my emptiness
Drowning my conscience
In the automated flush toilet
That I would swap for my brain.
Swooosh followed by a gurgling sound!

Persistence (2004)

The confused rain came down again
Staggering, staying and shying away
Then taking heed upon the darkening sky
It poured down upon the dusted night
And moments later it died away
Blown away by the homebound gust

When the rain came down again
It brought with it the coldness of seas
Washed all my temper and heat
Helped me tuck into my blanket of dreams
Then it sailed away
True love, indeed!

Madness! The rain came down again
But now as fickle as lass
It struggled on against the night
For it knew morning brought its end
So it roared and bellowed
And writhed in woe’s pool
As it knew, confused was its past
Present? Well it had nothing to rain
But it crawled on
In all its might and horror
The rain crawled
Searching for dearth-dregs
Among its breast
As sunlight peeped in
How it remembered,
O how it remembered
The dusk thickening yesternight
Yet it had to rain its last drop
Yes! Even in death and bane
The bested rain
Would rain its last dreg
Amen! I salute thee!
What a rain!

Passion (2005)

What is it that life wants I never know
Like a fellow dreading serpents I tread slow
And wit is a stranger half a world away
The best of Beethovan’s sonatas has nothing to say


Passion and truth engage vendettas
Where passion is the sacred smoke
Realization of the winter world
Mars the uncurling lolling euphoria
Yet Passion like the rock rolls
Treading upon the serpents abode

Lost Love (2005)

Prologue

Words I searched for like gold
Among Dark Continent of feelings
For you I wrought lines worn and old
(to add grace to your Being, these are,)
Poems traded for healings not billings

The Love Song

Words are but crusading Men
Crawling in graves of history – wilting
The dead write elegies for the living then
When their hearts repine the lost days
Festered by soundness and righteousness
When alive, Spurious – lying like a dying star

History among its own smoldering ashes
Slowly burns every man to his boots
The butter-leaves are borne on the ashes
Only to be sucked into ingrained roots

Grievance is a rider fleeing in the dust
And Frustration is an oyster’d shell
(Whose rewards I have reaped to the full)
Whilst Sadness being my mistress of lust
Lays on my lap and rings her mournful knell

Lick my wounds O Lady of Love
Set no bourn for my linnet of love
It’s easier to love when bonds are falling
(When robes drop and lovers entangle)
In graces and embraces – nine and ten is calling 

So much for a quest
So less from a quest
Quest for sentient love
Hacked to ruins
Quest of wise men
Trampled by fools
A halo! Yes, A hal’O was my quest
I am the hollow and you’re the rest

How can I forget?
How dare I forget?
You are like the awakening April
Make flowers blossom from the dead
Like the handsome coffin
Made for a handful of dust

What if it’s tonight I must be dust
And my elements must be in the wind
My encompassing love you mistook for lust
Tonight, you must embitter more and call a fiend

If I must die and cross over
And if I must – my misfortune
Keep you waiting here forever
For drowned days which were to bloom

If despondence must await you
Round corners you planned so very well
And regret must climb your back
And olden you like inside a shell

If your pouty lips
Shall miss mine
And I shall shed dead tears
In memories of thine

And if there be unimaginable walls
To put us apart’lone
And your lover’s wooing calls
Shall stray like this poem
Even poems by the Cupid’s bard
Will not unclench the knot
Tightening in your heart
And on such days
On such lusted bright days
Your body shall ache
For sensualities you won’t take
Love made impossible to make

Then, shall you,
Shall you then
Claw, rave and rant
Drown your exuberance
In short staccato pants

Would you then
Miss me like I have missed you
And love me like I have loved you;
Indeed, center me like I have centered you
Be concerned and if there be need
Be sympathetic responding to my heed

Tables have turned upon me twice
Dragging me to the other side
Standing me again on love split precipice

Deserts even in dearth of rain
Bear flowers among thorns bared like lance
But my garden’s bleeding hearts have lain
On hard ground withering in your absence

Forgive me if I ever blamed you
Because I donot reproach you out of spite
You must have known like I have
What it feels to wait, in dark and in light
When minutes seem to unfurl their cloaks
And strech over the warm summer night
And from every corner of time
Death snickers as fools below put up a fight

Yet death might do without the dead
And buds without the time of seed
Might wilt and dare wait for next April
But I, my dear, falter,
Worsen like a mortal fever
And loosen all my petals
(When I miss you)
Because I cannot look into your eyes
And hope that they close upon mine
And you go to sleep in my arms
Because I cannot feel your breath
Against my ears and contemplate
How I would give my own
Yes I would give my own
If yours might ever be endangered

But these are just words
And not exactly in your own words
Words are words and cannot be trusted
As they might sneak upon you like a friend
And then put an awl around your neck
So do not believe in my words
If they appear to you
As a hiding hairclad villian mammoth
For it might even seem obvious
All that I have for you are these lying words
And do not have the courage to test me
For in play you might lose a friend
And at heart mourn the loss of love

Your Presence (2005)

I’ll ne’er seed a quelling tempest,
For I’m a traveler bound west
And it only knocks on the eastern door;
So till then in love’s lure,
I’ll dance like the wandering moon,
My duties snapped asunder,
Until a blot is a blunder,                                
And with the impending monsoon
When the tempest catches up
I’ll stand my ground
But at love’s reckoning hour,
Wretched stipulations abound
Will you my love
Care to pier our love-harbor?

When hopes shall be lost
In an ocean teeming with fear
In bowels of hell we shall be chastised; A cost
We shall pay to endear
In each other’s flesh and heart
Will you my love then say
Say you love me, the world apart?

Set the questions apart
For answers I do not seek,
But I must write the beauty
Sought by my heart,
But if I wrote the beauty of your eyes
The fiery sun would cease to shine,
Jealous he will sputter, “this man lies”,
Albeit the keen moon would pine
My words for you to be his own,
For he knows they rule
Only halves of my day and night

To talk of the night, I despair

The jewel of a night
Squeezes rubies and diamonds
Out of the ageless cosmic-bonds,
And darkens with every might
Yet darkening he takes no pride
Because you sparkle on my hide;
The jewel forfeited on land

I despair in the silence of the night

Even with the fleeing springs
Bringing settling colds, Pain
Struck by their departings
Are every year the same

When you leave my dear
I wilder in a nuance of vanity
For every night exceeds the other
Staging varying vigor of insanity

Insane and in madness,
I await your presence and my absence
Coz they say “In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse”
In a minute I’ll claim I have lived
In a minute I’ll amass time and will have heaped
Time enough to bore immortals to death
Time enough to entice mortals to say
“I’d kill to have such clocks
Talisman ticking years for minutes, which unlocks
Your whole life to be mere minutes”
Can you imagine such a minute?
Because I cannot
I can’t fix them up in my mind
For I have always been poor with setting up memories
(Languishing minutes I can’t unwind)
On stages shaking with infantile mummeries

In those minutes
Of a hundred climates
Of silence and tempests
I’ll await your presence;
Not to forget my absence

Love Bite (2010)

I see a maiden veiled in mist and rain
She treads tender as I trail her shadow
The mist swirls around her
She’s a mystery-queen bathed in sandalwood
Her walk is artful like colors swirling
Her hips undulate to the rhythm of the wind on leaves
Moonflowers dance in her wake
I am intoxicated, helpless and watching

Her ravenous hair is bathed in moonlight
Her ecstatic body heaves with her steps
Like the moon playing with the waves
A dove cooes above and she turns
I can see her close now from the shadows
Her large searching eyes
Her lips are full of elixir
Her hands are slender and smooth
And I can feel her buttery touch

This mysterious piper’s tune
Draws me out of the shadows
Leaves crumble beneath my feet
And she raises her beautiful eyes
And sees me
I feel like I am holding a bird
Captive in my hands
Soft and vulnerable
Still but alert
Awaiting flight

I draw closer and we stand there
Strangers in the night
She brings back memories
That I never knew were there

She reaches out and touches my hand
I share her magnificence
And I remember now
I remember her love
Her caresses
Her playful talk
The smooth skin of her neck

I see now that she is a moon-child
She draws closer still
And whispers her secret into my ear
Her talk is tilting like the ancient mantras
Spilled like pollen in her sweet breath
She holds my head in her soft hands
And closes near with her eyes on mine
Our eyes close
Her nose brushes mine
And I drink the sweet elixir from her mouth
The mist engulfs us
And we vanish in the night