Archives for category: poetry

Asttrophytum Myriostigma – Star Plant

Since childhood Ive always had a fascination for the cactus. why I’m not clear but whenever i saw a cactus i would gaze at it for long observe its special architecture different from plants and wonder at how it survived. i always treated it as some kind of pet animal that had presence but didn’t move or make a fuss. As i grew older I examined this strange fascination. The cactus never asked for much, no daily water and strong in all weathers. It knew the art of survival. Nightly it would quietly absorb carbon di oxide, then as day dawned it would use it to photosynthesise with its fat succulent stems which stored water to produce its food. It hardly grew and had spines to ward off predators and catch the first morning dew drops in a desert with no water or rainfall, which would then trickle to its roots and quickly be absorbed in the fat succulent stems. What a wonder of a creature i would think. So self sufficient and self reliant sitting still like a yogi in meditation. It did grow imperceptibly thickening its water filled stems protected by a waxy coat to prevent water loss, always looking plump and happy never withering like other plants with neglect. Its architectural contours were perfect round with pretty shapely stems and the spines. In many cases these spines looked purely ornamental than to ward off people. I loved my little cactus and daily gazed at it trying to communicate to its desert soul. If you water a cactus daily it will die. Its that kind of strong hardy plant that does not like pampering. So I would give it sunlight not keeping it on my desk table and water  once a week. It thrived and grew. Like a fat pumpkin. Im sure it was aware of my loving presence. Then one surprising day i noticed a protuberance at the top, a kind of boil. As i watched daily it grew into a thick bud quite out of keeping with its general make up of stems and spines. It assumed a brighter green colour and finally the bud grown real big burst into flower, my happiest moment. no small flower but a lotus like big single flower red and yellow and bigger than the cactus. a miracle of nature. It said to me I’m happy and sexy. The flower remained for a month before it had done its purpose and fertilised its ovum, then it dried and fell away. The happy cactus then grew fast and became double its usual size. It was for me always like a dear pet.

Then I began my crazy pursuit of other cacti. I went to distant nurseries to collect all species and brought them home. My family thought i had gone crazy. Opuntias with yellow and white thorns, with a character of their own, succulents of all kinds and my favourites the globular spineless ornamental type. My favourite was the Astropfytum Miriostigma translated as starplant with several dots. It was a grey blue smooth stemmed plant with few spines and a myriad pretty dots on its sexy fleshy stems which were parted in four. Then one of the Opuntias taught me a lesson. my vision suddenly blurred. The eye doctor said you have a ‘thief’ in your eye. One of the hairlike spines had travelled and implanted itself in my cornea. He surgically removed it and said i had better get rid of the Opuntias. so i did.

Then decades later in my retirement i saw some globular cacti in a nursery and brought two as pets. They give me no end of pleasure. A mystic astrologer remarked, these are not just plants but souls so you better look out. Its not considered auspicious to keep them. I didn’t care, if they are souls they must be the friendly type.

Some of my favourites:

A poem inspired by my unusual fascination for these plants:

                                          THE  CACTUS

Halls of ochre butcher as they chase

One drop.

Not one insect spared but splits

In parching,

Sound of dry grass crackling,

Eyes thaw in ochre dust.

Like a dwarf sits the cactus.

Awkward limbs but affection in the interior,

Soft pulpy green-walled translucency

Where the moisture drips.

But without,

Its challenged thorn-lusty prurience grapples

With the desert’s grip.

Hate is an outer armour,

Love’s moisture is in the stem

And there is proof for when

The desert awakens in the rain,

Bulbs of chlorophyll

Explode in monsoon blooms

The milk pulp making fissures on the ragged skin;

Blood red hues, hibiscus violet

Flowers fed on milk. Then

How large the hidden heart

Bandaged in bristling brutality

For survival.

And now is the time of seed’s revival;

Another need brings the dwarf’s art.

 

20150120_115243

Bright as a daffodil

With a smile

To gladden the heart

Earnest to the core,

Picking up your broken parts

To put them together once more.

 

Always positive

In circumstances most dire,

Nothing defeats her.

A fund of energy

Like sparkling sunlight

Playing on wet leaves

And flowers

The soul of my life,

Its purpose and priority.

 

Always busy

Keeping the house tidy,

The dinner warm,

The prayers persistently

Beseeching blessings

For the family.

Always concerned

For the well being

Of children far away,

call them now

It’s Sunday.

 

Ready for festivals

Brimming with enthusiasm

 And fervour

In her best dress

To honour the Gods,

Welcoming guests

With joie de vivre,

Attentive to the needs

Of friendly neighbours,

My loving mate

Always considerate.

 

The spirit of the home,

Propping up a picture,

cleaning out a comb,

Dusting every object,

Daily routine,

Nothing left alone,

Full of zest,

At her very best,

At all times,

Awake or at rest.

 

Where would I be without her,

My diligent and avid helper,

My heart and my soul,

Always making everything whole.

Were she to go away,

I fear the coming

Of that dark day,

But she consoles me,

Not to worry

I’m here to stay.

And when the time comes,

Together, never apart,

Hand in hand

We shall depart

And be on our way.

 

family 1

We return each day to the television

To watch a spot of sweet light.

When the same child comes running up

With a lesson done well, we delight

And kiss away our worries. She comes looking

After you with what is known to please,

Her happiness is sunlight.

And Sunday comes and stills time

For you to move at will.

 

The expectancy of these

Help us fulfill the long hours.

 

And if these fade away

The hours lengthen

Until there are no more any lessons

And her interest is kind of diffused.

But Sunday comes still

And you are forced to move at will.

anemone

Gorgeous flower anemone,

Body is venomous,

Pretty faced hegemony

As the prey approaches,

Brilliant coloured anomaly,

Overwhelmingly odorous

As hidden mouth ravenous

Probes its victims body,

Consuming carnivorous,

Holding in pink tentacles

In enchanting paralysis,

Entirely lost

In gorging flower anemone’s

Colourful nemesis.

Sea20Anemone

 

 

prototype

A broken thread of trust

Must knot and knot again.

A dark indelible stain

On a white sheet is shame

And boughs that will not bend will break,

Volcanic emotions erupt,

Fiery tempers incinerate,

Still waters run deep,

Resolutions stand like rocks,

Careers at their peaks,

Civilizations that rise must fall like waves,

And males and females in fact

Like opposite poles attract.

 

Prototypes in nature

Frame our very circumstance,

Fix our reflex,

Are the alphabets 

That spell out our context;

 

For problems do resolve like solutions,

Crises precipitate,

Catalysts are also human agents,

Chain reactions can devastate,

In history as in chemistry,

As elements compound 

So issues complicate,

Like an organism

Ideas too can proliferate,

 

 

How curious

that physical analogies

Ring true of our predicaments,

Exist like primordial metaphors,

Define our contours;

The paradigms reaching across

A far flung cosmos.

 

 

comet

Comet in the sky

You smite me distant traveler

With some strange nostalgia,

Far away going away

Every night for a while.

 

Comet in the sky

Your light has tanned

My naked eye,

Touched my retina

With a new age,

Burrowed into my mind.

 

You surprise

Like a distant train

In the wilderness

Hurtling on its way.

 

Siberian crane

You fill me with compassion

For your lonely furious pilgrimage

To another millennium.

 

Visitor from another age,

Your searing glorious passage,

Primordial image,

Like a messiah come

To  disturb our settled equilibrium.

 

 

 

tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
Into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
Has not lost its way into the dreary desert sands of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

 

                                         RABINDRANATH  TAGORE

                                       Nobel Prize for literature 1913

ennui

Lately

Thoughts do not sprout,

This is a barren season,

The morning holds no promise,

And night thankfully

Brings oblivion,

While the day extends endlessly

In routine.

The heart has closed,

The mind still,

Not a whiff of air,

Something cold in the breast,

A grand emptiness everywhere.

Something has snapped somewhere,

It is low tide,

The moon of the mind

Has set,

But there is not even anguish,

Not even hurt, no emotion,

The leaves do not stir,

There is no storm,

Just an impotent silence here,

An emptiness,

But it is not tranquil,

It is the stuff of vacuums

Of nothingness

Of casting a net

Into a fish-less sea,

With a ringing in the ears,

A restlessness

Of ennui.

gabriel_from_mt_sinai_13th_century_1024x1024

I have this icon

Looking down at me

Wings outstretched till the ears

Eyebrows joined over the nose

Gaze steady

Into my soul.

Crop of curling hair

Tumbling down from a tiara

Wand held firmly

Behind the head

Palm outstretched

In a blessing.

Thick brown stole

Over green tunic

Smites my heart

Gabriel.

Child-smiling (1)

The pristine innocence

Of that look.

Nothing in the lips to suggest

guile,

Eyes that do not blink

Full uninhibited moons,

Like those of a sage,

Piercing through you,

No subterfuge in a gesture,

No craft in a prank,

No device in a smile,

Just trust

Angelic

You could never betray,

As you hold hands

In the little clasp

And relieve  your complications,

Inside its firm grip

Of love.

 

Hold a child’s hand

And look into his eyes

Transcending

All your laborious meditations

Fulfilling

All your remotest explorations,

Surpassing all your knowledge

In one moment

You have found God

As you let slip your mask,

Forego your tricks and treachery,

Shed your skepticism

And transform into a child.

Man-and-child-hold_2409462b

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