Under the spreading java plum

I thought of her,
lying there,
under the spreading java plum.
Its warmth had my nano’s scent.
Slender branches resonated her arms.

She planted it as a young girl,
my mother once said.
It grew with her,
aging as the seasons passed.

I plucked a fruit;
staining my palm crimson
and tasted its bitter sweetness.

A picture flashed before my eyes.
A woman with a timeworn face
and tattered clothes
lulling a baby to sleep.

And I wondered,
how trees could be so mysterious.
Silently watching as
the years passed.
And with them, lives.


Thursday morning encounter

Its a Thursday morning.
People are hurrying
like ants.
All in motion,
trying to get somewhere.
Probably their non-desirable nine to fives.
Heads buried in flimsy screens,
ears plugged.
Seeming focused.
Ignoring their kind.
March rain falls quietly.
Seated at last, I notice
a child of four
beside me.
With his mud brown skin,
Face pressed against the glass,
counting the drops on the window
or trees in interminable distance.
I can’t tell.
Occasionally breaking the silence
with loud abrupt noises;
unafraid of attention.
His curiosity grows and spreads
beyond the passing sceneries.
He’s so unlike human.
I can’t relate to him.
I sense a peculiar space between us.
Like he’s close enough for me to touch,
yet light years away.

Poetry, I realised
wasn’t something I could force.
There were times, it came to me
like a revelation.
but mostly I maundered,
in search of a word,
like a missing puzzle piece.
I knew there was a word.
That would fit and legitimise,
my expression.
I knew it existed,
somewhere in the hollows of my mind,
But the flow was obstructed,
ripples disrupted,
carried it further and further
away from me.

“It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.
To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I’d been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.”
― Albert Camus, The Stranger. 

Where damped washing are hung
often upside down,
where strayed dogs play cheerfully at noon
and howl savagely by the night
where streets are narrowed
and nights, stretched out.
Amidst of quietened alleys,
and lamented walls,
where people sleep on pavements
and rejoice the filth.
The town weeps I’ve been told.
I hear it’s calling.
Every night, I pack my things,
and escape this wretched place
I stride into the dark,
running for the nearest train.
I almost make it but
— noiselessly,
the town follows.