The Tree…

The lonely tree stands proud
above a carpet of flowers on fire
The leaves shiver as the noisy breeze
filters through them in a gusto waft

The gathering clouds on the grey sky
signal the impending monsoon rain
The birds struggle against the wind
to scamper back to their tree and nest

I stand and stare at this picture frame
as Natures’ everyday story unfolds
A dark heaviness descends within
at the thought of the imminent times

Concrete and steel will devour the green
smoke and stink will steal the scene
A paradise that soon will be
prey to man’s hunger and greed

I stand in shame before the tree
a helpless pawn in this heartless game
I feel a rain drop on my face
I feel a tear drop in my mind
Tree_

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A drop of Rain…

Dusty wind –
Dry leaves fly
Drunken clouds;
Monsoon days
I look up
The sullen sky
A drop of rain
On my face

A Parched life
Behind a mask
Caught in the arid
Everyday grind
Few more drops
Are all I ask
To cool my weary
Worn out mind

With open arms
The path I walk
No umbrella;
No rain coat;
I crave to dance
Like a peacock
A poet, a child,
A carefree heart

Feathered friends

sparrow house female bird fluffed up cold pulled up standing on one leg heated birdbath

There were once I remember
Noisy morning pleasures;
Cute little browny sparrows
Life’s sweet, simple refreshers.

Chirping by my window
They woke me every morn;
Pecking on the glass pane
When my day was born

The birdbath in my court
Where they used to throng
Their favorite social spot
To preen and tweet their song

The city is now grown-
Concrete, Traffic and smoke.
Where trees swayed and bloomed-
Cars and crowds choke

The court is now deserted
My feathered friends are gone;
The Birdbath breeds mosquitoes;
In silence breaks the dawn

I stare at my glass window;
Through soot I see the future;
Looting, losing as we speak
The simple treasures of nature

Today my daughter asked me
“What are sparrows dad?”
“Sweet little chirpers”, I told her
“Feathered friends I once had”.

The Rage Of Nature

Photo: Trangambadi 2011

The rage of the wave
   The wrath of the ocean
Swept the sorry nation
   To the watery grave.

Roofless homes, homeless souls
   Tossed and torn
At the crack of dawn
   On the tragic shores.

The cars are in the sea
   The boats are on the street
Where the land and water meet-
   What Chaos and Catastrophe!

The Whiteman on the beach
   Looking for a tan;
The brown man on catamaran
   Looking for the catch;

Vanished sans a trace;
   All to the water-prey.
Equal on dooms day
   all wretched human race;

There’s nowhere to run
   and nowhere to hide;
Nature’s other side
   when irate spares none.

Water, water everywhere
   But no water in the eye;
The tears had gone dry
   Lifeless, calm, bare.

The rage of the wave
   The wrath of the ocean
Shook the very notion
   That Nature man can enslave.

[written on the backdrop of the Tsunami 2004]

Dawn…

Photo : Bangalore 2007

Cuddled to my pillow, I lie so still
Half Awake –as in chemistry class;
The lone myna on my window sill
Rhythmically pecks on the tinted glass.
 
In chorus my neighbor’s cocks crow shrill;
I look up the skylight- two herons pass.
The wavy silhouette of a far off hill-
Sleeping in peace like a curvy lass.
 
The early breeze is fresh and chill
Caressing the dew drops on the grass;
It eases through the bamboo frill-
Soothing the soul like Ilayaraja’s bass.
 
The mongrels bond and bark at will
To greet the milkman’s chiming brass;
I flip my pillow for a cooler quill-
Soaked in the moment’s languid jazz.
 
I yawn and soon I yearn for a fill-
Coffee in bed is not so crass!
I snuggle, nuzzle and laze until
My mobile rings to break the impasse.

My Place…

By The River - by ashok 1994

I have a place for me;
For me alone to rest;
From there I could see,
the birds over their nest.

A stream clatters, chatters by;
Where happy fishes swim;
It makes my spirit go high;
Spurting over the brim.

I have a place for me;
A place for me to sleep;
In the shade of a tree,
Sheltered form the cloud’s weep;

From there I see a majestic hill
Crowned gold by sun at dawn;
I see a lake stagnant and still,
From the place I was born.

I have a place for me;
For me alone to play and sing;
Just like a busy buzzing bee;
I only lack its wing.

The wine in the air makes me lull,
Amidst the flowers- red and yellow;
Tis a place so sweet, never ever dull,
Where the green grass-my bed & pillow!

[written in 1989- one of my earliest surviving poetry from the school days]

Cravings…

Photo: source unknown

Where the green grass,
To the tune of wind,
Gently waves in a dance:
There will I lie in a trance,
To rest my tired mind.

For the song of the cuckoo
That fills the green vale,
And it’s overflowing echo:
My wealth, my wants, I’ll forgo;
Even my life and all.

[written in 1991]