Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Smell of New Paint

An old house is painted new, it shines like the sun,
Dust’s peeled off, cobwebs find refuge in the store,
It’s daughter’s wedding is approaching near,
It’s tenants must soon be abandoned.

The family kin lavishly fill the rooms,
Beds join, tables relocate, cloth walls are formed,
Children meet new faces, play bride and groom,
Young men sweat, girls ornament, the house’s swarmed.

The groom arrives, guides away a pregnant cloud,
All fall silent on the sad departure flute, rain in tune,
Repairmen stop and stare, in duty and tears is strewn,
In darkest rooms money change hands, from lost to proud.

Days wait for months, then months for years,
A Diwali speeds fast, another National Flag marches past,
Dust reappear, homeless spiders find work honored.
The paint keeps from falling, glued to a father’s fast.

From distant lands, news fly on many slippery wings,
Some fetch pundits lips, some shadow old wrinkles,
Some, like gravity, pull lawyers; in corners, the paint swings,
Where once had echoed a thousand tinkles.

Lastly, flooded disheveled minds pull the fate,
As hundred kins flock to the smell of a new paint.

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A Common Name

The boy with the common name, lonely always,
Joined late for dinner, clapped last at jest,
Waited for the rest to rise, hated praise,
He sought friends in trees, and in the sunset at west.

He knew not the meaning in his name,
Some replied it was water, some the sky,
And when, from crowds, strange voices exclaimed
With his name, always many replied

At twelve, his world’s still an inherited book,
The boy, traveling with early sun-beams,
Joined some foreign pilgrims, and mistook
Them as one questioning his dreams.

There he met a girl, whose name did sound
As much as his own, as two beats of the heart,
Yet strange was her smile, he found,
As was oasis in his mind’s desert.

Her speech, richer and neater than nectar,
Was like a perfect portrait disfigured
In his eye; or like the meaning of a falling star
In windowless houses is no more revered.

A western summer might be awaited long,
The selfsame weather blinds the eastern skies,
A scarred cliche flattens a vibrant song,
In distant lands clings on to the tongue of the wise.

From then, the boy prides in his common name,
Like the staking jockey flaunts in his sure claims.

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