Chai In A Coffee Mug

Scribblings of an insomniac


this morning she wore
just a smile
a sweet remnant
from a secret dream
her hair still tangled in stars
eyes languid green pools

and I like mist
dissipated under her
verdant gaze
vying with the rosy
tint of dawn
to settle on her skin


we lost our shadows
to the waning sun

hearts balanced
on hurriedly made
stilts, ready to fall

we brushed green
war paint across eyes,
blind to the dirt beneath

dried spots
from yesterday’s
downpour, black kohl
on the car windows

we rushed past
blurs of ourselves,
standing alone

left behind

The Length of Nights

Thoughts of you slump beside me along with some cigarettes I have not lit yet. A coffee mug gapes, charred from the stubs of night ash. Those moments stretch and yawn in the dawn breeze, it’s time to lull them to sleep.

Some dead fireflies have come loose from constellations light years away, where I lose you in the folds of a night sky, wrapped in words you would not hear; I could not say.

seasonal blues –
sweet ache of a bruise
I keep pressing

Fruit of the dead

I’m finally seeing someone,
she says it quietly

I was tapping a pomegranate
with the heavy handle
of a kitchen knife
(It loosens the seeds I’d told her)

carefully, I put the knife down
then glance at her,
she’s flushed from the heat,
skin almost translucent
taut over her cheeks,
like god airbrushed her face
to make the best of bones

there’s a furrow between
her brows, an abyss
where my words have tipped over
and disappeared; she’s waiting

I shrug, and she grabs the fruit
slams it on the work counter
then splits it open, there’s
liquid rage in her eyes

the ruby juice bloodies
her hands, she chuckles,
a sad sound, but she’s smiling
running a sticky finger
down the side of my face

I’m ten again
at the crocodile farm
it’s so hot, I remember
sweat behind my knees as I squat,
so bright, I’m squinting
to look at the reptiles

my brother throws a small rock
at a sleeping crocodile
(not to hurt, just to stir it)
a drop of dark blood slides
slowly down its rough stony cheek
it doesn’t even flinch

I want to be like that


Note: In Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the «fruit of the dead» and believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis. – google


We had dragged our military-green camping chairs right to the water’s edge. Dipping our toes into the tepid water, we watched the moon emerge from the flat Arabian Sea. It was a red moon. We took turns puffing on the ‘shesha’ with green-apple flavoured tobacco. Music blared from the small portable Bose speaker; I think it was Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the water, fire in the sky’. I mentally jotted down words for that moment as I chugged from a sweaty can of Coke.

as the blood moon rose
we puffed apple flavoured smoke
sea between our toes

We held hands, our fingers closing the distance, as smoke from a barbecue close by wafted in our direction. I chuckled as you leaned in to kiss, a gentle peck on the cheek and then a brush of lips on lips. I was one with the red moon.

under the shy hem
of my conscience, your hand grips
the wet sandy shore


When a poet dies
Cover her with ashes of her burnt poems
Pages that lay crumpled in the bin
Let them float in the breeze like whispers
Talking to unseeing eyes
Making them bleed the unshed

When a poet dies
Lay her gently, bury her
In the soft soil with her words
Sealed casket of her chest
And when they sprout in spring
Gather those flowers and press them in your books
Bruising the pages red and blue

When a poet dies
Underline the words she left unsaid
Read them carefully
They were the ones she held close
Learn them by heart
And you will be able to sing along with birds

When a poet dies
She does not


We stuck our heads into clouds
– lost
The porridge cold every morning
resembling splattered vomit
over the white ceramic plate

We scraped it off
chewed slowly
It caught between teeth
Tiny milk ones
yet to fall
We cried over stinky boiled eggs
Then stuck our heads into clouds
– breathed

She would stare back
Brown eyes like Cola
Lips a purple line
Black oiled hair
– limp

I’m also colour blind
she would muse

But I could see
through her stain-glass eyes
Tufts of grass
– aubergine
The sky so deep it was almost red

And I would tap the glass
for her attention
She would ape me
– tap tap tap
Smile, mouthing ‘clouds, clouds’

We would stick our heads into clouds
lick our way through them
Pink mist singing on our tongues
Cold and shivering
– happy

Inspired by:
Nefelibata –
An individual who lives in the clouds of her/his own imagination or dreams. A person who doesn’t abide by the rules of society, literature, or art.

The Things We Did Not Pack

you were always one poem
ahead, rushing for the trees,
while I made my way through
the sillage of metaphors and clichés

I watched you laugh and trip
on the roots waiting for your feet

you took me down with you,
fingers tugging at my hair–
pulling back my head, neck
exposed to the pine needles

the rumble in your chest,
distant thunder, the wet
forest floor, soft, your ripped
Levi’s rough on my thigh

now you reek corporate, mossy
socks concealed in patent leather,
your white shirt crisp as the
linen on our bed, you pin me
down every other weekend

on good days, I can taste
pink mist on your skin, drink in
the heady scent of wood on
your ragged breath, as you
pump into me fresh remorse

Love was never on her mind

last night, Tori Amos
was on shuffle for two hours,
took me down that basement
to a girl, her initials
I’d written on my wrist

she sat on her broken sofa bed
humming ‘Crucify’;
a Gospel, weighing down
sheafs of paper, beside
an open journal
where she’d squirrel away
her dark poetry

and I, cross-legged,
on her couch laden with clothes
– stared, a pebble in my chest,
her sweet perfume
making me lightheaded

she ghost played
a blue guitar
with broken strings
and smiled shyly

hazel-green eyes,
such wistful clouds,
like she wanted to swim up
to the ground floor,
break surface, and breathe

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