Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Flying Scotsman

yont brattlin clood an seelent glen
tweetlin a-lood the ingine skirls
this noisome train wi lanely men
hame-comin whaur thair lassies birls

whit lends thay awe, an whit dets thirls
whit ailin mam, whit seekly bairn
thair dreams forby the train-smeuk swirls
bi new gless tour or auncient cairn

thay ken nae sang, thaur herts made airn
thair mynds full o the twalmonth tack
regairdless o loch, pen or tairn
thay anely think o whit thay lack

ay but thinkna muckle o it
Ye an A, we're an aw in it

(a-b-a-b b-c-b-c c-d-c-d e-e)

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

On bad poetry

A sonnet about bad poetry
Is such a sitting duck to write bad
Poetry, that the mind is made sad
Contemplating it. Casuistry
Mixed with ingenious puppetry
Of words, passed off as verse, make a mad-
Dening brew; the perpetrator's glad
Smile the epitaph of artistry.

But there is redemption in restraint
For history's cruel treatment of
Poetasters bears silent witness
That their glories if any are faint;
And while in this day the world may scoff
At true art, it alone is ageless.

(a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a c-d-e-c-d-e)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Free Speech

I am not liking this thing called free speech.
It is giving spouse reason to phone all
friends and make discuss politics and call
all netas bad names like blood-sucking leech.
Why he not thinking when the news will reach
police they come to house - all six feet tall,
pehelwan type - and mercilessly haul
him from hiding in cupboard and will teach
lesson with dandas he will not forget?
Who is spending money in hospital
And making chakkar of court-kacheri?
Then after all that will our daughter get
Groom from good family and capital?
All this free speech talk making me wary.


Friday, April 15, 2011

City of Dreadful Night

Bodies sweat in the heaving crowd:
Hunger, anger, anxiety, thirst
Mixing with smoke, diesel and dust,
Stranded commuters curse aloud.
The night surrounds them like a shroud
Their day like all the others cursed
Their ambitions eaten by rust
Stuck in a jam, their heads are bowed.

Microwaved food, conditioned air,
Cold water and LCD screens:
Building a personal paradise
In a suburban nameless lair
I make for myself pleasant scenes
and dream on till the sun shall rise.

(a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a c-d-e-c-d-e)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


'Who poisoned my boy? Who poisoned my boy?'
She goes around asking everyone.
In her arms the rigid corpse of her son,
Paralysed arms still clutching his last toy.
Hollow glassy eyes stripped naked of joy
Relentlessly repeating their question.
Answers to which she bore on her person -
Her own guilt that madness will not destroy.

Pieces of bread soaked in insecticide
She fed the puppies with great tenderness.
'They'll infect my child' she smilingly said
To the tail-wagging bitch who stood beside.
'Lest he get some incurable illness,
'Tis best I kill off your children instead.'

(a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a c-d-e-c-d-e)

Friday, March 04, 2011


Purple satin cushions blemished with blood;
Likewise the golden cup crusted with gore;
Velvet carpeting disfigured with mud;
Crystal chandeliers that tinkle no more.
Amidst all he lay – his body putrid –
Chevrons proclaiming: base common soldier.
Crawling with maggots, in his neck buried:
A golden dagger, prize for his valour.

The sabre that cut him was now at last
Ornamented — with noble blood drying;
Wailing and gasping for glories now past,
Thrashing in gloom the marshal lay dying.
One among hundreds with no pomp or show,
His medallioned breast still outshone the snow.

(a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d e-f-e-f-g-g)


Thursday, March 03, 2011

To S

A neuron fires: his thick glasses come into view;
A synapse transmits: his silly laughter rings out;
Axon meets dendrite: that's me learning something new,
For now there's lots of him I yearn to know about.

Currents so tiny they cannot even be felt
Overwhelm me - his awkward grace, his gleeful smile;
He's not there
yet he's seen, he's held, he's touched, he's smelt.
The circuit loops on - it's him, him, him all the while.

The sight of him trigger's my brain's reward pathway
In ways that chocolate or alcohol will not
Anymore; my survival instincts shooed away
As he seems to take over every nerve I've got.

The heartbeat rises as enlightenment kicks in:
It's love's electrostatic torrent that I'm in.

(a-b-a-b c-d-c-d e-f-e-f g-g)