Vistas of Corporate Life

A poem on the vistas of corporate life, from concrete jungles and basements, to urban glamour and the loneliness of human beings in a fast-paced world.

He swerves into underground gloom,
Silence and ill-lit nihility;
The slope drops another level
Into clandestine darkness.

They fly in and out,
Bulbous headed spirits
On fuel, like bats
Out of the dark.
Beside them sail
Raised panes sweeping
Unknown passengers
To unknown destinations.
No words flicker here
In transit.

The security guard sits alone
in his corner,
Propped up in his delible
Sky-blue shirt, ID askew,
Elbows on a tattered notebook
To log ferries across worlds.
His eyes are not used to greeting,
As he twiddles his thumbs
Beside an umbrella and
A trash can for company.

Tucked in by darkness,
Silence sleeps
In the midst of stationary cars
With time-arresting immobility,
It curls through the pools of blue
Cast by rows of CFL lights
Across sliding glass doors,
It drips in the wake of churning wheels,
Merging with the invisible humming
Of revving, breaking, simmering, warming

The radio withers here
Like a plant without the sun,
Its garbled voice
Cackles as if plaintively,
Unable to bear the gravity
Of a man-made silence
In a man-made symmetry.
He skids to a stop,
As I plummet into reality,
He lets me out and zooms away.
The others like me
walk with fickle feet,
A sense of irrepressible urgency,
Bearing the weight of
Habit and necessity in their
Frowns and wrinkles.
On smooth granite,
We wait in silence-
For the parting of polished silver doors
To haul us to man-made heights
And points of view.

On a Baby Niece

A poem inspired by a young niece.

Something about your eyes reminds me
Of dim candlelight that leaps in flecks
In the white silence of a church,
The sad quiet air that settles in the calm of twilit streets,
The kind hands of my grandmother withdrawn
In the recesses of her lap.

With every touch you glean consciousness
And whet your tender mind,
With every little curiosity
You grow unknowingly.
Something about your eyes
Brings to mind that waking state between
Language and cognition,
Where words hinge not on concepts
But flashes, images, colours and life
That is lived in the mind.

The shadows come out in bouquets now,
Monochrome memories in your crystal eyes,
Like wisps of a dream edging on the verge of reality,
Dark, unknown, patient, groping for existence
Like unborn children.

When you have grown,
And nor you, nor I would be
Able to turn the hands of time,
Something about your eyes
Would have lived in spite of you
Like a dream half-dreamt
That leaps and takes flight
From the boughs of your mind.

(Published in Dialogue: An Art and Culture Magazine, Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1, Jan 2014)


A Poem in French inspired by Christopher Marlowe’s play ‘Doctor faustus’

Je l’ai perdue dans les ténèbres
D’une nuit sans sommeil
Dans un rêve doré
Qui était au mirage pareil
Dans le silence gelé
Qui chuchote dans un cimetière
Dans la froideur d’une rancune
Des mots amers
Parmi les cendres et la poussière
D’un monde noirci
Pesant sur ma conscience
Comme un fardeau alourdi
Dans une volute soudaine
D’une bougie étouffée
Dans le débris d’un champ
de bataille déserté
Entre les haleines glacées
D’une haine intense
Dans une tempête de rage,
Sans but, ni sens
A la bifurcation
Du chemin de la vie
Dans un instant sceptique
Et de désespoir dans l’esprit
Au fond d’un abîme
Dans le royaume des ombres
Dans un labyrinthe sinueux
D’un enfer sombre
Je l’ai perdue à un petit
Moment de sourire…
J’ai perdue mon âme
A la recherche d’un désir.

Demain dès L’Aube…

A poem inspired by French poet Victor Hugo’s poem of the same title that he wrote for the death of a loved one.

A Poem Inspired by Victor Hugo’s poem of the same title

Demain dès l’aube dans le jour blâfard,
Je partirai à ne jamais revenir,
Je poursuivrai l’horizon qui dépasse le regard
Là, quelquepart au delà de l’avenir.

J’irai écouter le murmur des eaux,
Seule, sur les bords de la béatitude
Là, dans le silence ignorant des mots,
Je demeurerai un instant en solitude.

Et quand le vent bohémien des vastes prairies,
Sifflerait cet air des choses lointaines
Je volerai sur les ailes d’une pensée chérie
Pour frôler les herbes hautes des plaines.

Puis la lumière s’effacerait du monde,
Le crépuscule y viendrait, il ferait soir
Je partirai dans mon voilier sur la mer et ses ondes
Pour cueillir les étoiles du noir.

Mais la nuit berçerait mon âme rebel,
Lasse, heureuse, doucement je pleurerai…
Dans mon coeur encore cette voix, cet appel
Et devant mes yeux, une ombre de l’éternité…

(Published in SAICE Alumni Magazine, Golden Chain, 2018.)