Monday, May 28, 2007

My 52nd encounter with the peacock

It's a rainy day
Petulantly, he sat under a pink umbrella
Surrounded by rubber plants and peacock friends
Who were staring at me

It was his marriage day

I hesitated to invite you
Why so?
It's my fourth marriage as you know
What happened?

I never met the right one again
It's onerous

The ceremony began

Splinter of ice in the heart
The sun declining to rise
Descent to hell

No exit
No return

He knew he had joined his she-peacock
In holy matrimony 

When he shared his glass of rooh afza
That ended his rooh afza monopoly
Once and for all

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My 51st encounter with the peacock

I dream of a delicatessen
The peacock places a plate in front of me
What's the breakfast menu, I ask
I'll serve you weariness
Two spoonfuls

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My 50th encounter with the peacock

The peacock had flu
I stuck a thermometer into his beak
Fed him spinach soup
Through a straw
From a porcelain bowl in which I mixed two paracetamols

Into the bottomless night
The peacock souped
Reading aloud from a crumpled paper
He found in my wool sweater

Who invented multiplications?
Why do tables have four legs?
Did Hitler kill five million or six million Jews?
When a cat gives birth to a rat, will it be evolution?
Are thieves taxed?
Do parallel lines meet?
Is geometry, abstract or for real?
Can I marry an elephant?
Et sic deinceps

Next morning, the peacock
Poked me with his toe

Good morning
You say the sun rises in the east
My momma and poppa say it rises in the west
I think, the truth lies probably somewhere in between

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My 49th encounter with the peacock

Why are things, irregular
Says the peacock to me
You speak of words and their prophecies
Or you speak of the weather, I enquire
After all
No sun in sight
For 12 straight days in a row
Rather irresponsible, I say

I speak of the mind, and its mindlessness
Meaning what, dearest peacock?

I speak of this ancient tree
I'm perched on
Does it have a brain or not
Or does it monotonously, live

Have one of the zillion trees
Ever asked
Are we nature's experiment?
The peacock paused
Held his poise
My finding is
Trees are over-rated

Just then the chromosomes went cling-clung
Buds blinged-blanged
The stem heaved and ho
One branch belched, crackled into two

The peacock fell
On his backside

And all of me
Could not get the peacock
To discuss the said subject ever again

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My 48th encounter with the peacock

My feathers no more
Like leaves on a branch
Like mortal men
Like the memory of their lives

How this wind scatters my feathers across the earth

How the teak tree bursts with new buds
How the sun is swallowed by a cloud

The sun rises again

So it is with my feathers
One generation comes to life
Another fades away

In this way

The peacock dictated his first poem
To me

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My 47th encounter with the peacock

This river has become really mischievous
Too much
Means too much
Why what happened? I asked

Today as I stepped in, said the peacock
The water started to tickle me

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My 46th encounter with the peacock

A peacock cries
Inside its unformed light ivory tanned egg
Sobbing non-stop
During eight months of incubation

That's why we live in stoicism
No tears that flow
Even when the tap is turned on

Saying so the peacock
Honked and howled
Did bup bup bup
And wheeewheewhee

Be silent
Do not wake the village up
When they wake up they start working

That tires me

The peacock picked up a tenebrous pebble
Tossed it in the air
Caught the hard stone with its beak
On its way down

He said
This pebble has seen the fall and mistrustful survival
Of this township
Seen royalty sent on the road of exile
To another homeland

What makes the pebble special is
Not the fact that I can build a grave stone with it
It has a juicy worm
On its under-side
Making for a succulent post-lunch snack

Have you seen a peacock perched on a donkey
What a preposterous question, said I
It was such an attitude
That prevented my peacock ancestors
From inventing an intelligent mass transport system

My memory fails me
Why what happened I asked
I've forgotten the day
This earth became mute

Sunday, May 6, 2007

My 45th encounter with the peacock

The peacock saw me
Your face is wet
Your eyes are moist
My people call it mourning, I said

Oh, let's take a cold shower and then let's have a beer

What happened?
I don't know
How come no reports on the TV
She was no high and mighty person
With fans and charlatans who posed as disciples

Wish she was the queen of the ants
Mindful of manners
Silent, never troubling
Even though she was a teeny-weeny creature
In the jungle

Are we discussing me here? asked the peacock with a pout

Why don't you write something in one of the languages you claim to know?
Saying what? I asked
A monodrama will do
Like the one you've written
(Your only claim to fame I'm told)
About a multitude of things
Incantations and speeches and all

I try

Her as an old spinster sitting inside a fridge
Talking to fern leaves till they wither and shrivell

The sky leaking
Dry bones bursting
She wanders the dusty streets
Knocking on doors
Begging for her odour to be erased


How do you know all this, I asked the peacock
Sir, he replied
You have talked and walked in your sleep
For seven nights in a row

I was consuming my anti-biotics
At dawn
Still despairing, asked the peacock
Yes, said I
No man-made drug for that?
Not yet, I smiled

It was a weak smile
If I was a Dutch painting, I would have smiled better

Did she outlive her purpose
No, said I
I think she tried to resist the winds

Sounds like my gum tree
You remember how she shone in the darkness
The cause of her death, never disclosed
The optimist in the graveyard said it was asthma

Plus the discomfort
At having to extend her stay on this planet

What will you do now, asked the peacock
Mourn some more, said I
The peacock rolled his eyes
Clockwise, squeezed eyes thrice, and then counter clockwise
The human kind discovers all kinds of banalities
To pass the time

It's an elegy for departure
The epilogue of a lifetime
A finale to a besieged soul
An inscription that befits Acropolis or Knososs
A prayer from an atheist
For god knows what and why

Go sleep, said he
Can't said I
Why asked he
She will come and knock on my eyelids

Saturday, May 5, 2007

My 44th encounter with the peacock

We watched a game of soccer, together
When it concluded
The peacock said
A pointless game
It consists of seeing that the ball creates a number of motifs and groupings
All for no purpose

That's when I realised
My life is a goalless draw

Friday, May 4, 2007

My 43rd encounter with the peacock

What are those dew drops on your face
Asked the peacock to me
These are tears, said I
They suit your countenance, he said

Make you prettier

I wiped my face, meticulously, with his feathers
He smiled
With me its a tad different
My eyes are slow to cry but quick to see

My momma and poppa advised me, once
Son, that's what eyes are for
For seeing
Do not fritter on extra-curricular activities

So why cry?
I lost an important someone last night

It happens all the time
The way of the world and all that
Shortish absence is goodish in the longish run
Said he

So why cry and all? he again, asked
One less person to talk to, said I

A hour later, said the peacock
In sorrow you live your life
Do endure
That's the way it is on earth

Happy are those who dare to hop onto a spaceship
Shift their domicile to another planet
So tell me
Have you the cash-in-hand to book a one-way ticket to the moon

I clinked my tumbler of whiskey-soda
I saw
The ice wither
I said
Everything, so fragile
Everything, so perishable

Grieve not, said the peacock
Dial time, who is generally recommended
As one of the best surgeons in these parts
Time devours all

Or have a good shag and sleep contently ever after
That's what I would do

Many hours later ...
I was silent
The peacock asked me

I wrote with my toe on the sand
Tis best to be quiet in a lost cause