Bird Scarers

As when the air is yellow

filled with the light of peering sun after rain

 and everything looks light and gay

with the sheen of droplets on green

reflecting the yellow light

and with every blink I thought

I was blind but now I see

the joy of vision ever renewed.

We got out of our makeshift shades

made of sticks and arrow root leaves

back to our guarding task

the rice field against thieving birds

a stretch of golden field

bent stalks and ears bursting heavy with grain.

Thinking the birds were long gone

to seek some shelter from the storm

and now their wings too damp to fly

we abandoned our task

and went off playing in the mud

then out of nowhere

a flock of weaver birds

descended upon the ripe rice field

like a horde of Mongols

as we slid in the mud slope – naked.

Dancing for Pennies

When I left work today
My leather bag heavy on my hand
And my tie loosened
I passed by the market path
Where a young man was dancing for pennies
Music was playing from a shop close by
And on those borrowed sounds
He made his day’s quarter
On bare feet and threadbare shirt
a smile on their face he carried on
Almost kicking over his bowl of pennies
And making everyone around beam with smiles
I stood a while and then walked off — smiling

I thought as I boarded an old crowded bus
If only I’d be half as glad doing my job
Like that young man dancing for pennies
Another man carefully chains carts to a metal reel
Whistling as everyone goes about their business
And I look outside my window
They look like passing trees
Beautiful glad trees they are.
Dancing in the wind
Dancing for pennies
I begin reading sign posts
On the side of buildings we pass by
and fall asleep.

The Sleeper in the Plains.

In the scanted plains where dust blows

where smooth barked acacias cast rickety shadows

and thistle and thorny weeds thrive

It is a vast plain wrought with silence


A jumbo Elephant lies on its side

with the back of its ear bathed in red mud

he sleeps with teary but hard shut eyes

stretched out on the thorny ground

silent on its red bed – gathering throng of flies


The piercing heat does not twitch his skin

nor the flies set his tail to task

He is having a nap like someone with a broken heart

Might take a nap – unmoving

He sleeps in the sun Tusk-less

There are two red holes in his snout  


walking past a bank in town

with huge mirror-like panes

where I see a reflection of my visage

and how well my new shirt fits

 I adjust my collar

I do not think of the millions

that lie in some vault inside

or the clean marble halls

or the high white ceilings with lights

I think of how well my shirt fits

and walk on — pleased

like a bird flying over the sea

looks down momentarily

to admire their colourful plumage

on the vast dark ocean —

 swelling in its depths with wonder

then flies on – pleased.