Poem of the week: Week Thirty One.

The third poem from Mustansir Dalvi’s poetry collection Brouhahas of Cocks. Also, the second last poem for this month.

choosing trains
 Mustansir Dalvi

It’s those bloody slumwallahs again
my father curses, wet from the rain;
they’re back, throwing rocks at trains
so,so heartless, so totally insane.

I peek out from behind exhaust shaft
at the mob that destroys, burns and laughs;
duck just in time as a spinning half-
bat crashes through our grimy pane. 

The old man rushes to take us in
two sons, one wife, no next of kin
into the backroom store, on its roof of tin
skeletons dance to staccato strains.

I turn the back handle, quick, scurry out
onto rain swept rails, heart thudding, father shouts.
I turn left, then right, and finally, head south
to pick my rocks, to choose my trains.

***

Poem of the week: Week Thirty.

Here’s the second poem of August from Mustansir Dalvi’s poetry book Brouhahas of Cocks. I find this one very relatable!

hardback awakening
– Mustansir Dalvi

The air is thick, and has revived
my books, anticipating the first spell
of a Bombay monsoon.

Ambient moisture has slaked pages
that shuffle and twist, arise
to a wakefulness, unleaving.

Feeling the discomfort of nearness, they push
like Harbour Line commuters in rush hour,
to complain I have neglected them too long.

At night, I am shaken by a poltergeist
Thud! snapping me out of a dream state.
I pull on my glasses, feel my way to the bookshelves.

The hardbacks wait for me, annoyed.
They fall on their sides, open wide
and like Gabriel, call upon me: ‘Read!’
they cry, ‘Read!’

***