Poetry: Yogesh Patel

Yogesh Patel

Ahoy! The avulsion

 

When I parachute into

Grey and cold backdrop of lone canvas

An autumn leaf of a photo'd fire

Do not find it as my fall

I may not create any choreographed

3d gyro fluff

In a dreaming blue sky

Or buzz like a whirligig beetle

Or zigzag like a balloon

Rudely passing its wind mid-air

-to laugh at me as you do-

I do not have any fuss to make

With any baggage left

 

Time is a disjointed game

Just as I wake up past midnight and think

It’s time for the after-dinner evening walk

A reality to nowhere

Until a gentle hand finds me

 

I will gently settle down

With my leaf miners for you to read

Hiding the unseen stars in its tangles

With love dreamt and lost

Covering any path

As a blackening passage

Waiting for the terpsichorean downpour

To wash me away for another day

***

 

 

A park-bench plaque

Why must it revere or pine for
someone I don't know?    Who was he?

Bring a brolly.       Meet droppings…

I used to sit here:             now a name plaque.

Watching comings and goings.

 

It’s a wait

for the next unknown bum.

***

 

 

Deafness

 

Did you hear me in the trees

clapping with leaves

flapping my wings & desperate

to escape from the swarming moths?

We both have endured the induced autumns!

 

Did you hear me heave in the trees

whistling to soothe my wounds

in witch-finger branches stretching out

for help that never came?

Did I miss the sound of drums in the hills?

 

Did you hear me crackle in the fire-    

Tree-felling with no warnings?

Logs now, tree and I are bright as firewood.

But you don’t feel any warmth.

I’ve always known; you’re cold!

 

Did you hear me in the hot tea

you pour into a mug? The gurgling water

should remind you of the first rain

that fell to lock us in its endless

prison of bars I can’t escape!

 

Did you hear me on the canopy

as we walk like strangers in silence

under an umbrella still with us

that we argue over now?

You're still there! I’ve caught a taxi home!

 

Can you hear me now

in a letter getting folded

that never reached you?

The homing pigeon died waiting

at the window always closed...

***

 

 

Undertakers

 

Tagore’s Kabuliwala

sings, ‘mere pyare vatan’

from a black-and-white movie

as a reminder that

out there somewhere

there is a place

I can return to

and throw all names given to me

in a fireplace

to keep warm

 

It is when ambers crack jokes

to fool the undertakers

who followed me home…

***

 

 

myth mongers

 

when you find—the— God

- aham brahmāsmi (अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि) - "i am divine"

doesn’t matter which cast

—the untouchables or Pasmandas of the Ajlaf—

as a zombie lurking in the shadows

no face         no soma      

no light                  no darkness

lost and lonely

reconnecting broken time in dementia

deep in a morgue cabinet as a John Doe

still reigning as a supreme Lord

with no myths to follow

you’ll also discover words that play tricks

-it’s a good business for the brokers

 

then you find gods who roam as rascals and bastards

telling you a great yarn

exploits like yours and mine

allowing you to laugh at them

fuck   piss    and dance

with them    making them one of us

-for laughing at yourself makes you happy-

yes, i like such happy scoundrels

they can also be cowards like us

though they don’t suffer pain as we do

 

hence when you see a roof looming as a charcoal sky

holes in coitus with light           

the ejection of shooting stars you have no time for

gods emerging from them an omnipresence

in their flaming silk sarong

indifferent to human sacrifices creaming in a yagnakunda

ready to accept their souls as offerings

you believe an old man                                                                          /…

who sings myth at the bone-fire

 

a long time ago when tigers were smoking…

you should have seen gods’ faces

when the souls rose in an inferno as Gloriosa Superba

fanning their flame-petals as cobras

with grace but betrayal obvious

in their darting      spooky eyes

readying for a poisonous strike

 

gods above in their golden Pushpak

tumbled and rolled in shame

swearing and cursing

they jostled to save themselves  

 

Garuda                  a humble servant

watching from above

          swept them back to heaven

 

the old man sighs

the God in the mortuary cabinets

in whose name it happens

has nothing to lose

embalmed in an eternal sleep

 

for His case file is not closed yet

by the myth mongers

***

Bio: Yogesh Patel received an MBE for literature by the Late Queen. Patel’s last collection of poems, The Rapids, was published by The London Magazine in 2021. Internationally celebrated, he edits Skylark and runs Skylark Publications UK, as well as a non-profit Word Masala project to promote literature. Honoured with the Freedom of the City of London, he has LP records, films, radio, a children’s book, fiction and non-fiction books, and three poetry collections to his credit. A recipient of many awards, Patel was Poet-of-Honor at New York University in April 2019. Among the many venues he has read in, are the House of Lords and the National Poetry Library. Patel’s poem is also scheduled for the moon aboard a NASA/SpaceX rocket to be archived in a time capsule.

1 comment :

  1. I welcome these poems for their originality. Undertakers, Deafness & The Park-bench Plaque all have very satisfying endings. My favourite is the plaque 's monologue ending with a great pun on the word 'bum'! Kudos to Yogesh Patel!

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