An Invite from the Aliens

Those eyes appeared in the sky
like abruptly formed fishy canyons

so clear, so patient to permit of the alien world
my minute observations, while the sparse stardust
flowed gently within to and fro.

And what a design:
the peripheries studded with bright green opals;
the cadmium orange strings coiling around the lashes;
and the shining grey sclera serving as the background
to the spectacle of idle pleasures that I narrate about:

the dwarfish beings rolled over down
the spongy triangled mounds to the light blue sandy ground;
the breeze of colored dots ruffled their twin
spindly pony tails which issued like a fountain
beneath their cone-shaped vestigial ears–
a decorative piece matching the round faces;
and there followed their gung ho climb to the top of the mounds.

Then they lifted their elastic bodies up,
went up higher and higher meanderingly,
and twirled down onto the mounds like a knife in the air
that spins around to target an apple.
That was a stunning pliability of their bodies:
perfect obedience elicited by the will of gaiety.

The aliens displayed to me the special dress
that accelerates childish ecstasies:

I. A belt around the waist with buckles
which release rectangular parachutes
with buttons for three directions—

under the ground with enormous water
deeper and deeper into which you go chasing the colored smart ball
that of fences creates a maze,
and the apt use of tentacles is what you need to capture it
by discerning its presence in the confusing signals it sends;
in north, the roller coaster produces spectacles
of diversity of universe, as if one is led from room to room:
Daedalus of the moon whose peaks facilitate ‘hide and seek’,
the luminous blueness of Pleiades that creates a visual awe
and whose heat the aliens don’t feel,
the rotation of asteroids and pulsars,
seated on which they look like a dragonfly that rides a horse,
and the joyous flight within nebulae;

in south the parachute pierces through
shining empty spaces horizontally, which one would measure at
1000 meters per second, chosen by the ultra-adventurous among them.

II. A conversion badge with knobs for different appearances:
a fairy, an angel, a human, a butterfly, a swan, a reptile,
whose distinctive funs encounter first the sieve of alienage
that barricades unchildish sensuality.

And when energy turns feeble
and bodies begin to turn into foams
the aliens lie supine and set in motion the mechanism.
Vibrations work their way up, unleashing the dynamic rainbows
that gyrate across the bodies and come to a stop
when energy rejuvenates each cell,
appearing as juicy seeds of a pomegranate.

The ends of the eyes in the firmament were conjoined with a ring,
all of a sudden which suspended a ladder of twinkling beams,

which I refused to climb, though it promised fun, and fun I like!

My stern feet like a statue and my waiving hand
were smartly understood by the messenger.
The ladder was withdrawn. A blue curtain was drawn.
The sky became clear and quiet.

When tears, struggles, sorrows amply define the terrestrial life,
can one turn down such invite?
I thank my fortunate moments for the elaborate sight
that like a disk is fixed safely in my brain.
For delights, however, would I have left my tasks unfinished?
For the prospect of fun, should I have retreated from the mission,
whose hardships I don’t say I’m happy to embrace,
but I’m not willing to run away from either!

My fantasies spring from the mind,
and in the mind they collapse!

(Source: Romi Jain, Aquill Relle Magazine, Jan-April 2004; published in the category of a poet of the month)

An Invite from the Aliens

Don’t Cry Over Broken Dreams

O’ don’t cry over broken dreams.
What do you mean by “I” had a dream, when
even the life you “got” wasn’t created by you,
nor do you know how far
it will go?
Would you pause conjoining the pieces?Is that what you do when a fast rail arrives at a station?

Get hold of it! And feel the movement forward–
the bumpy path will disappear at the next turn,
and if the entire path is difficult,
don’t jump off,  stay calm.
Don’t Cry Over Broken Dreams

Celebrating Singleness

Woman, should you ask God for a gift,
ask for mental strength that never depletes.
So if you were to find yourself
in a cheerful place, in a dark forest,
in an unknown island, in a snowy region
with a downcast sky,
your spirits should be high, bright, unmoved.
You’re not meant to be cast in the imagination of a man,
 who is certainly not indispensable for your existence!
Celebrating Singleness

Love as a Maxim

Some treat love as a geometrical maxim
that withholds acknowledgment
of its growth into a bloom,
without consummation.

Intact hair is frowned upon
as the husk untouched by a storm;
dry lips as a raw cherry,
which awaits carnal warmth.

Just as a hairstyle
would be encouraged to be copied
from a fashion book
and diversion would be antithetical
to a perfect look,

coquetry, a cart, follows as its application;
the kiss, a horse, as a compass.


(Published in Munyori Literary Journal, 2013)

Love as a Maxim

The Quagmire of Quickness

So persnickety about management of time,
we need fresh research into a normal heart rate.

We need to determine if the earth is slowing down
and has incentive to rotate, when we happen to treat
days and nights alike.

A dear I asked for her mailing address for my handwritten letter.
She preferred an email, saying: “That would be instant!”

The verbena with which I had embossed
the periphery of the fragrant paper
and the hand-drawn smiley circumscribed by stars
must have felt inferior to the efficient e-mail text,
which I spruced up with a couple of emoticons.
The soul of the letter I couldn’t replicate
as I set down regretting
the wastage of time over careful calligraphy.

And in the early morning, the grandma’s portrait fell down,
as if she had her own complaint:
“I have been grappling with understanding RIP!”


(Published in The Tower Journal, Fall 2013)

The Quagmire of Quickness

A Family Bond: Devotion versus Consumerism

Family MattersA family is founded when commitment triumphs over
the cleverly vile logic of sexual compatibility.
And the heart refuses to keep tenants:
couples realize they’re Humans!

and it is products—a cloth, a shoe, a toilet tissue —
that are gracefully suited for return,
vindicating the trust in a consumer’s sense of satisfaction.

A family then is “felt” when there is no complaint of boredom
with an existing relationship, whose bloom survives a partner’s death.
In this family, the child gets the lesson in willing sacrifice;
where the meaning of “bond” is seen beyond
its epistemological veil, since this is the bond
that the members have cemented and ably sustained,
unlike quick-fix solutions based on exigencies.

And that’s why in such a family, a wife can wait anxiously
for her husband who has been languishing for decades
as a prisoner of war in the foe’s jail:
and it is not the loss of delightful nights that she broods over,
but her’s husband’s safety. And there, unfortunately, might be people
who label her willing devotion “female subjugation”,
since to them it is predominantly
the loss of a night companion.

Family, indeed, matters as it can work both ways,
depending on what brings the couple together:
love or mere lust; commitment or convenience.
And the difference manifests here:
children might behave as tortoises that shut themselves off
when a tragedy hits the family;
and they might appear as swords
that out of sheaths assert themselves to slay adversities.

The minor nuisances, of course, I know of such extreme bonds
when crazily you eat, upon a flurry of insistences
and receive a thousand instructions on safety,
or in a foreign land you receive a call from parents who ask:
“Have you put on a warm jacket?”
And when you go back home, the neighbors—the extended family–
dare ask: “What’s for me?”

I love Indian family!

Source: “Family Matters” (anthology), Nivasini Publishers, 2013


A Family Bond: Devotion versus Consumerism