Sunday, August 16, 1998

Why, oh god, why?

The primary impediment
To my spiritual development
Is shit.

(I mean the matter, not the expletive)

I   meditate,
And my visions of bliss
Are startled away
By the disgusting fact
Of faeces.

I want no part of an eternity
that admits so freely
of the ugly, stinking stuff.

I simply do not wish
to merge my All
in a cosmic consciousness of which
unflushed turds
form an ineludible part.

first appeared in Brown Critique magazine Aug 1998

Saturday, August 1, 1998

Pratibha and her memsaab

Six am
I lie in bed,
and the kids
are getting ready for school.
She’s polished their shoes,
fixed their lunch boxes,
and brings me my cup of tea -
gives them breakfast and
attends to their sundry needs.

Languorous morning.
telephone calls.
tea with biscuits.
Bye, kiddies! Have a wonderful day!
lovely long hot shower.

She cleans the house.

Should I work or play?
Bridge and gossip.
a TV movie, perhaps (with chocolates)
some idle clattering
on the key board.
(750 words)
with a cheque to look forward to.

it starts to rain,
so she runs to bring the clothes in.
irons them.
puts them away
in individual cupboards.

earnest and sincere.
a battered child bride.
perpetually in regret
of her lack of education.
money in the bank.

share certificate, thin gold chain, earrings
and flashy gold ring.

ruler, science book, basketball, bubble gum ...
The kids are home
and bawling her out.
she warms the milk,
cuts fruit for them to eat.
then proceeds with getting
the dinner ready.

ten pm
The News.
after-dinner lounging-around.
she’s washing up.

should we be grateful for her
or she for us?

First appeared in Brown Critique magazine Aug 1998