‘Leaving’ in Dragonfly Arts Magazine, 2020


I have been telling myself
I must leave soon
And I have been packing
The first, the second, the third
the last – I am not sure which of the
last moments I should pick –
but I have been packing

I have been hiding things
Today my face, yesterday the feet
The things you’d loved in
the first photograph you saw
see the arc of your foot and mine
the curve tells us how close we are to the earth

Then faceless, feetless, I move silently
picking bits and pieces of the nights
we spent tracing maps on bodies
a future on the skies
The shards of the mornings
spent sucking oranges from the bowl
until refreshed

The jagged pieces of the cold anger and hot fury
the first, the second and the other fights
I want to keep that as well to remind
Of the morning after,
as if a dip in a lake
on a burning summer day, brutally beautiful

All this I try to pack in a bag; it is filling fast
tomorrow it will be the fingers turn to leave
slowly, the neck, the tongue, one day
it will be the turn of the navel

I have been telling myself to leave
in bits, in parts, in shadowy whispers
all along these years
and you haven’t noticed
maybe when my smell is lost forever
from those sheets you will see
maybe when my breath becomes air
you will know I was once there.

Read Dragonfly Arts Magazine here.

Four poems in Sarasvati 057, a quarterly print magazine from Indigo Dreams Publishing UK

The Exorcist – Part 1 of Three poems for my reluctant love.

The Exorcist

Slowly, slowly, feel my fingers
stroking your forehead
wiping away the five folds moulded firm.
Exorcising you
of her with the long hair
sleeping clouds shaking serpents
of her with the anklets
drawing blood pricking memories
of her with the rings, on toes you sucked
dry lips burning mouth
of her with the tattoos
seared into your skin flaming
of her with the dulcet voice
the tongue poisoning you
colouring your throat blue

Your mind closes, as I try
Love, they are burning you dry!
Healing you, I try
I am the exorcist, I try.

Two poems in The Bombay Review, April 2020

​Death, unknown

yes, yes, I know we come alone go alone but when we come may it be to the sounds of love
and arms roped in an embrace and when we go, and when we go may there be at least one
person next to us, the one who has loved us for an instant even, or someone who has maybe
one lonely night prodded the moon and broken a bit off for you

no one should have to die alone

but you did, and at that instant, what was happening outside? Were there birds in flight, those
tropical ones that disappear, a stroke of colour in a flash or did a half moon rise or did bats
speak to each other in sonic whispers or did a woman murmur in her lover’s ears not now not

you didn’t have to die alone

and what about the others who knew you, the husband, the friend, the lover, lover turned
friend or friend turned lover, where was he? where was anyone? the mother the father the
sisters who are meant to love, the brothers who are meant to protect, the aunts, the uncles
where were they in their worlds not knowing, not knowing, you were slipping away

you cold and alone

and so we think, we wonder asunder, how did it come to this
did you call the moment or did the moment call you
illicit whispers from worlds away cracking the earth into two?


Read The Healing in The Bombay Review

‘A Dream in Parts’ in Turnpike Magazine, September 2019

And I dream trees
The kind you rest on
green soothing peace
The kind you climb on
sun and shade, shadows born
like the words of your song

I dream flowers
of the tropics
busy petal clusters fragrancing
the body, a bracelet of jasmine
a necklace of frangipani
my very heart and ribs
as if frangipani, as if you

I dream skin
soft golden, you saying
I want to know
your skin, all of you within
My fingers feeling
the hollow at the base of your throat
and calling it home

I dream duvets
Bedside windows looking onto city streets
shapes curled in past sunrise post sunset
imprints in the down
our bodies our selves
wrapped in growing memories
as if fields of bluebells

and then I dream lights
the ones soft molten
clothing skin golden
The ones shining bright
covered eyes, bared souls
the ones winking in your eyes
glowing warm bed-laden sighs
while outside a city shimmers
kisses on the waters.

Turnpike Magazine, Issue no. 7: September 2019

Five poems in The Punch magazine, August 2019

Read Sadness is a boomerang and four other poems in The Punch magazine.

Sadness is a boomerang

they say write about happiness
of faraway lands where the flowers are red and fragrant
of peacocks and poems and picture books and forests verdant

the song inside is of sadness
of something beautiful, breaking in a flash
of slowly bleeding, oozing weeping sores years after
of my lover leaving me mid-kiss on a sunlit evening in Venice city of water

sadness is memory that comes back to bite
in the waves that come and go
my love, have you seen shoals of sprat leaping, falling
as we watch, dying on our feet, the water trickling from under our toes?

sadness is voiceless, eyes morose dead, vacant in its many faces

I try to laugh sometimes, I laugh so hard, my mouth turns inwards, loses shape
l paint a smile on and watch poppy fields turned blue
the abyss inside mirrors the one outside in a desolate seascape
from deep down the sadness in me, in my blood, skin and bones
column-like reaches the skies and boomerang-like pirouettes

Read the other four poems in The Punch magazine.

Three poems translated into Chinese and published in The World Poets Quarterly February Volume 93, Feb 2019

A certain way (and other two poems)

As an immigrant,
I am expected to behave in a way
a certain way.

Colour the walls with turmeric,
fill my soul with lament
for the land whose shores I have left
to become richer economically
poorer emotionally.
Fold oil into long black hair,
dream the stars of the eastern skies,
in this land, the land I call my own,
but never to be my own.
Wrapped in sarees, sapphire blue, sindoor red,
meant to be nostalgic about the
monsoon spray dazzling my eyes
calming my burning skin.

Instead, my mind
soothed by the nourishing cool green
of the land I live in,
energised by the glowing orange sun
of the land I come from,
decorates ice cubes with spice.

With silver anklets, red stilettoes,
the shortest, blackest dress,
I sip prosecco, spear olives expertly,
pile plates with rice and chicken curry
while in the garden
lavender, jasmine, clematis, and marigold,
spread their roots, dance their petals
into the pale grey wet skies
and the searing sunshine.

Uproot, grow, take root
parallel truths, a little of this,
a little of that.
For an immigrant,
there is no certain way to be.


In Chinese:








Poetry in Visual Verse


No orange skies
No blood-red clouds
No sun screaming through haystacks

I wake I wake
I ask why
I work I work
I ask why
I walk I walk
I ask why

for this scream through nature, in my head, in my bones, in my blood, caving in, exploding out, within the veins and the arteries and asking me why, especially when it’s morning, when that sun rises every day, expected to rise every day, and with that, I do too, to have the same, do the same and walk out where I have been to before, every day, and I think I mustn’t, I shouldn’t, for surely there is a sky above, grass to run on, there is somewhere to escape, walk out and you will be free, open the doors and there you are free, yet free to do what, free for what and whom, and then there is nothing, and while the thoughts and I try and the screams stop and there I am walking out again, the same path the same way the yesterday and today and tomorrow joining hands together in some macabre dance and I do the same as yesterday, and over and over and over again
and again

Read poem at Visual Verse.