The Age of the Three
When you are in need of me the most,
I am here, on my own,
Playing racquet games, burning
Mosquitoes and midnight oil,
Whispering to myself that you are alright.
Close my eyes, to feel the pain that you
Feel as it passes touching your bones, your spine:
I recall watching as they moved from side to side
— The unassured world in your eyes —
Mapping, as they were, a world stalled shaken.
Just a spectator on the side — like I have
Never been: standing outside the reel
Watching minute after minute passing by:
Comparing it with worlds bombed and blown —
Of hurts that were not ones your own.
Till on the morrow, until we meet again
I sigh, that your expectations I bruised,
Considered wisely, but let down:
That, on that train is where my overalls should be,
Slow walking at you, now.
When you enter, close the door,
Return a call or when you walk
Past me, or watch me sit, the way you measure
Your molecules, indicates that you think there is
Something that I think there ain’t: that I’m in love
And am fascinated, burnt
Half like a cashew by you —
Which is not true — which is not lies —
And I sometimes thank almighty God I was made of glue,
When, sometimes, you meet me with your eyes.
That you think there is
Something that I think there ain’t: and
We’re equals in this game; and at times
When the world is absent (with their tuned ears)
We confide in each other our most intimate fears.
We never say that you think that I am
Unnerved by you; nor do I say that I ain’t.
We talk of Garfunkel, of Johann Sebastian Bach.
We talk of ourselves and we answer each other well
And go our ways with small farewells before it goes dark.
It disintegrated beyond recovery
And we are strangers now
Once again, as we were when we met:
Nursing ourselves for another day in life,
Scuttling among petty kicks we regret.
Ironing a shirt, lengthwise — arms first –,
parting the hair there where it is set
To be parted — now well creased — that even the
Turbulence of sex would not unsettle that perpetual creasing.
Rinse. Wash. Flush the toilet.
Look at my stride as I walk:
It is even, it is smooth, it is virile
Even while the edges cut against my skin.
I greet your face as you face to greet me
And casually say ‘how?’, concerned about my suffering.
I stare at the buttonless man, the big-bummed vehicle,
The emission of gas — think how
The glaciers trickle to dust. The gregarious build
Of the dangling many-fold woman and the many firm eyes
That to follow her must.
They follow their dreams — I follow my shadow
As it precedes me, as the sun falls on my back,
Urging me on. Pushing me down the road
And the screen only has a missed call that I miss
From a pathetic piece of flesh with whom I am bored.
Jacques Kallis retires from Test Cricket.
All stern-faced those who held a bat straight
Are leaving, one after one:
Brother Jaques — rock-solid
Unattractive mountain standing at the wicket, that I disliked —
You, too, are gone now, you emotion-less tin
Man of a gift.
Not with a whimper. With a bang:
A nerve-held hundred on the last outing
Until the last moment, all emotions held in check:
A signature, one last time,
The steady cannon you were; before your enemy’s deck.
They are leaving, now — yes: one after one,
To be commentators,
Media icons — how sad.
Where you walk out, Jacques,
Other Jacques — like in Dickens’ book —
Will — perhaps — come and take over the good work,
Though not as good; not as as done by that
Whipping blade with a muscle to match;
Giant hands that scoop off from millimeters to the grass
And a number 3 who runs in steaming
Over after over; And bends his arse.
A rainbow sets
Of the Rainbow Nation.
Farewell, Brother Jacques —
Your willow, now breathing easy.
What one waits for is a
To walk in and to take a look around
So that you can lay down your weapons
And surrender with harmony:
So, no more do you have to think,
Make decisions, or fret for the sun;
No more would you have to lead, but be led
By the benevolence of empire and
The feigned vigour of a wooden gun.
Where you will be laid down and told to
Close your eyes and to shut down all thought
And to let memory cascade into a seamless void
To the salvation of what to think, one may ought.
If you try to shoot ’em and if you are
Shot back at and dies, or if you
Jump in some bog with your handcuffs on,
I will mute the TV, not bother what the
Police guy says, cos we already always know
That they killed you eitherways.
If you led them to some inevitable copse
Where granades, Chinese rifles, bullets,
Machets you had hidden with care
And if you tried to throw a granade at them
After leading them all the way there:
What other rational thing are you meant to do?
Police Spokesperson is a curious act to play:
Sit there under a switched on mic
And to repeat a script in an unrehearsed way.
Quite Stanislovskian — Fourth Wall and all,
From the Fourth Floor from which sometimes people fall.
A Keheliya in Khakhi is something to be.
But, people are happy — that these “suspects”
Jump into rivers, get their brains blown out
In ill-strategized escape plans. If they are killed
The crime wave goes down, the illiterate reason:
So, to kill crime they lead us to weapons hidden put.
They reveal the armoury and then, turn around to run away.
Let crime triumph crime and legitimate criminals
Walk “suspected” criminals to death by
Criminal jury and by criminal verdict
In criminal conditions by crime-mongering arms.
“Suspecion” be conviction, in criminal definition,
And us — the unconcerned, viwers of the sick drama unfold.
After your rehearsed words have
Done their work — and after
You are no longer of use to me —
There’s no need anymore to prolong the act,
Or act flirtatious over a cup of tea.
Then, we should sit and start talking facts.
Or, better still — not talk anything at all.
For, there’s no audience, no critic for such
Drama or a stab scene of an opera:
Let the final drop to the indifferent earth dissolve.