Poems

Here are some of my poems.

Autumn Child 
for Patrick

Autumn child
you would be born with the leaf-fall
the catch in the air
that tells the year’s turn

tonight, a rag of cloud
blindfolding the face of the moon

am I leaving you
or moving to greet you?

(published in PN Review 149, 2003)

Among Alphabets

We met among alphabets. I saw myself
Greek: walking the walls, inviolate
as logic, mistress of
philosophy’s glassy tongue.
Translation came slow. I learned to trust
Hebrew’s rich misreadings, risk breeding
between the lines: language
of faith, our leap in the dark.

(published in PN Review 170, 2006)

First Week in November

Monday: Samhain
Assembled in the park, with pumpkin grins
and pagan drums, we ward off winter’s clutch.
By nine, a soft rain’s tapping at the gates:
hefting baby ghosts, we turn for home.

Tuesday: Diwali
The lamps remain unlit. Only suspicion’s
flame feasts, hungry for Delhi’s acrid air.

Thursday: Eid al-Fitr
Holy month ends pitiless. Darkness
is lodged in children’s eyes who lie in rows,
afraid of shelter. Outside, winter’s breath
comes whispering. The shawwal moon hangs
blinded in the sky.

(published in PN Review 170, 2006)

At Burscough, Lancashire
Lancashire’s Martin Mere was the largest lake in England when it was first drained, to reclaim the land for farming, in 1697

Out on the ghost lake, what’s lost
is everywhere: murmuring in names
on the map, tasted in salt winds
that scour the topsoil, westerlies
that wrenched out oaks and pines, buried now
in choked black ranks, heads towards the east.
Cloudshadows ripple the grasses as the seines
rippled over the mere by night, fishervoices calling
across dark water. Underfoot, the flatlands’
black coffers lie rich with the drowned.

(forthcoming in The Reader)

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