Afternoon Light

Something

grows in              s i l e n c e 

The rain falls 

                        on the window sills

Like Ink

                    O

                        n 

                              a blank page

Softly thudding 

                           like

                                      words

My mother’s Coriander  seeds

Have       u  r  s        forth  

            b            t                  in pots

Where decaying roots of 

                                previous plants

                                                    remain

The one that couldn’t grow.

                                Life and death,

rain and mud –

The new shoots    

                          e  r         p  t from the

r

                                                                                 u

                                                                          i

                                                                                     n

                                                                                         s

like rainsong. Two new leaves,

freshly green, like bows

The rain softly pours

       n   d

    i            rattling  my window panes

W

Poems s c a t  t e r i n g

                                     in the breeze

Rain, and skin, and leaves

All      silent

                       in the afternoon.

Sparrows in Summer

The sparrows live in the wooden loft above our balcony,

where we stored packing boxes from the yesteryears; 

from the time we first moved in, and dad made the loft in 

the wall, painting it’s ply expanse white, like the insides 

of our home. They’ve been tenants with us ever since or 

perhaps, unaware of us, even before. They remind me of 

cardboard houses and make-believe. I wonder how I’d 

like the life of a sparrow on someone else’s balcony to the 

life of the girl inside, watching out. To be sparrows in a 

crumbling world, living in boxes of makeshift cardboard 

homes, free from electricity bills and fiscal reports, crippling 

economy and worst labour markets, expensive onions, 

disappearing groceries, resurfacing haters, fascists, 

deadlines, quarantine, a thousand words to write each night, 

instead, a whole sky to own, to go where they wish, with a 

place to come back to, living in strict sparrow terms, terms

of one’s own. They spend their summers in conversations 

over our clothesline and remove in flights and silence, if I 

approach to hang a towel, or join. I spend my summer inside,

spilling orange juice and making poetry from words that are 

still true to me. Their white-brown bodies watch, as I watch

them outside, stare down from the sanctuary of the loft, with 

piercing brown specks of eyes, gauging strangers, strange 

sounds, testing the air for flight. I wonder if I’d ever learn, to 

gauge the leap before I fall or unknowing, discover how to fly. 

If I lie in my bed for long, and the pain doesn’t subside, will I 

hear them singing in Greek? If the earth comes to an end, 

tomorrow, or perhaps, today, I wonder, will there still be,

sparrows singing in my loft, who were here before me?

Quarantine/Jeremy Bearemy/Time Warp With Ma

There is not much 

to do around here.

I mop the square tiles,

She makes the bed.

I paint, she rests.

We pull the cobwebs

down from the corners,

feed the sparrows in 

our loft, water the plants.

Then cook, or rest.

Sometimes, Ma will

take a huge scrap of

cloth, from some 

outgrown garment and

stitch it into a shirt for me.

I feel practically Victorian

in my hand-stitched shirt

blue like the sky from

my window. The sleeves

are too big for me but

she smiles: there is still

room to grow. We

make dough balls in 

the evening and roll

them into flat circles, 

comparing their roundness

as they puff up into

golgappas in the oil. 

Later, we watch a 

movie together and

go to sleep, oblivious

of tomorrow. I dream of

Howl’s Moving Castle

that night and how 

wonderful it would be

to have a house on

wheels. We forget to 

number the mundane

regularity of our summer 

days, losing count in a 

soup of time. We live as if,

we were existing solely

for this moment, as if,

being here with her

was all that mattered, as

if we could do the things

we wished to do when 

we wished it. We always

had that power?! 

To spend a simple night,

doing simple little things, 

together. What a strange

idea! To be free of time.

I wish, we remember 

some of it, even after 

this time warp, is gone.