Shattered Statues

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I am thinking

about the lost things.

About the shadows

interspersing

the dappled light.

About overgrown temples

and shattered statues

and stolen jewels.

About the depths

of where we came from.

About the heights

of where we might go.

maybe my heart is full of sky

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so maybe the only thing

separating loving and living

is an oh of amazement – the

breathless sound the sky makes

when falling the final gradient

from dusk to twilight and back

again, the way your eyes keep

searching for stars only an

evenmist away, how your fingertips

keep feeling for worlds closeted

within atoms, and maybe

that difference really isn’t as

much as we always thought,

like how your breath can be a

song and a song can be a kiss

from the universe saying you are

here you are here you are here

over and over in seven quintillion

different ways.

This is a chestnut-headed bee-eater I spotted flying over a field in Valparai earlier this summer. I’ve always loved bee-eaters – almost as much as I love kingfishers, actually. The first time I saw one – a blue-throated bee-eater in my condo – I actually could not stop smiling for a solid half-hour afterwards. There’s a sort of exuberance they inspire, the way they swoop and dance over the sky, their quick rests on the bare branches, their confident grace. They’re also pretty damned beautiful, no matter which way you cut it, and the sight of their bright colors darting across the blue is enough to make anyone convert.

On some weeks I’m going to be reposting old photographs and posts. This one is from nearly a year ago, and I thought deserved a fresh glance.

Death Among the Wildflowers

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Continue reading “Death Among the Wildflowers”

Abstractions from the Embers

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A fire smoulders on a dark night in Bangalore, India.

we burn with unapologetic fury

against the dark, the dark,

the creeping creeping dark;

sing with unrestrained vigor

into the silence, the silence

the humming humming silence;

live with undimmed spark

for the light, the light

it grows and it grows and

it grows

 

Flight

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against this sky’s endless canvas,

paint your image with your wings:

call it a self-portrait in ultraviolet.

I’ve been experimenting a bit with photo-editing lately. This, of a blue-throated bee-eater from a trip to Sungei Buloh quite a few months back, is one of the results. I’m not sure what I make of it – let me know what you guys think.

Note: this post is scheduled.

Long-legged Tchaikovskys

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insufferable delicacy

infused into the bend

of knee, turn of head:

a water-borne ballet,

beat kept by still water,

reflecting this moment

then, now, forevermore.

This will – finally – be the last of the birds from my trip to the Llobregat Delta in Spain, almost eight months on. (What can I say. I procrastinate.) And it’s the bird I treasured most from my trip there – one that, to me, embodies everything there is to love about shorebirds: the black-winged stilt. When I saw it, just below the hide, I may have squealed a little.

Part of it is the number of times the name has casually been dropped when reading birding blogs, and till Llobregat, I have had to contend with the knowledge that I have never seen it; another part of it is – well, it. Come on. There is nothing to hate about such a paragon of utter loveliness. Observe its thin, pencil-like beak, beautiful in its ergonomicity; the perfect roundness of its head; the ridiculously and delightfully disproportionate legs that offer its name to us very easily. (Unlike *cough cough* some birds.)

Sometimes I wonder how such birds can exist without the world imploding twice-over.

For the Sound of Sunset

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and so the light rises,

over bone-still hills;

a river fills vast silences

with the thin whistling

of time and time again,

the susurrating trees

becoming their own

somnolent witnesses.

About a month and a half ago, because I suck at updating, we went for a hike in the Himalayas.

It was – amazing, as one might expect. The mountains, the trees, the rivers, the sky, the everything. It’s so quiet there – just the sound of the water and the wind. For miles and miles there is not a single living soul. Just you, and your breathing.

This is an introductory photograph, if anything. I played with it quite a bit in Photoshop – just to see where I could take it.

More stories, poems, and photographs will be forthcoming over the next few months. 🙂