The Night Roads

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We ride the night roads

looking for leopards:

our hearts in our mouths,

our minds lost to the dark,

wind humming in our ears,

whispering songs of eyes

and the hunt, our lights

ever stalking the black.

At night, the forest comes alive in ways one cannot see in the whiteness of day. You swing your flashlight around – and there are eyes, staring curiously back, or quickly running away – mousedeer and flying squirrels and civets and hares, the denizens of these dark paths.

Paper Wings

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what I am trying

to capture is the sheer

delicacy of it: like the way

that sunlight breaks across

water in a million fragments,

or the smallness of stars

at night and the vastness of

the night sky about them. or

the stars in their deep brown

eyes and how it twinkles

in the afternoon. or the

burgeoning sense of birdsong

in the morning growing with

the growing light. or the

patterns of rain on river. or

the oldness of tree roots. or

the drifting dance of butterfly

wings and the colours each day

unfailingly brings.

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.

The Light Rising

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i call this –

a salt-stained, Midas-rimmed

kiss. it fingers the horizon,

caresses the waves. disappears

with nothing but a facsimile

of hope in its ash-ringed

wake.

*waves nervously* I’m back!

I was away the past week, travelling, mostly: not many birds to show for it, or photographs – still, enjoyable (though a trip sans those two seems hard to believe).

This is a photograph I took only three weeks back. Not in Singapore, unfortunately; if one found the space for the sea to begin with, obtaining a sun not dulled by the haze would be quite an achievement. It’s in the Maldives, where I was reminded why I love the ocean. There were no dolphins, still more unfortunately, but fish aplenty, in colors scarcely imaginable; sharks swam by our villa with insouciance. (The underwater nature of it all made my camera regrettably redundant.)

The sea is – is so many things to me. It is a starter, for once; it is an other-world, a place to breathe, a place to be – and when highlighted gold by what you understand more clearly than ever to be a ball of flaming gas, why then, it is best of all.

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. 🙂