Sunday, 20 October 2013


I have a couple of poems today written (well, started) when I was in India.

photograph borrowed from here
This was the photo of the day in the Hindustan Times. I have mixed feelings about poems that require the image that inspired them to be effective. I think that a poem should stand without support but this for me is such a sad photograph that I think it complements the poem.

Man shaves the head of his monkey with a razor before it performs tricks in Lahore on Monday: Hindustan Times photo of the day.

The hand encompasses the head of his monkey,
skin is stretched to dull blade.
This is the face of our near cousin,
eyes close, it endures with
patience or resignation. I cannot tell.
What hope for our relations
when we leave our children to starve? 

I also bought a couple of bottles of beer from a government shop- alcohol sales in India are more tightly controlled than in the UK.

He knows what I want,
just as he knows his own sin,
which is larger I suspect than mine.
In this legally licensed shop
the social is removed from drinking.
I know what he is about
So let him lead me,
show me some beer in a broken fridge.
I decide on a couple,
his hands caress each bottle,
like this was love.
He tells me what to pay,
I do so then hand him a crumpled note.

If I am honest I am still processing my impressions of the country. 

Watch this space.


  1. Gosh it looks such a different culture....I'm not surprised you are processing it. Look forward to some fascinating insights in the weeks to come.