Fish

Wednesday, August 15, 2012







VRINDAVAN
The Coloured Yolk Of Love







This book of poems has Vrindavan, in Braj country, Uttar Pradesh, India as its setting. Vrindavan is the basil forest with its tall, curious looking basil trees (Basil in tree form is believed to be found only in Vrindavan), where the love pair Krishna and his consort Radha acted out their divine love play in the form of Ras-lila.

It is widely believed, that in the Nij Mandir temple in Vrindavan (where the temple priest still prepares the bridal bed every evening for the divine love pair,) there is evidence that the bed is to this day, frequented by the pair for their conjugal pleasures, and that it appears in mysterious disarray every morning. Entry to the temple in the late evening hours is therefore forbidden. Two of the Vrindavan groves, Nidhivan and Nikunjvan, that are said to retain some of their original charm, exist to this day.

Krishna is colour, beauty, ecstasy, and impassioned love. Radha is sadness sublime, sensory fulfillment, and eternal patience. Together, in unparallelled sensual passion, the conjugal warp and weave of Radha Krishna in love is divine ecstasy,and at the same time, eternal sorrow and joy.

It is said, that by Krishna’s decree, Kaliyug (the Cycles of Time) shall never enter Vrindavan. Vrindavan is mankind’s perennial treasure, with sensuousness as never before, and never again.


The essence of beauty
springs from the eternal play
of man as Krishna
and woman as Radha

-Chandidas



Your Feather

Cyan Blue,
your peacock feather
writes
in me,this
gift song


The Poems


1

The Arrival

Today is the day
you said you’ll come.

In the lotus pond
are two blue lotuses.

On the other shore
the bangle maker I see
calls me. ‘Radhae,
I have brought blue bangles
all for your hands…’

In the afternoon grass
I see the wild blue snake.

Upon the wet tuft
a chameleon dries in the sun,
turning hydrangea blue.

All, blue, Krishna.

Is that All...?

*

2

Was it You

Was it you
who threw a pebble
upon the full moon in the still waters?
Was it you,
Pitambara,
to show me my heart
whenever
you appear?

*

3

Roses In Vrindavan

When roses fade
Krishna,
again and again,
you come to my mind
and make them bloom.

*

4

Love In Vrindavan
After Long

In the end
we made that beginning.
Whatever hurt us, we named them
after flowers.
What loved us, we learned to tend them.
We looked at each other
not in heaven,
but on wet earth.
We touched each other,
after so long,
as though for the first time.
Caress curled inside of us
a note trembling on your flute,
as love before birth
in soul-skies.

*

5

The Fall

Did you hear?
The kadamba bough broke-
Radha fell
from her swing
this morning.

‘Dreaming, dreaming of Krishna
it serves her right’.

We took her to the pond.
We drove away the curious deer.
We asked the pet mynahs
to look the other way.

We stood around, so
Radha would be unabashed.

Turning her face,
gently she lifted
her dress so,
we could wash her wound
with red lilies.

That was when
the tree tops rustled.

And Krishna fell.

*

6

Radha Tells Her Heart
About Love

It is easy to see
that it isn’t easy to love forever,
forever, like we said before.
Things have an order.
They must grow, blossom
and fade.
See, He never comes to you.
If love is a flower
how can it break
the only rule for flowers
and stay fresh forever?
So He has gone,
searching new pastures.
But between us, we must learn
to be together.
You’ll comfort me
keep calling out His name
and like the forest of Vrindavan
that abundantly spreads,
turn me longing,
for His bloom again.

*

7

Because I Could Not Sleep,
Krishna

Why was I not able
to sleep last night ?
In my garden
no rajnigandha was blooming.
No kingfisher rested
Upon the milky boughs
Of our flowering temple-tree.
The wise owl on the peepul bough
winked a little closer,
Krishna,
to waking.
The stars turned to cow-maids
all over Vrindavan.
And why was I
not sleeping last night?
I’m asking you this question,
Krishna,
They all turn to you for answers.
Why only this one,
can you not tell?

*

8

The Dry Pitcher

Radhae, did you say
your pitcher is dry?
Was it a ruse
to be there?
Go, fill your pitcher.

Don’t bring the half moon,
don’t bring the wandering lily
don’t bring hiding in your tousled hair
the humming blue-fly.
Take care not to slip

with your eyes so laden,
and breasts full.

*

9

The Competition

Tell me,
of the voluptuous eight
of the jealous sixty four,
with me in the centre of the ring,
who is your prettier one?

Ranga whom you eyed,
calling her ‘slender-waist,’
touching her there...?

Your favourite syrup-maker
kumkum-coloured
Citrasakhi?

Carucandi, crow coal,
one who has no shyness
but with only excuses
made closer to you
saying she was afraid
of fleeting
musk deer?

Perhaps Tunga, for whom
you played your tune
that made me break
and throw your flute into the river?
Or perhaps it was milky Champaka
saying, taste it
it is Vrinda’s sweet one?

Not the lightning girl Visakha,
Star-decked over
her secret ocean?

O Krishna,
how easily
you failed
the tests…

for once,
they…
were all,
me.

*

10

Possession

You know how beautiful
your swift gopis are... .
Ratika, Sumukhi, Kapala,
Madhurendira, Sumadhura, Sumandira…

Hundreds in hundreds of hundreds of hundreds
in thousands of thousands of thousands in thousands
and yet you know
each of each of each of each of each by every name,
waft of curling hair, and kiss taste of quivering lip;
They are all trying to look more beautiful,
longing more and more to need you more.
They don’t care even the way they dress
unlocked, unpressed, letting undocked the rest,
and their pitchers undone,
pretending to be weary
as you take them in your arms.
But even the full moon, Madhava,
needs its dark cloud to go behind,
so that it can return more beautiful…
but your cow girls,
not even one
waiting together to fall,

why won’t they
ever understand?

*

11

Flower Maker

Just how beautiful
your bhakti-belles are.

Now turn your gopis
all to flowers.

Build around me
your flower-garden

and centred
we'll be,

coloured
together,

alone.

*

12

The Quarrel

O, Krishna,
is love only meant
for distress?

For fading far?
Not that I care.

The pitcher that I filled
with the mother cow’s milk
is all curdled,
I threw it away.

Come not to see me.
But how can you forsake
your little darling?

Come not to see me
but to be with that little beauty

your favorite calf
doleful, looking everywhere,
tears brimming for you
in its round blue eyes

where I always see you

*

13

The Complaint

He’s gone away again.
This time he said
There’s too much mascara
on my lids

the last while,
it was too much saffron
on my forehead

or he says
There is no beauty
in the henna on my hands

of late,
why is he complaining?

O Krishna,
Radha, is a simple girl
why do you hurt her so?

Radhae,
Krishna, loves you.

Give unto him

your beauty
unadorned.

*

14

Krishna Parrot

What’s Radha
supposed to do ?

Wait, wait, and wait.

Sometimes you’ll find her
alone in the forest
plucking and tasting
red chilli peppers
that douse
the bright
Krishna- parrots to sleep,

for Radha,
red with yearning
has herself
turned into

a fiery Krishna parrot

*

15

The Wait

What am I
supposed to do?

Wait, wait,
and wait?

You taught me
flute-making

Now, when you are gone
I can’t forget
that I’m missing you

I make rain-wet
bamboo flutes
dip them in colour dye
how hard I try,

as all my friends
prepare to dance
and I

burn before a dandiya fire
watching another lila
without you

*

16

Dream-Lover

Krishna, O yes,
he is my dream-lover.
It is true
he comes
only in dreams.
Even there
he sucks
me
wet
with all his coloured water

*

17

Fullness

Was there a cow maid
prettier than me
dancing with you
in the half-light tonight?

Is that why you disappeared
with a half-river on my lips?

Is that why you went away?
I cannot bear your half- devotion.

O, Krishna,
give me the power
to turn all your cow-belles
into Radha.

Devotion, dear one
cannot be
half-done.

*

18

Pining

Not even pine trees
pine this way

Our sweet indrajao
ceases to blow.

Cyan blue are the
forget
me nots
that huddle close
trying hard
not to forget,

touch me nots,
they too
need to be touched
some time,
Krishna.

Where are you,

when I turn everywhere
putting even twisted

sunflowers
to shame

*

19

Curtain Beads

Don’t you see my tears?
Maybe you always see them,
but just part them past
like curtain beads

Did it need you
beloved,
to tell me
my love is only sadness,

knowing how you are
love’s
ordained preserver?

*

20

Radha Introspects On Krishna’s
Recent Behaviour

They tell me
that you
still move around unknown.
But you are not in any mood
for your jewelweeds in the river
bursting half nude.

You don’t hang
their coloured bodices
upon mango boughs,
Or shake down upon them
that kadamba treat
Like you used to.

You have forgotten
What it meant,
to take in their orange complexions
in your eyes
like orange spurts-

Why this sudden change?

Is it that you
found another?

But that cannot be
that just cannot be,

I still curl around you
Like snake jasmine.


*

21

Radha Asks Krishna
Her Questions

They tell me, they know
that you move around me,
unseen.

Where is your blue
peacock feather?

You no longer
carry your flute.

Must this
be eternally so?
Maybe I should now
rejoice,
that for such things
you care no longer,
because lately,
from azure fire,
you have turned
to ambered
lantern

*

22

My Dark Heart

There was no moon.
No star.
It was utterly dark.

I saw your night shades
kissing her.

Oh, how did I see,
Blue sage,
your shadow?

I can only laugh.

You don’t see, Krishna,
the things they see

these dazed fire-flies
razing

my heart’s
blue
pyre

*

23

A Game of Love

Who’ll win, Krishna,
if we play a love-game?
Surely, I will.
See, you are already losing.
Even if you change
into a thousand one shadows of you
with me into a thousand one Radhas
and we dance
and you change your girls
like your flute stops…
though you may drift
in forgetful
carousing-
I’ll stop the dance
I’ll wait in your temple
real one,
until you return.

*

24.

Keeping Time

That cow- girl too,
she found a lover.
How late it is,
she said.
‘He said he would
meet me here
but it is taking too much
time’.
And she turned and asked me
‘Radhae, what must be the time?’
Krishna,
you are my sun.
When the sun is gone,
how can a sunflower
keep time?

*

25

Krishna, My Hero

Krishna,
you are my hero.
You win the village wars.
You lift mountains
sheltering the village from rain
You go into the ocean
and kill the serpent
with a thousand hoods
In the village market
everyone praises
your name
When you are there, our town is safe.
... Well, I passed a local artisan
who made blue amulets
bearing your face,
hundreds of you
in his basket
and one amulet costs only
a village belle’s smile.
I buy one
and hide you
between my breasts.
And, by evening,
know
you have turned up
everywhere
crushing
wet breasts
of every silly
village-belle.

*

26

The Flower Bed

All day I spread
yellow- crimson pagoda flowers
to spread your bed
under the oleander bloom.
Remember, Krishna,
I told you I would make you
a flower-bed?
I have kept my word.
And now,
till you come down to see it,
I’ll lie beside,
abetting
my heart’s blue thorns.

*

27

Radha Decides To
Find Krishna

Krishna,
let me really find me a way.
If you don’t come back
sooner,
be prepared to see
those red white cheeks
you kissed-
be ready to hear
those tiny gold bells-
get ready to hold
such sweet joy-
that will soon be
dancing around you
If you don’t come back
sooner,
I’ll let loose
your pet calf
in the cattle streets of Mathura
I know
too well
you can’t resist
calf-love.

*

28.

The Signs

You went away.
It looks
ages ago.
Sure, you left no signs?
The grief
love buries
in the heart,
loss
cannot empty.
So you are long gone
with love’s mischief done
leaving me
an open
pea
among strewn cock feathers
turned to wishing plumes...
yet,
you think
you left no signs-
But just in case
you care to know,
come back to madanonmadini ,
see the rope swing
in which we swung mid air
and plucked together
the high fruit
Of kadamba in laden spree
and how in thanksgiving
of that celestial ecstasy
our swing now overflows hung
with tinted breast-flowers
of the Madhumalati.

*

29

Krishna Answers
Radha’s Questions

How many times do I tell you, Radhae,
you for me
will be my only plea?
Don’t let your thirst
be smitten,
when love pouts
its hunger
milk shaken,
stirring the silken indrajao air.
Do not cast away the cow girls
thinking they’ll hide me
where you'll never find me.
Was there another born,
to love you like I?
Hold me close, Rani,
while I swing you sky high.
But if you'll still weep
if your sorrow swells budded
in my rain cloud,
in that wild break of rain
the poult of my lips
will dry you again...

*

30

Early Spring
in Brindavan

You shake the pink white oleander bloom
with your flute for dew drops
so your flute will shine,
and the fragrant nectar falls on my lips

You climb the golden shower tree
and I don’t have to wait to see
your pitambara spree,
your celestial beauty falls in my eyes

The red tufts of the Flame of the woods
you plume upon my cheeks
and I wake up to your Vrindavan bliss
and to crushed mango flowers
too early fallen,
under my feet...

*

31.

The Cover

All in zest.
the cow girls laughed.
But weary,
I slept on.
And, how,
just in jest
when I woke,
they had all left.
Having hennaed your face
one upon each breast
Mukunda, lover of freedom,
How do I cover you now?

*

32

They Presume Meanings

All in zest.
the cow girls laughed.
As weary,
I slept on.
And, how,
just in jest
when I woke,
they had all left.
Having hennaed your face
and presumed
silly meanings
that with two Krishnas,
one upon each breast
how could I be
alone?

*

33.

So, You’ll Come
Tonight

This new moon night
I’ve spread the blue conch flowers
of the Butterfly pea
in the champaka shade-
I’ve milked your favourite cow
so your butter is tender and pure.
To shed light
for your secret footsteps in the dark
the thread is lit
tearing my bosom silk
with oil from my hair
spread upon the lotus leaf-
so you’ll be with me under the Tree of Sorrow
in midnight blossom…
now my silk is torn,
my blue conch petals jaded,
the thread light wisps…
is it You now
over me,
or the night that just goes on and on…

*

34.

Radha And Krishna
Linger On A Kiss

Just how much
does my kiss weigh
upon your lips Radhae?
Krishna, you ask me
a silly question
that needs no answer.
The weight of a dew drop
about to fall from the flower bough,
of a butterfly strumming wings
tongue deep on nectar
not knowing the wind that sways it…?
Radhae, like you always do
You sing Vrindavan blues
Not answering my question...
Tell me then, O, boon-giver
if you know the answer.
My kiss, Radhae,
is the only flower
that can both sink and float...
Ah, you evade
your own question...
just tell your dear Radha,
just how much
does your kiss weigh ?
Krishna pressed a finger
on a stop in his flute
and turning to Radha,
kissed her, His tenderest kiss
then looking on he told her
Radhae,love is my kiss.
It has
no weight at all.

*

35.

Devoted To You

In how many ways
will a woman
be devoted to you, Krishna?
Singing in praise of you
till you appear
and you hold her
in Raas and leela
making garlands
of choicest flowers
adorning you
with the peacock plume.
I know girls have longed
and turned to flowers to fall
in prayer
at your lotus feet.
In every age
they’ll come to love you
in splendid ways,
your girls….
but Radha,
she can do nothing.
She is not a poet
to write you
a love song-
she is not a singer
to sing your praise-
But through the ages
on this earth
she lives
drowning
in the whirl pool
of your name

*

36.

Radha Describes
Her Needs

I don’t need much, Krishna
not all of your heart,
so wide, so big is your universe.
I don’t need much Krishna,
not all of your body
that holds the cosmos.
Not much,
I don’t need all your love
that overwhelms me
but just a little space
that fills
the small hole in my pitcher
looking through which I can see
your blue sky

*

37.

The Commonality

What do we all have
in common,
the parijata,
the rajnigandha,
Radha,
and her night kamala?
We all wait Krishna, for you
in Vrindavan,
beeless in the dark…

*

38

Poisoned Milk

There is so much
separation
that my heart is calm.
I would drink any milk
the gopis or my jealous girls
bring;
the poison is mine to wish for.
It is so long now
that I have gone into deep shades
of your night coming.
Come now.
Toss my milk aside.
Thinking of you
nowhere,
has begun to turn truth
that I have turned
a nightless moon,
a mouthful of Krishna weed
sipping delirium

*

39

The Memory

Don’t you remember, Krishna,
Our lila
in timelessness?
Inseparable then,
beyond pomegranate closeness
Gandharva Raag Ras
on your flute
and soul-perfumes?
You had all the time
for me
in Bhava Vrindavan
but in the forests
of my roaming here,
how sad,
that love here
only streams in pain
and that I
sail in the flute mists
gathering too deep
wading in the blue illusion
of your azure name

*

40

You And Me

When you get back
to Dwaraka,
there’s Rukmini at your feet.
When you come back here,
all the village-belles
know your hush
except me;
You win wars.
You pluck mountains.
You uproot a tree load of parijata
for Satyabhama,
and bring tender mountain grass
for your dappled calf
tethered here...
And after you go away
the cow girls laugh
and say
your celestial lover
was here
yesterday... look!
The little calf
prancing with joy...
even
he remembers....

*

41

Radha In The Krishna Temple
In Vrindavan

Because past midnight,
it’s too early for flowers,
Because there is no camphor,
no saffron,
and the grass is wet
or there are no stones
to strike a flame,
because the thatched roof
has fallen
and the rain pours on you
beloved, I don’t care
if anybody sees me now
I take you kissing in my arms
and hug you from the rain
keep your body of sapphire
where you hurt me the most
let my breasts for you
turn to
sandal fires...

*

42

The Bond

The cowslip
and daisy
have bonded.
The yellow krishnachura
sheds its peacock petals
over the doleful cactus
raining a pitambara shower.
Grape flowers swing
their subdued laughter in the air.
Madhumalati climbers,
they never seem to get tired
of wanting to be touched-
My long hair winnows
though I want it still.
It longs for the blue rains
of your lilting
hands.

*

43

Summer In Vrindavan

Mallikarjuna
petals, they droop
but do not fall.
On the dry mango bough,
your yellow-lidded mynahs are quiet.
Disabled, the bright yellow hornbill
too has shut its beak
thirsting long, without water.
Of course, our lotus pond is dry
on which the moon
bleeds all night.
The wild beasts that went away
have not yet returned.
In the temple, yesterday
the tall elephant on which you ride
almost ran bersek..
Krishna, if you come to Vrindavan now,
you can see Radha’s heart
parched, everywhere...

*

44

Nectar

Madhava,
the very name
drips nectar in my eyes.
Trillions everywhere
chant your thousand names
they fall at your feet...
Your fame grows and grows.
Do they then forget,
that you are of me,
I am of you
and without me,
you are not there?
Not that I mind, Krishna,
not even that I care.
But Madhava,
I’m still here,
without my nectar,
lest you forget...

*

45

The Ways I love You,
Krishna

I tended you while a child.
I looked after you like a sister.
You poured down my thoughts
and with mine in yours,
we become inseparable
in separation.
No one can be devoted to you
more than I.
Call me just once, Radhae,
and eternity would only be
a puddle for me to cross.
In what ways have I
not loved you?
Born blind,
at first your anklets
held me spellbound,
and I opened my eyes
while you trickled in them,
blue dew, you.
You have nothing to blame
and you pass me by.
Through the five senses-
as elements-
kadamba, neel kamal,
the thought of your coming-
are honey spills.
Yet I must be
the thorn
that you trample upon
that turns to sublime petal,
knowing your lotus feet…

*

46

Fragrances

Krishna, butter face,
Where my lips bread;
Your lotus eyes
your lime leaf cheeks
they fill me with unearthly fragrances.
Fragrances that get me engaged
wading, in your perfumed garden.
But when you say
that I fill you with perfumes,
wake up my lips that spread,
swear,
it is only me
always
by your side

*

47

What They All Say

Some say
this is my fate.
That I'll go to the beasts
for offering You the drink
of the water
of my washed feet.
O,why did you not think
and just drank it all?
Just as I doted
You thirsted.
Don’t they pity me
in secret
that with
such sacrilege,
my love for You
will remain unfulfilled
and heaven
be denied to me?
My night lotus,
deeply scorched in you,
let my breath
shut
in your lasting breath

*

48

Krishna, The Things
I Do To You

Krishna, the things I do to You
I can’t tell.
When I open my lips to say it,
words pale.
When I try and remember -
I did not know that love
could make me such an unabashed fool,
believing that I could hide
one who swallowed the cosmos
in my
tiny
mound of love

*

49

The Bath

Never, never, Krishna,
chide this silly girl.
She knows nothing about love.
She thinks it’s all over
with your lips upon her cheeks,
but nothing has even begun.
Don’t tell Radha to learn from the gopis
who have their own sweet boys-
sometimes you teach them too.
Better, Radha learns slowly.
and bathed in you
will need aeons to immerse
in every drop of your celestial water

*

50

Again, Krishna

Again, Krishna,
Again.
Now hennaed
though
I'm dripping
blue,
dripping you
tripping until
there's no end
of you
while I drip,
drip,
and you slip
away,
in the middle of it all.

*

51

Come, Krishna

Come, Krishna.
Come and listen to me.
Upon my lips,
upon yours,
I made a song of you.
I just put it to music
I still have it on my lips for you.
Come, listen, before I forget.
It is like your changing weather.
It glorifies you, my soft blue feather.
See, the rains unlock
the hundred drooping breasts of Radha manoharam
and hide them among the betel green.
come soon.
There's sandal enough
to whet
our bodies in a Vrindavan fire,
the coloured yolk of squeezed lilies
that looks and speaks and flows of night desire,
and I am just going down to bathe.
I can't forget my song.
The gopis neck deep in the river seem to enjoy
chilling their red lotuses.
But I need a little warmth
I need to give you my song
before I go down river.

*

52

Whose Kisses
Won The Wars

Whose kisses won the wars
of my closed lips?
With heart
of blue gnat,
who bored
me in through and through?
Who
turned my tiny face
into
ocean in a blue palm
and let it fill and overflow the earth,
while over me
as I rose,
who put on chameleon shades
of blue gnat,
who flew away

*

53

She Saw Me
Alright

She saw me alright
upon your lotus bosom.
Yes, in midnight lock.
She said she would not tell anyone
though I did not ask her.
She saw me alright
a drifting wing
over your cliff shoulder,
she said she did not see anything
though I did not even ask her.
She saw me face down upon your lap, eager,
chiding, she asked me if I was weeping.
Why, when you are here…
Couldn’t I have even just been sleeping?
What do they think, I won't do with you
these love-pillaging girls.
Now I can’t face the wind
I can’t face the sky
I can’t face the waterfall
not even the shadow
of a garuda wing
Wherever I turn
there are only questions.
Now you who from clouds of thunder,
in all wonder, uncoils eternity,
eternal rampart of me
tell them,one by one,
your sleet cunning answers.

*

54

Who Turned The Wind
Upside Down

Who turned the wind
upside down?
It is all in a mess
and turned to storm.
Who tore heaven
shredding blue,
making love-marks on its walls
with fingernails?
It is all a haze
and slowly the meteors calm.
Who uprooted the stone walls
of the estranged heart
that buried you and me
in Vrindavan,
for aeons?
Only your gopikrishna could do that
not just, Radha alone, Krishna.

*

55

Put Some More Colour
On Me, Krishna

Put some more colour on Radha, Krishna,
more. More.
Don’t make her a fool for your colour.
She don’t want the hues of the coral.
She don’t want the sliver of the sun .
But you know the colour she speaks
the sparkles as you turn her undercover
and she sheds her blossom and wakes you,
your flower on top.

*

56

Red, Red
My Coral Seeds

Red, red, my coral seeds
break bleeding around you;
white, white, my windflowers
waft desolate within you;
chained to your feathers
in every Vrindavan weather,
my lips wet purple
frosting your name...

*

57

Now That
You Are Here

Now that you are with Radha,
the riverside peepul is a hush.
Its leaves suck the Yamuna foam
in silence, as though they have sensed
love's homecoming. Such reverence the peepul shows,
that Radha grows jealous of the peepul tree.
The pet mynahs, they turn notorious
talking love, talking love,
they who were quiet as two stones
carved upon the mango bough-
before you came.
Your Radha grows jealous of the mynahs.
The horn bill, the golden yellow one
has returned with water full in its pores
all enabled.
The coloured peacocks, so many
are here already,
their mating calls rending the dawn.
Your Radha grows jealous of the peacocks.
The dappled one, your tiny calf
is all legs in the air,
he does not even seem to know Radha, or care.
Is Radha jealous of the little one too?
Yes, Radha is jealous of even that little one!
So,now that you are here,
Play into your hands, Radha's scented hands
pluck the hundred flowers from Radha's
deeper garments
where she hides her jewels
from the mountain brigands
make ways Krishna,
now pluck her hidden jealousies
rob them all away

*
58

Yes, I Was Asleep

Yes, I was asleep
when you took me by surprise.
But I knew I won that prize.
I drifted with you.
In sleep,
by the red jasmine clusters
in the bleached moonlight
we bathed together
in the milk of love.
Sure, I was still asleep.
You ran your flute
between my breasts
tickling me down,
not with the intention of waking
but overflowing me
in your song.
What fell into my navel?
I knew not what that was.
All the champa above me
frothing moon dew
and your kisses all rolling
looking to pour,
one could even have fallen in,
but I told you, Krishna
I was still asleep.
So kind that you shut me
so envelopingly,
and the single night lotus
before our entwined feet
that then was just waking,
abashedly
returned
to bud

*

59

Krishna On the Banks
Of the Gomti

Remember that touch,
the touch of Ras.
so long, so long,
as he held your hands
touch was never so easy.
Now alone upon the windy shore
in night long
harmony
Krishna's hands
gliding in serpent symphony
shapes the music of Vrindavan love.
And it is not easy.
Each breath of his, a slow hazy wheeze,
but she won't leave his mind,
who has caught on to his breath,
His breath in the cold mist is turning
timeless Radha bubbles
Radha bubbles
freezing
that wade, wade out
of a green ordinary
bamboo wood
gently
onto the abluting breasts
of the
Gomti

*
60

Krishna,
Your Very Sight

Krishna,
your very sight
makes love
inebriate.
Ecstasy of the kind
I thought I lost
dilates me
as we lilt
each other.
There is much more
I can give you.
No end
to what I seem
able to receive.
Could it be
it is not us,
but the weather
this night
that stiffens
your peacock feather so,
that in such ice’d kiss
it cannot
at all
flutter?

*

61

This Time,
Don’t Leave Me

This time,
don’t leave me, Krishna.
Love is amrith,
immortal,
But it is also
poison.
In me the Yamuna
rises breast-high,
but I go down neck-deep in You
watch me now
burning blue,
turning
into you.

*

62

Dark River

Dark river that looked so far away,
now suddenly near me.
The mist over you lightening
touches my thirst.
You come from so far away
and must disappear.
Am I here for you just midway?
You see me, you’ll not stop,
You cannot.
I must quench my thirst if I may.
They all cut tributaries
they all set their dreams upon you
endlessly sailing.
What’s my small thirst tethered to you,
dark river,
if you give it meaning
just one full moon night
if all the nights that come after
are all new moons?
Make me feel,
you flow only into me.
Forget my thirst.
Do you still not know,
I can’t be quenched?
Krishna, you are my river,
but I am your sea.

*

63

Who Holds Love
Tenderly

Who holds love tenderly
can’t be you
or me.
The universe,
a fruit upon Krishna bough
seems shaking to a fall.
Krishna, though I kiss,
it is not my lips,
Krishna, though I bite
You are nowhere in sight.
What love do you attempt?
It is not Radha you tempt.
Between the flora of illusion
and Bodhi reality
celestial one,
in you, I wreathe red lightning
as your rain cloud
falls.

*
64

Invisible

Is love invisible?
If so, it must be
beyond measure.
You do not know
the depth, the height
the breadth of my love.
Or do you pretend still,
my, All-knowing?
Love is invisible.
But for me,
my love,
in little measure,
my love for you is light,
the halo
on which you glow,
undressing for me
your
peacock flow.

*

65

Falling Again

Drenched all over
I try for cover.
I’ve fallen,
-a fly
that fell
into that sugar pool
in the smallest
honey plantain flower.
Your
thirsty kisses
are to blame.
For how
too soon,
not knowing me
drenched there
you
sucked me in

*

66

Questions
About Loving

Does too much of love
turn a woman's body white?
Will too much of his kissing
pale my lips?
I fear not for me, Krishna,
as for you. Your body
now hardly blue, and thin.
Your eyes, dazed fish
gone to the bottom of my sea.
If too much of anything
brings ruin to both of us,
will this grove be our ruin?
Will you still go away
after all this bliss
letting love's ashes
impale
Vrinda
again?

*

67

Where Love Hides

Beneath this shadow veil
love hides.
Don’t you want to see it?
won’t you free it?
Scatter free that rain-cloud,
Krishna,
disrobe the sky
tonight...

*

68

If You,
Krishna, Be

If you Krishna, be
the supreme vision,
surely I’ll play
enchantress.
Not in robes
of rainbow
but in throbs of rain,
pinking in desire
in your light
like rabbit’s ears
every moment
of your heart-ache
your house-keeper
of pain-
like you have done
a hundred times
before
levitating me
with a sudden kiss
then shattering

love’s
hypnosis.

*

69

Love Must Be
The Serenade

Love must be
the serenade
among tulsi perfume
until we leave
each other’s senses.
What more intoxication
in this basil forest
that spruces
up the hill sides
in rapturous
bloom
than to close
inside
my Krishna flower
and die
into
His bloom ?

*

70

Of Love
Between Us

Of love between us
there must be
respite.
The way love goes
out of sight
tranquil
in its
bite
that I
bleed
and drain away...
but wait...
not you.
Only, me.
O, you, dark snake
on whom I dote,
prescribe me
an antidote

*

71

Only
Yesterday

Only yesterday,
you said, that without me,
Your peacock feather
was just a thorn.
But now you arrange them
In tall order,
as befitting a king
preparing to leave.
dear lotus eyes
your war is won.
And to lose your love
I prepare.
Turn me,
into a mother.
You turn too into
a toe-biting child
then wade
upon my peepul leaf
to your joy’s
content

*

72

Vrindavan's End

Let me follow you
till Vrindavan’s end.
Past the temple where I
sit in penance of you,
past the flowering radha swing
in Madanonmadini,
past your gopis, all of whom
are but my longing mirages.
Leave your peacocks, here.
Your dappled one is now a brilliant cow
that I’ll milk in your remembrance.
I’ll not think of all the love we made.
I’ll learn to break your flute
my hard way,
lose all that zest,
make me a windy fire with cold hands.
Perhaps I’ll die down burning at your feet.
But I’ll not tear apart. Rains, do they tear apart?
Walking with you, bidding you farewell,
If you see my eyes fill anytime, Krishna,
tell Vrindavan, her end
is only your timelessness....

*

73

A Sad Girl Song
By Krishna

I am far from you Radhae
in my palace,
looking out from the palace window.
Why does the moon never fail
to remind me of you?
Why is it not going behind a cloud at all?
Maybe, the moon,
it just wants to get behind my tears.
That’s when I take my flute
to render you a song.
Listen softly, my girl
breaking me a river...
Hear, hear from here
His flute
precious
not because He plays it
but because it fills
with you.

*

74

A Radha Palmscript
From Krishna

At the palace gates
the sentries
cross spears.
Do you know Radhae,
what it feels to be
a prisoner
in one’s own palace?
On the silken couch
I pillow my head,
without its crown.
I have lost my peacock feather.
Feathers touch me
only when you touch me
in Vrindavan.
My crown glows sapphire
only when I am with you.
Without Radha,
and bereft,
I see not in this palace,
a Krishna
anymore.

*

75

Twilight On My Bed

Twilight from the glass window
is a pallor upon my bed.
It reminds me of dense saffron
that must sink with the sun.
There comes Rukmini smiling
with a glass of milk.
She sits by my side
and I rise.
Her kiss upon my face is altogether warm.
Rukmini, she’s such a lover of jasmine.
She lays me a handful spread,
turns her head
I lock the jasmine
upon her hair
but hear
your laughter Radhae
the fragrance of your hair
has braided me
there...

*

76

Your Milking Hands,
Radhae

Milk in my palace
does not have the flavour
of your milking hands.
And that’s not milk for me.
Butter isn’t soft
as love buttressed
between us.
No Radha deer,
no Radha passerine,
this time, in dark thoughts
of Radha's bimba-lips
its' my eyes that go deep red.
All silk, marble and jade,
and without Radha for a shade,
just about everything,
everything that
fades.

*

77.

I Drank Of The decoction
Of Your Feet

The world knows I drank
of the decoction
of your feet-,
drunk of that bliss
Dwaraka turned into Vrindavan,
and Gomti, she said Radha, Radha.
And was that not only just too little
that I could do
for our love?
Yet,why do you doubt me?
If I drank the water
of your feet,
and asked for more,
Why doubt me then ?
Drunk of you
in me,
as they all watched abashed,
was it not Radha's,
day,
to show the aeons,
the milky way
the galaxies yet unborn,
what I chose do
with the immortality
of our love?

*

78

They Are All,
Pretty Jealous

They are all pretty jealous.
That is clear.
let them be.
But of the thousands
bonding for my love,
only you
can set me free.
Catch me dancing
with the girls
Catch me playing my songs
tossing their ear side curls
still, you have not caught me wrong.
Never mind the tests you
must pass, never mind
the ordeals,
know, all the while
and at last
I am your charring thread,
when you are my flame that burns.

*

79


I’ll Be
A Limping Bird

I’ll be a limping bird.
Take me home
and tend my feet.
They aren’t turning
lotus feet without you.
I’ll wait till you come,
not caring in the sun
get wet in the rain
because I can’t get ahead
till you come.
Under the green canopy
where the smallest berries are
they’ll serve my days
till you find me.
Don’t sit there
and just pine.
Take on
where you will
and tend me.
Tempt me.
And when
I am well,
by the heat of your body
by the cool springs
of your soul,
I'm the blue bird
on your shoulder
to cry on

*

80

In Her Heart-Shaped
Canoe

In her heart-shaped canoe,
Radha
she lies without sleep-
This Krishna knows. He is restless.
Two nights,
and Radha hasn’t gone home.
They are all worried- Where can she be?
They have gone searching all over
Vrindavan...
They even looked inside
the village well.
They all passed by
her heart-shaped canoe
but none cared to take a look inside, to tell.
So in the palace,
after the lights go down
Krishna’s bed turns into
a heart-shaped canoe.
Radha will sleep in Krishna’s arms tonight.


*

81

Flow

Away, from you, far away
I toss and turn in my night bed.
In the middle of the night
I am awake and play
a song for you on my flute,
wishing you’ll hear.
But you know that I cannot complete my song.
If I look out of the window,
these hot summer nights,
I see the moon bite red berries
like you bite your lips;

So, let Rukmini sleep on a pillow
let Satyabhama braid her flowers all night;
I’ll leave my body here,
just disappear.
Soon I'll be water
flowing colourless to you
but yet be for you,
the blue you always knew.

*

82

Message

I have sent you a message of love.
Radhae, I lay awake last night.
So much time seems gone
though its’ been just a night away-
and my memories have turned to diamonds
hard they are, and shining.
On the morrow, surely,
before the day after
my message will reach you.
So when you hear from me,
unburden from your sorrow tree
to the hungry little Krishna birds
among the boughs
a little of our love’s
ripe fruit


*

83

My Blue

My blue is Radha's own kingdom.
She's my empress
and rules me from Vrindavan.
Ever heard of a kingdom
drift to its queen?
Without her I am
a bit of a drifter.
No other can reign
in my love like her.
She keeps me awake,
rules me in her sleep.
I can only pretend
I am a king,
the ways
she fills her heart
with her face-
I have no space
to linger
without her.
Well, I am dark and blue,
That’s one reason for her
to think -my love isn’t true
(She fears- my Radha)
that my blue fills the world
and holds her
as but
a drop of love dew.
True,
Ever heard of a kingdom
that with just one
tear
of its queen
goes bust?
that's how
I've
to be
this heap
of
blue dust

*

84

Almighty

Are you smiling now, my Radhae?
Are you happy in thoughts- that I remember
you
in ways that you never thought
I would?
I remembered you,
even while a charioteer racing the Kurukshetra wars...
the love of the throne is nothing
compared to my love of you, Radhae
yet we must be living apart
and forgetting all,
you must by the lotus pond and fade away.
For me? Then you must never fade.
Shake, shake away that thought
that I am not by your side.
Go feed the dappled one
longing for a grass tuft from your hands.
Dance, dance to ecstasy in Vrindavan,
forgetting all,
know then
that its' but your love
that turns me into
the Almighty-

*

85

Sleepless

O, Radhae,don’t fall asleep so soon,
just because Krishna is now by your side.
Now, teach Krishna to sleep cuddling
an idol of Radha
when He's gone.
Long nights your Krishna lay awake,
He even summoned the god of sleep
who said he was helpless... it was written so
in the heavens,
that Krishna can sleep only when Radha sleeps.
Radha is now with Krishna.
O, Radha can sleep, and in dreams lie awake
for Krishna’s sake... but do not fall asleep now, Radhae
and when Krishna gets back ,
wrap in his long haired curls
the art
of cuddling only you.

*

86


Inconstant

Radhae,
You say
I am inconstant.
Yes, Radhae,
You are constant.
Inconstant,
I
always
am,
revolving
around you.


*

87

Falling Again

I placed my peacock crown
upon your head;
I pressed my flute
upon your lingering hands
raising it to your lips;
you looked so dazzling-
haloed, how much Krishna
you became;
that I
turned to Radha kamala
touching
the
wet
saffron
of
your feet


*

88

Who ?

You said
I wasn’t anywhere.
Remember?
Birds shrieked.
Your glass bangles broke
falling
at your feet.
Jasmine flowers
turned to garden cloud
upon your long hair
while you turned
a river
that
suddenly
changed
its course.
Don’t tell
the gopis
Don’t tell
who-
laid you
on a dark bed of basil leaves
and quietly
with a smile
hid
the climbing
sun


*

89

My Vrindavan

Yesterday
in the palace garden
after every one had left
I turned a gardener.
I wished to turn the palace garden
into Vrindavan.
I envisioned there,
all kinds of basil,
the rajnigandha,
sunflowers,
your favourite
tree of sorrow,
red lilies,
daisies
and in the middle of it all
your
night lotus.
Not easy
here, Radhae
to stem
our kadamba tree
or swing
with Rukmini
in your memory
but
In the amber dusk,
so hard I tended,
just a small Vrindavan,

but where do I find

an asoka
grove,
with just the two of us
in its
shade?


*

90

Mantra

just outside
by the temple window
the jasmine spreads
and wraps
its bounty
over the infloresence
of the red chempa tree.
It is a strange fragrance,
and a flower on flower
mating
game.

Then I recollect
our bindia spree
your breath that cooled
your lips that bled
upon
what was left,
uncovered to be,
till the rose of my forehead
was washed away
like twilight
by the sea.

And in the fragrant wash
out
gently,
touch was a love priest
wandering ,
picking
our flowers and leaves
undressing his idol,
searching for jewels
gone under,
a
subdued mantra
churning
an ocean
on his
lips


*

91

Puff Flowers

Don’t be out Radhae,
blowing the
puff flowers
too long.
I know your temptation
for the yellows and pinks.
For the gold lined blue peacock eye
in every full formed feather.
But Radhae, you might catch a cold,
because in Vrindavan the breeze is strong,
there could be a coming chill..
and the last thing
I want
is to have you ill.
When I come back to our temple step,
must you not be ready
to bead me round my neck ?
To crush red yellow rose petals
for rose milk for my health ?
Think of me Radhae, Radhae,
Don’t be out
without
your deer skin
in Nikunj Van
don’t blow the puff flowers
in Vrindavan,
alone in the cold.
Go in.
Make my bed
as only you can,
and on the morrow you can tell me
if tonight was a dream
with you and me
late night, after your fell asleep
all that turned suddenly bridal
upon our bed
in Nikunjvan.

*

92

In All Forms

Ask me not
what I would not
do for you
Ask me not why
or
this and that.
Just as you
love me
in all forms
that I cannot resist.
See me now,
for you,
mother Radhae,
just as you needed
to fold me
in your tossing
peepul leaf
I’ve turned
into
your butter-
licking
child.

*

93

Blue Gold

When You come,
Krishna-
I touch
your lotus-feet.
I mascara your lotus eyes.
Your body’s
thin blue
lotus stalk
I wind
upon my gold
turning
what I dream-
deemed
long,
Blue gold.
Blue gold
Liquid gold
winding
molten blue
I will be seen,
known,
thrown,
and
stoned
but I’ll be too
where I should be,
in oblivion
turned back into
snake jasmine
illusory
on your
slipping
grape
vine

*

94

Amber

When you come over,
Krishna,
my night lotus
wades
nectar-deeper.
Your summer rains
sow
rare rainbow buds
among our basil cloves.
And,

When you go, Krishna,
Time waits on amber
beseechingly
touching my feet

seeking
just
to disappear

*

95

Pagoda Flowers

Pagoda Flowers are in bloom here.
Do they remind you,
my Krishna,of your Swarna Dwaraka?
In between tiny
crimson yellow petals
putting forth their long red
stamen stalks
I see your spying eyes.
Have you hoodwinked
Rukmini again, to be in Vrindavan?
Are you looking for your Radha,
Krishna?
Find me always here,
the first to pick pagoda flowers
remembering
You, big bee
in your golden city.
These, your flowers
however high
they tower,
how can they hide
your only honey queen
from the blue king bee bird ?
Come, from among
the bright pagoda flowers
big bee,
take me.

*

96

Krishna Heat

In Vrindavan
His only red one is now entirely
obsessed.True to her name,
did she cast her lightning spell?
Suddenly from nowhere
He is bathed in cool
oleander shower
in far away Swarnadwaraka.
then comes the White darts that
change at His feet
to blood roses.
Rukmini knows
where the flowers
to come from.
She watches,with not a word
to Krishna
as the japa
flowers
fall.
In times as these
of
Radha's Krishna heat,
Lord of the Cosmos,
the celestial magician,
he turns all Radha flowers
at his feet
into
his own
heart beats

*

97

Radha is Neck Deep
In Prayer

Radha is neck deep in prayer.
Her thirst for you
to be by her side
has crossed lust and desire
and turned
to the peace
of meditation.
There is nothing,
that you can do now,
Krishna.
Go on.
Appear.
You cannot sleep
on a thousand feather rolls.
Holding Rukmini close
will not any more help.
Go now,
be by Radha’s side
don’t take Vrindavan
to flames.

*

98

Sugar Flute

When Krishna was about to meet Radha again,
He had just broken his bamboo flute.
But all the sugar cane fields were in bloom.
As Krishna was crossing over to Vrindavan
Radha wished to offer her beloved, a gift.
Clairvoyance? Love's divination?
Well, she cut a bright blossom of sugar cane,
dried it in the sun
not too much but...
not too little.
With her finger nails
She made those sugar stops.
So when Krishna put his lips to her sugar flute,
so much overflowed,
that she had to help,
with tender
love-bites
sucking his green flute
dry.

*

99

Kamdev's Plight

Because you did not come, Krishna,
I prayed to Lord Manmadha.
Kamadeva, he appeared before me,
falling at my feet.
Devi, He said, You ask
me no boon as always,
other
than that Krishna should be eternally
by your side...
This time your Lord,
he has gone far away
To pluck some bigger mountain...
And he’ll will need penance.
Listen to me, Radhae,
carefully.
Distil the nectar drop on drop
the first honey that the rain-fed
kasturi-plantains gather,
before the honey-ant sips them.
They should all be pure.
Save all that honey
and offer it to your Lord.
Give the temple elephant
only
the smaller plantains...
But before Kamadeva
could finish his prescription of Love
there stood the blue Lord
his hands hiding my naked breasts
and Kama
blinded,
at his feet...


*

100

Next Time

The next time you come, Krishna,
do not forget
I’ll be in penance
all around you
and every time
your
madhurya
douses my lips
I’ll know it comes
from being in
bliss
in your
in love’s penance.
So Radha’s
tears
clear

every time you appear,
like
parijatha
swept by the night
storm
camouflaged…
under the knowing-
moon


*

101

Sleep

Radhae Shyam,
my lord.
Now,
drunk deep of
premamrith
you and I
lie.
But,
Are you so
tired,
that even among
such red
asoka flowers
that even
with your head
softened
upon
my lily-hennaed
thigh
on a night as this
when the bakula scent
vies with the stars
in the undressing
skies
that
you
you must linger
so quiet,
and be a
blue
dew?
was is it that
in our
garden
the rushing maids
that laced
scent- snake
perfume
had unknowingly
over
done
that you now
fall
too soon
to
sleep?
Sleep, sleep,
my
King Blue,
as you
long over-
due
now trickle
in me
in
this
dewy
quietness;
sleep your full moon
sleep-
you know
I'll not shake
but
only
be awake
your
lithe,
lilting
half-
open
moon
flower


*

102

Plain Girl


Village belles
they,
call me
plain girl.
No pearl rings,
no diamond
navel stud
no gold necklace,
but
blue glass bangles,
O, yes,
O, you
in me.
Tell me,
to you,
Am I only a plain girl

Is that why
you are a legend
for running away
the anklet
way?

Krishna, He gently
stroked Radha’s hair,
O,
me-
in
-you
O
my
red
moon
He mused
plaiting me
like,
his own.
‘How plain can
you be,
my ornament,
when
your
eyes
fill
mine
with Yamuna
and
Vrindavan ?’

*

103

Sun Thief
Sun-thief,
Keshav,
hiding light
in your curled locks of hair
spread back and
beautiful,
Why
no more
do you care?
My
Love thrives on
love-fruit,
and not despair.
Into
the the butterfly-
pea,
last night’s rain
still drips,
drop on drop.
Drop
on drop love balances
its ripening ecstasies.
I hear your pet peacock cry,
and turn.
He's going in a trance
all racy blue.
In slow sure steps,
He's got his dance.
You, love thief,,
Madana
hiding love
in your long lucky locks.
In slow sure steps
you hunt down the girls
but me
Why no more
do you care?
in brief,
My love thrives on
their
love-fruit,
and
that's
my despair

*

104

The Game

Juicy amla berries
are turning ripe
growing huddled together
on a single bough
and there's your smile of squeezed lemon buds
again.
Bright red, my hibiscus blood
rushing up my breasts
my poultice secretly bruised,
sensing
your flower and fruit game.
And how much ever I might chide you,
Krishna
those bright yellow lemons,
their fragrance already on your hands,
that you never fail
to put them all,
playfully
in,
leaving my breasts
unaabshedly
sinning

*

105

Plea

Dear you, dear me-
Dart me
this way and that
throw me
into clouds just like that
nakedly gamble me
in your blue sky
oh, do you never need me
but to make me
cry?
deal me
peel me
a pomegranate
but don't
steal away
my taste
alright
wound me
tickle me
in slow
love rise
with your singing
bamboo stalk
like its' you
in disguise,
sting me
or pin me
what ever,
but
give it all
only
to Radhae,
night and day
like a dark canoe
pulled into the North star
pull Radhae
push her
deep in you,
and let her
be there,
near you,
and endear you
Krishna...

*

106

Bead

By
your
estuary,
lapped bead
me,
face by face
blue & gold
again
unbroken,
we
broken
among the low waves
laced
upon
the night river...


*

107

Mango Season

My lover of bees
and swaying mango trees,
I have found you.
Throw me the mangoes,
those rich parakeet ones,
and I'll hold my skirt wide
like a net,
to catch.
And welcome back,
among the flower boughs.
Forget, my boy,that you are a King.
I just don't care.
Come and catch my heart's
low passerines
flurrying
as though they forget
its' here they have always been.
My lover of trees and climbing butterfly peas
I know
you are there,
and just why your flute goes
girlie
beep, beep,
faint and stuck
with your mango greed.
You take the ripe ones,
but throw me the greens
I'll cover them with hay
so when you come down,
my king of green mangoes and pollen bees
they’ll all be so red for me
so yellow for you
ripe and waiting
like me
for you.

*

108

Golden Willow

The golden willow,
cries,
bends and weeps into the river.
Who weeps more, Radhae,
the golden willow
or the river?
I know you’ll take sides
only with the river-
what, you’ll say,
can weep more than water?
But Radhae,
He who stand tall, golden, before the world
when he bends to kiss,
just know
He, like the Golden Willow
weeps for you
more
and more

*

109

Radha Pearls

Because you are priceless to me,
I end up every night
a dreamer
of pearls. And I sit
by the palace pond,
feed my pet oysters each day,
a little pain,
for the pleasure of seeing them
pearl-blow,
I watch them churn
the way I turn
my sorrows
into Radha pearls. Maybe I won't
do enough
to prove it to you. Maybe your Krishna
will die
before you ever know
the depth of his love, but Radhae,
will my pearls do
to bring to you
home truths
of love,
my mother of pearl.

*

110

Drip

Your conch eyes drip
when you speak of love.
Why do you cry,my Shyam?
Do you doubt that I care?
Your words bend light
and I lose all colours,
Krishna.
Do you think I do not know?
You don’t have to show me
You don’t have to tell.
Only hold me trembling,
in your spell-bound breath
shut,
in kingfisher
penance.

*

111

Exchequer

But you pull me away
from the palace tonight,
with only a dream....
though I must be here
with things I must set aside,
even the music in my flute.
Dear Vrindavan
is my home,your bright navel
is my love's hidden nest
but the palace here
with its stately crest
does not let
my feelings
glow. A king in love
is a woman's fool,
a total loss to
the exchequer.
But all said
I am led
and wed,
I am Radha's fool.
So, tonight in the little moon
a jasmine wisp
forsaken in the Brsna air
wandering in sleep
I turn the palace doors open
stepping out, into the cold…
where I find your perfumed sakis,
all decked with lit lamps,
and with them,our brightly adorned manjaris….
How did you know, gold girl,
that in this little moonlight
I would be
sleep-walking to you
into Vrindavan?


*

112

Your Great Palace

How great is your palace, Krishna,
Where I cannot be?
They tell me of in laid marbles
smooth as the Vaishakhi moon in jade,
of corniced glass walls and mirrors
in latticed esplanade
overlooking a sea of joy
with your milky Rukmini in fluted serenade.
Are the windows stained with blue gold
as the bright million fish in our pond?
Are the palace doors like my open arms
longing for you indoors?
What flowers fall to welcome you
like I lay them at your feet?
On your feather bed,
your lilting flute,
where does it night long rest-
upon Rukmini’s satin kiss?
O, Krishna, this she knows
whose love for You is lightning
impregnating the universe
that she must not long to see
broken dreams beyond Vrindavan.

*

113

The Ways
You Fill Me

The ways you fill me
do you really want to know?
I'm the coal darkness
that turns in your love
to diamond light
the undying thirst
in the desert beak
drinking death's lidless storm,
moon rains
among bamboo fires
where the ash snakes fork love.
The water
you dip your feet in
turning to peacock cloud.
In love's mulberry pastures
I breathe you everywhere.
Yamuna cannot flood,
Radhae,
the ways
you fill me

*

114

Disappearing Act

ls disappearing Your divine act?
- I burst upon your jewel breast
and Vrindavan fills with love pollen.
My lips butterfly tongue
coiling round your lotus neck
and find-
Lord,
you have disappeared.
why an illusion
when only-
only you are real?
When only Radha is love?
Come back.
In the middle of
such torment
tell me,
must love be love
only if it makes you sad,
is that why
disappearing
is your divine act?

*

115

No More, No More,
Your Footsteps

No more, no more your footsteps
I want to see.
All you show me are your footsteps
walking my sea.
No more no more you belong to me
when the breasts of the girls spill
like milk overflows our temple tree.
Krishna, how can you be so rude
to my love?
Even the cows here
get to touch you more
and they get worse than your girls in love
when you pass around.
How could you turn
my fresh memories of you
to bitterness of curd?
Lord of the mountains,
and tender flute whispers,
I’ll turn so hard for you
if you don’t love me most-
that you’ll have to heat me up
glow me
or burst me in your fires
like a tamarind seed
if I must,
after all this,
come back to you
rolling
in your ecstasy

*

116

Jasmines

Jasmines know
the truth of blossom.
Just how to crowd
upon their hero
in warmth of abundant perfume.
Just like the gopis
are these
midnight jasmines.
They know too,
with gifted blooming
that all joys are momentary;
Joy comes,
but how long
the wait,
the call?
Radha is all jasmine
alright,
but lost
in Krishna rapture
alone,
she falls.

*

117

Krishna
Will Come Again

My Krishna,
will come again.
Once he comes,
He never can
really go away.
Anklets of mine,
do not shake too wild.
What if he is already here
and has fallen asleep
among the high kadamba boughs?
Fair bosom in love
do not heave too hard
thinking He is here, already.
Dark waist band he loves to run
his fingers on,
do not quiver so hard
hide, hide away ,
you were meant
only for him to see.
Oh, Krishna if you are anywhere here,
playing hide-and-seek,
come down and see the miracle
of lit Radha
now turning
into
dream
chandelier


*

118

Golden Love

Half notes of bluebirds
storm the valley
tearing pinked- purple river flowers.
Glow worms dazed,
wait curled,
hurt in the falling dew,
knowing not of their crushed mates.
This morning the breeze
is colder than loss
that wanders like strung rabbits
all over the breaking hills
scattering long wild daisies
under their soft fleeing heels.
You think it is calm, here, Krishna.
But love filigreed all over
with such separation,
bejeweled with your memories
is heavy, Lotus eyes,
like gold that dazzles,
yet wears down to faint
the new bride
to her death.


*

119

Yesterday’s Twilight

Yesterday’s twilight
was a red carpet of hope.
I thought, the way it stayed so red
so long-
that you would descend.
That put my heart on the ascent.
I pretended I wasn’t waiting for you.
As if I had so much to do
than waste all my time thinking of you.
Now I know,
how better to be true,
when I bleed all red
for the twilight
of you.


*

120

Aroma

Maybe the night snakes
sipped
ripe cashews
and
left them there.
So many ripe fruit,
red and yellow ones
lying on the ground.
The breeze is still proud
incensed with the aroma of wet cashew flowers
and don't seem to want
to leave this way.
So it stays here, all perfumed,
like me in the center
of your half bitten fruit
all honey not yet sucked
the ripeness still in ooze,
all red and yellow,
darkening nuts azure,
around
your blue cloud.


*

121

Clever Parrots

Clever birds, these parrots
they ate all the red berries.
Sly ones they are doused
their beaks gone sticky
but do not want to drink water.
Of late the males, they learned
your
old trick. They are moving closer
to the new feather girls.
Poor birds,their sad girls,
building
Vrindavan groves back home,
can wait.
The heroes drink all the honey
and want fresh rich dark combs.
They even boast
that they are all passerine,
some even mimic your flute.
Come girls, join me.
I know what your boys have been doing’
watching all night with slant eyes
thinking your nests
shaped like Radha's breasts
for all their love-
making
would be nice.
They all think they
are
also turning blue,
and they have a right
to go, no end,
to the pain they are giving you...
forgetting their pretty little coats
will just be green.


*

122

Earthlight

Move over, bliss,
My face, it brightens
over his shoulder
upon the pond.
I never imagined
how much light
love hid
in a face so small as mine.
It is so much of a pleasure
to see this love lantern'd
in slow degrees.
Move over, bliss,
My Krishna is here.

I think I’ll now
light up the earth.


*

123

What You Did Then

I take count of what love
then did
and now does no more
to me.
It did me everything;
I shouldn’t blame
a wink
saying,
it did me in.
Now though love, it
bakes
my heart,
and burns my lips
to embers
though my kisses roll
on
roundness
of untended
tears

Your love once
did all the things to me
that held my falling bosom
and ripened them undercover
to love-blessed
fruits of autumn
though It broke me often
with the blow of summer winds
breaking seeds,and falling rind,
your love still does
everything it knows
to me
just as when I was blind
and you turned
your celestial way
and set my iris
sailing,
trailing,
falling
in love with you.


*

124

The Bimba Fruit

You would not tell me
of your arrival?Again?
From
downriver,
Comes up the notes
of your melody so easily.
Your notes?
Are you there now
your face kiss-mixed
with the doting lot of Vrindavan?
No, it just can't be.
The music is so wretched
so sure you aren't there
and that was some cowgirl playing
your pressing remembrance
under our Bimba tree
where the ripe red fruit keeps falling
like gopis in a swoon
Krishna, after your kissing spree,
without me.

*

125

Every Flower You Love

I know every flower
you love
Krishna, I know the fruit
all sweet
that turns bitter
when you aren't
around.
I know how they take
away the
sweetness of your face
like streaming coconut milk
till the end of the kernel,
and keep on
lingering there
wishing it had only
begun.
No need to be
the breaking tendril
of an apology,
you know that'll break me.
Start your song.
Linger then as upon fruit
so long as you are in Vrindavan.
But of my love
it is true,
that curls around you,
don't suck the honey
of my inflorescence
with the passing night bees
of your
indifference

*

126

Love Leaves The Woods

When love leaves the woods
it always happens. Flowers
misjudge their own fragrances.
Perfumes harden like camphor
at the stoned roots of the camphor tree
where you lay me down upon you
stroking my curls
as though they were peacock heads
you chose your feathers from.
Wood apples rolling down to the streams
hurt, that we don't share a bite together.
When love leaves the woods
that's when my chandelier
that forgetting its bright burning
and falls,
flaming me in
your temple fire.

*

127

Now They All Droop

Now they all droop
as though each has a secret
and ain't going to tell.
Among themselves I see
they ain't drooping much.
Might as well be,
against me
their conspiracy.
It is all so funny
when they see me
they pretend they haven't
seen me for ages.
Each has a different taste
each kiss you kissed I mean
cast in love's green
avocado smells.
The girls,
the girls,
oiled hair tied tight like cockscomb
flowers on their heads
so loving you is easy
and they don't need to lie
before the men they wed
it is your silly flute krishna
throw it into the river
that drives them all so crazy
turns them all so mad.

*

128

All My Flowers,
Krishna

All my flowers
are for you, Krishna.
And for me?
I sit shaking my hands in the river.
Orange Priyadarshini,
Kalashi, purple river beauty
beside us pouting ....
the long red Talasi buffs
of Love-lies-bleeding
upon which
the blue dragon fly
is trying out
another hypnosis.
Mokandar buds, so rare
finding us together
show up in their hundreds.
Sit with me day long,
I have my waist blood-lined
in Lal saag
I plucked all my way to you.
My Krishna, just as the gandharvas
feed on fragrances,
we true lovers
must live
on flowers...


*

129

Tell Me A Reason

Tell me a reason,
why you turn away.
I grow, sprout leaves,
wedged between the hot rocks
of separation.
Yet I burn
only for you.
Tell me why
you cover my summer
and assign me to rain.
Or why you let me fall
over you crystal snow,
then freeze me down
with winter.
After all this,
for you,
My new leaf breathes
your fluted breath
even as
my roots
submit to your floods.


*

130

Romance

My longing bursts with sandal
that flows around you,
without leaving.
Take away the romance
you hid among my breasts.
Between my rests
love is always bleeding.
There is nothing purer,
nothing more dearer.
Cast away the net
of your loveless strumming
wha'll you do
with all your illusions
when only Radha is real?
Come now, take back
your blue
because,
without you
everything
grows dark again.

*

131

Blood Leaves

Take my fragrance,
into your mystic senses.
Take my woes, take and take
take my pain,then take again.
I'll take on your arrogance,
as a fruit fly on open sugar apple.
Your side glances must be broken.
Not with the least vengeance,
I'll grow upon you my blood leaves.
Heart shaped all of me will be
you must know the heartless ways
the heart grows red in perennial rains
misted in blue valleys
of true love waiting.

*

132

Krishna Flower

When you come again
to Vrindavan,
where will you first search for me?
Among floating lace leaves
perhaps,one day,
you'll find me. And if not near,
Maybe you'll find me by the sarpagandhi
whose under growths will care,
because I taste those roots these days
too often
to get me some sad dreams about you.
After you left,the last, to forget your memory
I learned each Vrinda flower
by name.
Talking to flowers
to forget all about you
became my favorite past time.
Why is it that I want to forget
what I long to remember?

Silly me, even then,
I fell in love
with the only Krishna flower,
with the dumb pink desert roses
wooing it
all around.

*

133

Jewel-Thief

I think I'm born
to be alone.
The Vrindavan belles
they have so many friends
but let me now tell,
you are to them
only a substitute,
when their husbands are gone
to the other shore
to trade.And because it is Krishna
these foolish husbands
they pretend not to know
you are their jewel-thief.
Back in the temple
I met the priest
and asked him
where next,
with which gopi
you'll be.
He threw the small white shells
upon the star board
and said
Your Krishna
I just don't
see him anywhere...
that's when I turned to the Yamuna
another aberrant girl
who'll hide you in.
Krishna, I grow green
thinking
what might have been,
gathering stippled moss
emeralded,
your only one
ablaze
in your
blue
sheen

*

134

So Late, Awake

So late, awake, so sleep can't close
these drooping lids that time gave up
as fruitless... when you were there....
... with me....
There was a time I could walk on air
on lily pads embroidering the climb of night moon
I could walk on air, I could walk on water
but now
the wait of you, the weight of you is glowing coal,
you burn the treasures that I cherish
cool them to ingots of love and then vanish
without me...
so late, I spread the tresses drawn, torn
by the thorns of your breaking,
hang them to dry, drenched in my love sweat
upon me, o, yes, you are a cow tenderer,
crazy lover, a wise king, you are everything,
the blue prince of partaking and parting
and rightly so,
you are lotus-eyed, Krishna,
it could not be otherwise
for upon the rising lotus
no water stays
in your lotus eyes
no river abides.

*

135

Our Children

Between us
we know.
Love
is
just
for grieving.
Why
so hard
when it should
not
be
at all
but
soft
and
endearing?
Streams
we play in
are our children
born
of our love-
twined
feet,
made only
to evaporate.
Of
our love
in aeons
nothing passes
Krishna,
you were so right.

Time does not change
a thing.

*

136

In Time You'll Know Me

In time you'll know me
how beyond time I've stood
the onslaught of Time for you-
whatever they might say, I cannot change.
Must the rain turn to summer
to prove that it is rain?
Can the wind change?
It must turn to storm.
We'll rise above earth,
beyond human birth and timeless, meet.
if you shed blue,
I'll shed gold,
all rain
and lightning
and let all
between us turn and be so simple,
fused, colourless.
You'll know then that these days and nights
wandering with the disease of you,
the ecstatic kind
a madness that needs more sugar
a sadness that needs your peacock shower
to make me
me again...
For this love
that does not end with pining
that begins all over
when coming to the bend
that cannot fleece away its paced shining
waits at the end of Time's blossom
as the magnificent
tree of sorrow poured all over
with Radha
dripping Krishna
Krishna dripping Radha
dripping
where Gods sip themselves
into immortality

*

137

Flame Of The Forest

Who brings the gentle shower
of the flame of the forest?
it is so cool now.

My body is all red.
Vrindavan is all red.
It doesn't happen that way often.

Perhaps it is a sign
of the changing times.
Red, red with petals

you shed,
you think my love
for you is buried?

Krishna,
even in jest
don't play your hide-
and-seek games

Don’t burn me away
in your
krishnachura
flames

*

138

Must Be, It Must Be,

Must be, it must be
that it must not be.

Love’s silence
must take Him and me.

Lightning
though it seldom hits
burns
and will never miss.

Must be, must be
So it must be.

Without Radha
Krishna cannot be

Shadows disappear
the light isn't kind
the ways he declines me
and I churn His mind

but light cannot go on
without its shadow
and must shut itself to dark

love needs its darkness
in the light of its heart

so in ways of Radha
in ways of Krishna
Krishnaradha
Radhakrishna

though He be dark
and turns to light
though Radha be light
and turns to dark

it is all for Him
it is all for Her

in loves eternal
shadow game
In His darkness

is all light

*

139

Changing Roses

These are the nights of the changing roses.
These are nights of longing.
Such loving presupposes
a wild scattering of coloured seeds.

The village belles,
before their mirrors
they polish every kiss
stampeding
Vrindavan in bliss.

But nothing, Krishna,
is complete without this
ere, the night song goes mute
Radha's lips clasped
upon your night flute.

*

140

All I Need Is Nothing

All I need is nothing
but to be
a honey-ant roaming
on your blue-bell flower,
running to save my honey
dark inside you when it rains.
All I want is the rain to open
me
and you, a honey-
plantain
and share with you the secrets
of my secret grove-
All I long to be
is a tattooed darkness
healing
your
breast-bite

*

141

Everywhere

Here,
there,
every
where
o
where,
upon the leaf
the flower
the bud
upon the dancing bough
in every
pebble
o
where
laughing
in my
thumbnail

come,
Krishna

stepping
the halcyon

blue

*

142

What Things Of The Heart

What things of the heart
have you brought with you
this time?

Though dew don't stay
on lotus leaves long,
you called my face
your lotus leaf
and there they all crowd in to stay
it looks like the dew drops have found
an other way.
What things of the heart
have you brought with you
this time
to wipe them
all away?

*

143

Heart Beat

Never give all,
so, the clever gopis say.
I filled His heart
with all my kisses, all,
emptied my last
just in case,
to see him on his way-
filled them wet
bleeding white and red
as spots upon kesave leaves
and he won’t even need
to look my way -
I kissed him so much that I slept away
kissing; and woke up forgetting
the art of lips touching.
I gave Him all,
gave everything away
Is that why
He emptied
all of me,
so ruthlessly
when He
went away?
*******
So who’s the most foolish gopi?
One thousand one gopis,

they
point to Radha



*

144

Radha Complains
To Her Own Heart

Heart, you were born to beat,
but why do you beat me this way ?
I am Krishna’s
don’t you know,
why beat me night and day?
Don’t you know
she whom you beat away
can complain to the one
who holds the hearts
of the Universe in sway.
Beat me, beat me slow,
Beat me slow,
beat me low,
But only in love.
I’m Krishna’s oly.

When you beat me,
just know.


*

145

Remember

Remember
His foot prints,
lazy lily pad.
You must learn to fold
like that
after.
Remember, fruit,
the words
upon his lips.
you must store
them like seeds
thereafter.
Remember
kingfisher,
the silence of his arms
as he secretly stalks behind me
and takes my breasts
on his.
But do not watch.
Teach me to find Him
from the skies,
hiding
like your deepwater fish.
Now, peacock,
cock every step
of his rain -dance.
And you girls
around us,
close your eyes
memorize,
then
forget.


*

146

What do I do

What do I do
but sit and empty you
and my pitcher if you will
fill, brim, let flow,
and I'll be washed away-
to you.
If this is the way
you want to come,
come, this way
again.
Sometimes
your flute,
sometimes
your talisman,
sometimes
your innocent bells-
and my single anklet
you stole in my sleep
for dear memory's sake.
what can't I do
when you are there,
my emptiness
that fills with your
love
like
poetry of the gods?

*

147

Abundance

I must cherish
this abundance while it lasts.
Most handsome lover,
tamer of the galaxy
what don't you know
about me here,
in Vrindavan?
How I must live
and die
for your love?
I'll be a fool to teach you a lesson.
Your love for me
is immortal gift,
so, am I not blessed?
Why will I ever not know
that love is the jewelfish
you made of me
carving me
of the mouth of your river,
the tremblings of your blue sea


*

148

It Is Not Easy, Krishna

It is not easy, Krishna,
love,
of all things
falters easily.
Though I win
in everything I do
Though I am named
after victory,
is it that I cannot make you
pine more for me
than me for you?
It isn’t easy
for this poor Radha.
How she lights
her gold fires-
only
to burn
down
in blue ashes.



149

Finally There Is No One

Finally
there is no one.
No one for you
but me
none for me
but you.
Then why did you go
endlessly carousing
as my lamps dimm'd
with every night?
Serves me right
for letting you go.
But that's the way it must be
and has always been.
Dappled and frolicking.
As in the beginning
so without end,
you and me one,
with nothing
between.

*

150

Who Climbs The Mountains

Who climbs the tall blue mountains
thinking it was your flute,
unmindful of the sleeting rain
now in the lash of monsoon?
Who sits tired in the rich green valley
thinking they were your footprints
upon the washed rain grass?
It could have been the she rabbit
looking for its wounded mate
that cuddled so long there…
there was no blood trail.
Was it that dark vixen
hiding in wait for the landing peacock?
Who searches the laden mountain clouds
For the one who leaves lotus footprints
when everything darkens?
Madhava, dew-dipper,
not only Radha,
Vrindavan too,
is now confused.

*

151

Rapture

I'll stop
when you stop me
doing this.
It starts from nothing,
turns to frenzy
and rakes with bliss.
Never thought it would come to this,
Clasping you
with tight praying mantis kiss.
Everyone pretends
I'm in for tease
all around even trees
put on jealous leaves.
But I'll only stop
when you stop me
doing this.
Get them to hate me.
Let them try and fade me
I give you
bees squeezed
with their honey
all live, hived,
never so much rapture
Krishna,
embering sting on sting
was known.
Where will you hide me now?


*

152

Sad green again

I'm growing pigeons, Krishna,
a crocus ramble, passing time.
The ones with the flame blue necks
and slow saffron feet
that gossip, gossip, and pretend love.
It is such fun in Vrindavan now,
to watch them tenderly
and time passes.
I feed them with my hands.
Just like you, pecking my hands
as though
they would soon
gobble me up with their love.
Then it suddenly happens.
Who then taught them to shake away
with just one round ruffle,
the abiding touch
of my hands
the feel of my cheeks upon their feathers
the poetic nibbles of their beaks
upon my lips
as the skies bubble
blue on blue
and bereft of my saffron crocuses
Vrindavan turns
its sad green again

*

153

The Silly

In Braj bhoomi,
these Radha-Krishna paths
have kaliedoscop'd with flowers
of the verdant colour lillies.
Such intermix
brings the villagers from far
and near.
They all agree,
that Vrindavan is blessed
because you walk here.
No one tells of Radha.
They say it is all Krishna- Maya.
Now in such petal splendour
Most beautiful is Radha,
she is a fragrant, white calla lily.
Her perfume spreads .
But a wedding flower
turned to love's eternal wreath,
to Krishna
and to Brindavan,
Radha will always be
next door silly.

*

154

Close me,
Close me.

Close me,
close me
with your eyes.
Hide me inside
a butterfly pea.
But when you turn,
find me up
again for you
overlooking the fence
red wet
your
kamlata


*

155

Perfumes

Change your songs
for me
Krishna,
the ways I do
my body perfumes
each time
you come.

Never the same again.


*

156

I Made This Image Of You

I know your love of colours
so I thought I would indulge you.
What would I not make of you?
Because I did not want them
to see me do,
crazy me, I took you undercover
in the asoka grove where you laid me
the last time you were here.
I chose the pungent
basil... after the girl who became blue flower
madly loving you,
for you, blue jewel.
For your heart
I plucked a dark bougainvilla thorn.
And yes, your flute, your sipping music
I made of the willow, so in the wind
it looks like you vow still
your love entirely to me;
with a pair of butterfly pea
for your eyes
and lips
of nayantara.
I chose the pink powder puff
for the feathers in your crown.
Are there not pink peacocks as well?
Not easy your navel,into which they all drown,
all your fair ladies,with their kisses.
I must tell you how I
waded into the waves
and brought up the jellyfish flower.
Pitambara, I dressed you waist down
in golden chains,
plucked in the late night shower,
then laced the rest
with hibiscus red.
And looking on at you,
in all your majestic hues
I am back again,
a thorn bird by its nest,
bleeding.

*

157

Entwined Trees

The shapes of Lila
are the entwined trees.
You were away
from Nikunj van
so long,even the trees
here now breathe,
Krishna, krishna, touch me.
Remember
the last time
you dressed me?
and in thanksgiving
the scented
bakula rain?
Wet night
tonight
in kadamba bloom
as love entwines
snakes
dislodge
at our feet
slithering
deeper
into
star-lit
Kadamba-bakula
fragrance

*

158

Poetry of love

Love must be
the poetry
until we leave
each other's senses.
No more intoxication
for me than to see
your hovering
tenderness
as on your knees
with a kiss
of my feet
you touch
the tip
of my
bleeding thron
forgetting red
turned
shy
in
your
pleasure

*

159

Full Moon

Away from you, Radhae,
where is my lila,
your raas
I turn into Pournami
your full moon
in
Brindavan.
And I see a racing cloud,
Coming so fast to cover
me
Could that be,
Radhae?
Such wetness
over me
all too soon.

*

160

From Brindavan
To Barsnadham

Krishna,
I'm going home.
From Vrindavan to
Barsnadham
I count my footsteps
to forget you,
as upon each footprint
the sun makes its mirror.
Why does the sun follow
My footprints,
to break in each mirror
Your hundred faces?

*

161

To Radha,
From Sadness

The ministers, they bring in
all kinds of messages. Messages of war,
of peace, of treaties that bear my name
Upon the midnight.
I pass them all.
Radhae, if you remember,
you said you would send me a sign of love
upon a purple lotus leaf,the one,
on which you wrote my name,
over and over,
or even a saligram from Nidhivan
on which you finger nailed our names.
But I see no sign of your precious stone,
no dry leaf that pines
With Radha’s love, that to me
has turned divine.
If you loved me then,
If you love me now,
would you not show me,
a way to let me feel
that you are lingering mine?
I take off my crown…
I see your saligram drop on the floor,
covered with a purple leaf bearing my name..
I wear you, Radhae , my jewel,
and crownless, am king again.

*

162

No One Must See Us
In Divine Love

See, Radhae,
no one must see us now.
No one must see us in divine love.
Have you shut the coloured windows,
so the wind withers to blow?
Secret, sacred, entwined,
You are impressed,
your Krishna is possessed.
Stretch your feet of love, I love it,
the way I loved it a thousand times before.
The peepul tree on the slipping mound
slips , but grows stronger with every breath,
see the tall hill quietly blossom with its shaking seasons.
All plume plucked, all bloom chosen,
all smitten, all bitten,
your hennaed heart
purples me
more and more. Even snakes shall creep blinded
If they see you unplumed
upon me,
as I turn Yamuna flow
into my breathless glow.
So it shall be now, Radhae, now,
it shall be so then,
and so it shall go on until the end
in Nikunj van among the basil trees
Krishna-Radha shall never end.

*

163

Flute Song

Radha me, Radha mei, Radha my, Radha mayi
Radha Rani, Radha Krishna,Radhae Radhae
Raas Lila, Lila Krishna, Radhae Lila, Ras Radhae
Radhae Radhae, Raas Radhae, Raas Krishna, Krishna Krishna
Vrinda krishna, Vrinda Radhae, Vrinda Lila, Raas Vrinda,
Radha Thrishna, Lila Krishna, Radhae Radhae, Lila Radhae
Radha Gopi, Gopi Krishna, Radha Gopi, Radha Radhae,
Rani Gopi, Radha Krishna, Radha Rani, Radhae Radhae
Raas Lila, Lila Krishna, Radhae, Radhae, Ras Radhae
Krishna Krishna, Raas Krishna, Lila Krishna, Radhae Radhae
Radha me, Radha mei, Radha my, Radhi mayi,
Gopi Radhae, Krishna Radhae, Raas Lila, Radhae Radhae,
Lila Krishna, Krishna Lila, Lila Radhae, Krishna Krishna
Radhae Radhae, Ras Krishna, Ras Radhae, Radhae Radhae
Radhae, Radhae, Radhae, Radhae, Radhae, Radhae, Radhae, Radhae

*

164

Coming To You Again

I've crossed the asta sakis
The eight rivers of love's ecstasies,
and come to you, Vrinda devi.
Your love beak open, is all red,
taste buds formed and erect
your sakis must dip deep in flooded Yamuna tonight.
Be sure, they'll all close their eyes.
Don't hide, I'll find you
and rubbing tight keys of twilight
open one by one, and enter
the flowing colours of your night

*

165

Kamala Krishna

Krishna,
Whatever names you call me by,
tree of Sorrow,
beauty of the night,
flower queen,
Parijatha, pavizhamalli,
coral jasmine,
your breath is my raas
my being your lila.
I know I am blessed,
your tree of sorrow
shedding night long
my petals
over you,
Neel Kamala krishna,
passion
flower

*

166

My Sorrows,
Krishna,

When you come to me
the joy that was yours turns mine;
The ecstasy of the night climbing vine
is ours.
Shake your windfall of water
that conquers secret estuaries
in coves of love-making laughter
among us, your girls,
when you come truly to me.
In a meeting-time as this
let them free
to hide,
let them get away,
the cold things of night
to the undersides of leaves.
My sorrows, Krishna…
they too, must rest.

*

167

What Ways Have I Ventured

What ways have I ventured
To meet you in bliss?
Love is tapas, tamas, and tejas.
Rapturous,
we
rupture
in the night rains.
Vrindavan
cannot blame us
again.

*

168

Doorstep

Where will you go
when Radha is your only prayer?
Can your heart be colder
than the wet Krishna-temple floor?
Step gently in, Krishna.
She who knows your lotus feet
without a tremble,
patiently waits
for your one treble,
Radha,
your doorstep.


*

169

Battlefield

What is happening now?
Nothing, Krishna.
It is just Radha in your mind.
You cannot wait for beginning of day
or for night to cross;
This cheating temptation
and a beating game.
Don’t care what’s happening now.
Will you hide your gold sun
the one that turns to you for light
with your Chakra?
You are every war’s charioteer,
and love is the greatest war.
Step into the battlefield
fill the day with night.
But eternal one, your Radha,
let her win.


*

170

Birds

Their eyes watchful, the birds,
they turn to summer voices
ripening upon the trees.
The garments done loose
just beneath,
there's the laughter of asta gopis.

The birds, the birds up above,
they shake their feathers hot dry.
But what are they watching down among the leaves
have they forgotten ripening fruit?

Milk drips slow from the star fruit trees.
Radha's anklet laced by His hands
will do this time for a summer trance.
So hot is the Brindavan sand
Krishna, he pours rose water
in measured kisses
into the eyes of the asta sakis

and thinking this coolness to be spring
the confused birds begin to sing.

*

171

Krishna Went Alone
Into The Nidhivan Woods

Krishna went alone into the Nidhivan woods.
Without Radha? What happened?
The colour is golden of the lilting sands
that worships the footprints of the Raas dance.
But why?
Can any quarrel between lovers be so?

Can a quarrel between Radha Krishna
bring only clouds without the clear sky?
Krishna, alone, he dances in the woods
No gopis dare approach him.
Is He in a trance?
Tranquilizer,
can you be tranquilized?

Radha is no passing cloud, Krishna.
Without her,
where is your dancing Vrindavan?

*

172

Promise

Tomorrow when you leave,
unearth this transcendence.
Forget Radha.
Love needs no window
it needs no door.
This darkness of you
is rainbow.
Tomorrow when you leave
do not carry this effervescence.

In Nikunjvan tonight...
shut tomorrow.


*

173

Let Radha Go

Let Radha go now,
to Barsnadham.
Never doubt,
Radha is yours.
But just let her go.
The birds that call
are memorable, all.
Let her
tend rabbits,
grass cows
plume peacocks
drip water birds
dance the dance
kiss the calf,
make the bamboo flutes
water the golden shower.
Let her go and wade her feet
stamping the night lotus,
sit alone
under the asoka grove.
Let her go
let her know
she needs to be
where she belongs.
Home,
With you.

*

174

Red Jasmine Nights

Why does the red jasmine
bleed all night?
Ask not why its perfume
eclipses the stars.
He knows her body red
that cocoons him all over,
is breathless by His side.
Now don’t ask why
on such nights
Krishna breathes
only
Red jasmine.
Radha rare,
Night long,
His only bleeding
thing.


*

175

Radha Goes To Sleep

In light, Radha is His sight.
In darkness
she is all perfume.
So in full moon, He don’t see
He only needs to feel and be.
In her laughter,
shake lit corals,
in her smile
love wakes
and goes to sleep.
Radha, see, has slept again
her waiting has caused the moonflowers
to bloom in pink white tresses around her.
Even though in such trishna,
love abounds,
Radha, cannot wake up
without Krishna…

*

176

Who Will You Remember
First Among Us, Krishna?

Who'll you remember first among us, Krishna?
Would you lose a butterfly for a bougainvilla petal?
Sure, beauty haunts you, that is why
even Angana is golden, and she won't hide
as she comes on bright in blue peacock plumes.
Ranga? Only because she jets her mantra
attracting you to her side?
Is her fragrance more enchanting
than my own body perfumes?
Only yesterday Chandravali turned away from your kiss
because her Malla was looking- Who cares that I care
only for you?
I know you, prince
of all excuses, my pitambara,
and you took her on, who played the blue peacock
you say just for fun? Lalita, she's gone into ecstasies
and you have your way, when you easily say
you thought that was Radha Lila..!
I hear, these nights you swing with her,
In madanonmadini darkness, often.
Who'll you remember
first among us Krishna, then? Lalita?,
Vishaka, who brings you my message
on the blood pink lily leaf? Or Me?
Would you take my letter but to let please her
telling her you've been waiting for her so long,
tear it all up and make love to her
in the canoe in the rains?
I won't tell of Champaka, that simple flower
who decorates saffron on your ghee
and makes such tasty delights for you and me;
But then, how long with Tunga will you be
just because she says you make such rapturous melodies?
Who does not know that you create
soul-music? Why dwell in the arms of chitra so far beyond?
Has she sunk you in her red cove petals,
or drunk with you soma? Did Indulekha on your way
with her gem stones way lay? Or did she hold your hand
saying Radha cannot stay??
Perhaps you found Sudevi,
and so easily mistook her once again…for me!
Did you not even know when she lay you,
on the wood couch she made of flowering mahogany?
I know the ring of eight, the leader of the sixty four,
The colourful manjaris in waiting at Seva Kunj’s door,
They all serve you, to enter your delightful core.
But I am your climber, you are my tree,
between the two of us together,
they are all falling wind-leaves,
so Krishna, golden shower,
why do I ask,
who 'll you remember first when it comes to us,
because, when it comes to you,
Krishna's destiny,
is only Radha Soami.


*

177

Who?

She smells of you, Krishna,
I won’t say who-
But I spied your peacock feather
Upon her low decked brassiere.
It fell,
and I saw her stamp her foot on it
as though to hide, make it disappear…
That’s how your gopis play.
They’ll stamp on you
And just go away…
and when you come in a flower trance
All over you is a wild fragrance,
And Champa, she isn’t blossoming anywhere….
Now even though all day and night
Here in Vrindavan it rains,
With your peacock plum under a girl’s foot
Radha's Vrindavan isn’t hers again.

*

178

Cintamani

When asoka flowers petal about Asokavan,
Under love’s roof,
laughter fills in Nikunj Van.
A small cintamani jewel some forgetful serpent left
running thirstily after a cup of milk-
a gopi found last night and kept
in the perfumed shade;
Now as over the shedding tulsi trees
the gopis throw their kumkum spree,
hanging wet garments to dry among the basil boughs;
Radha who has seen the dazzling cintamani
holds it breasted in between
and is on a wishing spree.
After all, cintamani is the all wish-fulfilling gem.
Won’t you, Krishna, asks Radha,
be here to hold Radha’s cintamani in your hands awhile?
Or to take a look again at radha's thirsting love troupe?
The flowers of Vrindavana,they all want to get into Nij mandir
and cover themselves under gopi care
but the one that’s most lucky
is the one asoka He pins upon Radha’s hair
Before he lays her upon the bridal bed,
to uncover
cintamani studded gold....


*

179

As Krishna Comes


As Krishna comes,
her gopis sigh...
through the whispers of every gopi
whom Radha has posted by every Vrinda tree
from end to end,she hears,
and spreads the bed of raas;
does her hair the way he cares
parted to a side,
as a dancing doe's slanting eyes;
and under the bed,
for now,
lets her colourful
bangles rest
for when she wears them all
unbroken,
on the morrow
her gopis will delight
in jealous vein
that Krishna was only breaking
Radha's heart
but not
her bangles again

*

180

Who’ll Come Down

Who’ll come down
to Radha-kund with me?
Krishna is not here
So he won’t see.
But who’s dearest to him?
It will only be
Radha fused into
her asta sakis.
Will the gopis wander
in search of ripening pomegranates?
Will the manjiris go
looking for colours
of the riverside flowers
to make
His pet perfumes?
Alter-me- alter-you,
my dear astasakis,
do come down with me to Radha-kund
I promise you all a surprise
Krishna-Blue

*

181

When You Were Away Radhae,

When you were away, Radhae,
in Barsnadham,
captive, you could not come.
I called out to every bird and deer
Your name,
In Vrindavan, not knowing,
You had left me and gone.
Did I not come then
When you needed me,
dressed as a girl,
was it not just to see you,
so was my thirst, my love.
The parting was wider
much wider
than the waters I swam for you,
and then we met
Lalita turned away
her face...
Love then chewed our kissing faces
like parrots
content among tender
betel leaves…

*

182

A Taste Of Neem

She mixed the juice of red pomegranate
in red sandal,
with saffron,and squeezed jamun,
then went down to the shampoo lily lake;
She poured Indrajao into his cup of milk
So it wouldn't easily turn to curd;
Burned her heart,
to butter and dripping ghee
but they turned bitter
as neem leaf,
Because Krishna,
Won’t keep his word

*

183

Lalita Kund

After
Raas,
there is such thirst.
Especially for lalita.
Radha, jealous,
watches
as Krishna,
after
lila,
digs with his flute..
Digs
In the name of love
In the name of all
his thirsty girls,
but he does it really
for Lalita.
And they are all
waiting
with
thirst
unabating
for Krishna ,
to shoot
his bright fountain
flowing
over
their
one thousand one tears.

*

184

My Little Wings,

My little wings,
Priyanka,
I am but a bird in flight.
But you,
You have such abundance
of blue
deliberately
put upon my little wings...


*

185

To Be Radha, Krishna,

To be Radha,
Krishna,
that is not easy.
To bring me your love
You must cross the ocean of gopis.
Your love must be tested in every step,
the girls, they spring upon you.
and who won’t go down where you need
Your beauty
is trapped temptation.
When night falls in Nidhivan,
You douse all rati around you that rages its fire
But tell me why must I pine,
When in the end,
shaking away hissing
cobra lily herds
breaking perfume mountains
my breasts sink down to the sea of milk
churning amruth, in the blue bowl of your being?


*

186

You Think You Are Alone

You think you are alone, Krishna,
but you don’t even have to look behind you.
just blow a little breath
on the first stop on your flute,
and upon the last,
you’ll find
the music that tries to escape your flute
is still astir
upon Radha’s lips


*

187

The Night Of Ras

Are you not awake, yet,
though the sun is now spread
down the Vrinda hills?
Last night, my thirsty blue, was our love, overdue,
over dew, overdone?
You lost your flute upon the Nidhivan sands
And did not even care to search it.
The gopis were all in deep trance.
What perfumes she sparked,
what sweets the other gave away
what disguises to touch you and entwine
the girls, they made one by one in my name..
And in Raas that knew no end,
the moon could not shine, end to end.
Of them only coloured garments lay shed
the gopis who sans shame though,
hid themselves among the saligrams,
then fled.
You were tired, Krishna,
when I brought you home.
At last, we were together
all alone.
I gave you back the flute I
found,
You made my music,
And then we slept, in Nikunjvan
love, making us.
Great fulfiller...
our love…, over due, over dew,
Will
that ever get done?


*

188

Orange Perfume

The perfume-maker, your orange girl, she,
is Radha’s closest astasaki.
What perfumes will Krishna need?
Now, this is orange season.
Orange flowers spill
upon the Vrindavan sands
so you can only dance,
your footprints have a chance,
cushioned upon fading orange flowers.
In Radha kund,
the orange lotus too has just blossomed.
It is so rare. Now, when Krishna comes,
what perfume else will He need
as he tumbles in Raas,
in lila all over Radha’s orange perfumes?


*

189

The Blood Suckers

The Blood Suckers

You come whistling down the Madanonmadini
munching purple vrinda leaves
mixed with betel,
its taste acrid all about your mouth.
Well, you leave nothing untasted on the way,
do you,?
So you forgot to bring me the blossoms
of that honey splendoured Radhamanohari?
Something else, now, Krishna,
On your mind?
I anoint you all over
With red clove buds.
I run the soaked root of turmeric
over your wounded feet,
infested with the brinda leeches.
Do I not know,
That You can only come running to me
the leeches all asleep, but
still sucking your blood,

worse, than Chandravali,
yea, worse than all your gopis.


*

190

Mystery

A bunch of girls,
and what do you think that means?
A bunch of girls can be
grape fall,
oozing wet.
And what happens when,
a champak cluster bough breaks
when all you wanted in your hand
was just one chempa flower?
You can’t stop the milk
from dripping if you crush it.
Krishna, even though
you put Radha
and her Vrindavan to shame,
whenever You come,
she loosens for you her Kanculi
and without a murmur of protest
she lets you braid her.
Even when you lock
with those loose girls
She only pines that they have not fed you
with a love like hers.
Radha's love is the deepest mystery, Krishna.
When she sees you,
she lets all her jealousy
melt like her butter
in your mouth.


*

191

One Morning In Vrindavan

Four squirrels, they,
are around since morning.
They play roll on, catch me,
climb the mallikarjuna trees.
Such sun-filled surroundings.
Yesterday a white peacock,
magnificent, all set with night dew
flew in, to rest upon the moist ant hill.
It ran down to me here,
and tenderly I plucked off it, for you
one white crown feather.
Another day goes on, we are all still here,
four squirrels, a white peacock,
the quiet girls by the river passing.
and now,
to add to the new comers,
today,
two white swans
have swum in to stay
quietly touching each other
as two tears,
become one.

*

192

Until The End Of Time

By your grace, Krishna,
the lila will go on.
Kaliyug shall not enter Vrindavan,
as long as rain and lightning break.
These songs of you and me
turn into dream children
and play in the hearts of lovers
spilling beads of devotion,
and stay. Will go on, you and I
You’ll come, go invisible, my legend of nights,
brushing the tulsi woods.
In my hands you break into indrajao petals.
So you and I must love, as love never loved,
Before or after. What more blessing,
Than that I suffer in your ecstasies,
your love’s thousand one desires
in Vrindavan, transcended earth,
where Krishna lila
Raas Lila, Radha raas
never ends.


*

Repentance

193

All that was in my mind.
Radhae, you are known to be,
only too kind.
You know the longings others can’t contain,
Why would not they be jealous
Of my love for you? Or of your love for me?
You know the sorrow of the tulsi trees…
All they need is me to tread my feet
Upon their falling leaves…
All the girls in the woods,
In their naked pride think they tempt me
when from you they think
they win me, and hide.
In what forms they come, the gopis,
in sandalled flavour their bodies dense,
spiking with laughter of the jamun flowers,
all of them together in fragrant tamarind cluster,
each one a Gul mohar, a red Krishnachura petal.
A precious mohua treble upon love’s wet bough…
But without you,
Are they anything at all ?
What am I, without your flowering upon me,
the keli that makes my handsome face?
Radhae, so I must break,
shed my songs around you, falling
as mallikarjuna petals flowing ,
in Radha -rain.

*

194

The Joy Of The Mountain

The karpuravalli,
Is blue- purple fire
all over the misty mountains
and among the golden chains.
There is happiness everywhere.
In times as these, seeping fragrance
deepens with the fiery sun.
And now
in the valley
under the raining honey-plantain bower,
Radha has drawn Krishna
into her secret Brindavan flowers.
Watch Krishna sing to life,
his flute song
upon Radha,
his Radha song,
trembling all over his flute
as upon her flower-bed
he blossoms
into the joy of the mountains…


*
195
Who Plays Again

Who plays again
the rage of my heart
upon
these leaves,
these boughs,
the buds, the flowers,
et al?
Who puts me to
a nameless blame,
playing
Hide-and-seek
with me
as always?
I find you now
here.
You-
I won’t blame
You,
Krishna,
no one will know
I'll toss my fire
touch you with fluted care
as you come fierce,
with your wild
leaves that blow.
Go, back, go back,
I see you stark,
and
must shed,
I'll shred
me
in forked lightning
embrace
Of you,
tamala…

in dark tree
in pouring
rain


*

196

The Desire-tree

All day I am doused under the tamala tree.
All night, I’ll rest, the rest is ecstasy.
My Desire-tree, my Krishna tree
knock me down, with your robust fruit,
your boughs that bend me down with rapture.
When you are gone, what is there for me?
Desire is not new to Radhae.
O, tree form of Shyam,
upon your crossed lap,
beneath your shade
peaceful is my resting head,
as you bend to me,
purpling in your aroused boughs,
I entwine around you, hold in my mouth, your fruit.
In all forms it is you,
whether in the tamala storms among your wild boughs that break,
or Radha,bitten by the dark Krishna snake.


*

197

The Stops Of The Flute

The boy smith has just done burning
thin iron rods
making them your precious flutes
so you’ll carry them with you.
Radha has made the wooden flute too
out of your favourite green bamboo.
Janmasthami is fast approaching,
and Krishna, royal splendoured being,
must leave Radha.
What’ll happen to Nidhivan and Nikunj
And the wondrous heartbeats of Brindavan
do the groves, wilt, bending with sorrow?
Radha knows, Krishna, this is your tenth birthday.
Soon you’ll be leaving Braj.
Take the flutes, take the perfumes,
The rich ghee sweets the astasakhis made,
But whatever you do,
Upon these flowers, these birds, these tears
That like buds you pluck from Radha’s eyes
All you can leave upon them is night dew unending.
Radha will not ask that you take her,
She is but your gopi,
And you are Trishna,
The thirst of the Universe.
This she knows too.
Aeons rolling, Gopis in his hands are maya lila
He’ll toss them, everything shall lie enslaved.
And He comes, and He goes.
What songs he will, he won’t compose,
He’s the flute…
Who makes the stops of His flute?
His music that exudes, that brings the peacocks of Yamuna,,
the parrots of Govind kund, the deer of musk
and Radha,
running across Brindavan….
and Krishna knows, the stops ,
who holds the wheel, rolls the music
when they must rise again for lila Raas… and
when they must fall,
all,
at Radha’s feet…


*

198

Hide And Seek

So filled with your love I am, so
immensely, so, me.
So filled with love for me,
my Krishna,so, immensely, so, you.
Now as ever I have let you free, among gopis.
Whenever in doubt, I'll close my eyes
and remember
the day we played that hide and seek game.
You turned to dark snake to hide,
and I turned to blue peacock
searching you.
True, I could nowhere find you
and so I cried.You came outof hiding, sipped my tears,
I caught you then,my blue snake and wouldn't
just let you go,until you promised me
a gift for my winning.
You then plucked a blue peacockfeather
saying, by this on my crown the aeons shall know
My Radha has won.
So you wear Radha's feather,and Radha has no doubt
Krishna is Radha's,in love,
she is His crowning feather.
Forgive me, Krishna, if you were around now,
I was lost in Your thoughts when you parted the wet boughs
and your darting eyes turned to humming birds
sipping honey where I lay under your peacock flowers,
hiding.
Now for a change,
Krishna,
you catch me.

*

199

The Jasmine- Maker

All day my fingers stained.
It is jasmine season again.
And tonight,in jasmine
efflorescence
I stay awake
with a small white hill of jasmine buds
before me
waiting for my hand.
And I
flower you, Krishna,
bud upon bud,
bud with you,
light
as a petal dream,
and
radiant,
surfeit,
threaded
upon you
shall
garlanded
lie.


*

200

what are they all doing to you, krshna

What are they all doing to you,
Krishna
smearing you with sandal
all over?
Making you blue
the things they do
with purple leaves of tulsi
all over!
Hurting you with red lotuses
breast heavy, cloud-petalled
their closed joys
what are they doing to you
my Krishna
smearing you with incense
they think that their love
is all over?
Let them do anything ,
let them do
but tonight
when the temple falls silent
after the climbers toss asleep
over their own leaves,
after the last priest has gone,
smear,
your iridescence
incandescent,
over
Radha


*

201

Captive in your heart

Captive in your heart
I'm quiet.
I know your reasons
1001.
I taste your flute,
the bamboo smells,
your breath-song
that is mine.
Captive in your heart
I watch the clouds pass.
nothing more
I'll say,
Nothing.
Dew over you,
I'll stay
captive in your heart,
set
free.


*

202

Blue

Blue of desire
Infinite, unreachable,
Why did our paths cross?
Ours has no parallel.
Why did our eyes
meet?
You, the first
the last blue for me.
Why did I reach out for you,
Knowing, blue is unending,
And all-knowing?
So, kaleidoscopic?
Everything blends.
Love’s images
pretend, transcend
and always is on the ascent.
With mouth-watering eyes
My lips heart- rending
The more I shatter,
The more you matter, my love.

tranquil in your name,
sinking in your ocean
without you.

*

203

Now Here Is No Garden

Here is no garden now.
Nothing.
Just Radha,
another name
for Viraha,
whose meaning is always torn.
Radha keeps playing marbles
with the memory of your eyes.
It hurts,
Her pupils dilate,
open like Brindavan’s gates,
past which you turn
and leave.


*

204

Radha Is Rich

Rani, she cries so much
Here there's no one
as rich as her
with love’s parting.
Where it is ras and all lila,
the play of your feet meeting
Radha’s in rain of romance-
how can it suddenly turn
burning sand?


*

205

Light Years

Krishna, please,
find yourself someone like me
to love you.
I guess you’ll listen
to this Radha request.
Someone who opens before you
Yamuna for your feet.
Who will close your eyes
with butter on her erect breast buds.
Find another Radha;
And you wait, Krishna,
light years.


*

206

For You Krishna

For you, Krishna,
my basil rosary.
my saffron, camphor,
my clove sanctuary.
In the night
in the rain
why, even in sunlight
my night buttercup
for
your shade.


*

207

News

News comes to Radha
that you are a just king.
That You left Radha long ago
holds part of your justice?
Hold no doubt.
Vrindavan is faded.
All said, the basil
around which you danced with Radha,
thirsts and swirls
for a bit of Krishna once more..
Radha has an empty pitcher
with a tiny crack
that no one can see,
and none remembers.
The blue fly in her hair
has lost its glow.
News comes to Radha,
Rukmini is on your lips
Satyabhama is at your feet.
Krishna do you still hold a doubt?
Ask Radha Rani all about justice.
Her Vrindavan alone
Is the just kingdom of love.


*

208

How can I Show You,
Krishna

How can I show you, Krishna,
all my secret pores
where my love for you hides?
The gopis, they’ll all laugh.
Even you will be amused.
how can I show you, Madhava,
all the sad places
where my love for you cries?
Even you will shed tears,
But if you really want
to know them all,
disrobe your bright pitambara,
come under the Yamuna.
There, break me,
take it all.


*

209

Sky High

You did not tell me why.
You left for the sky.
And the fool, I,
saying with a smile
goodbye.
Not even caring
that she, frozen,
chanting your name
was already in heaven,
when you, Krishna,
had reached
but the tip of sky.


*

210

Radha-Gaze

Love has Radha’s hands.
Radha’s face.
Radha’s beautiful body.
Dancing Radha-feet.
Camphor-lit is Vrindavan
with His blue lotus flames.
Love has everything,
is eternal,
but Love becomes love
When Radha comes reeling
under
Krishna’s,
Radha- gaze.


*

211

Make Me A Krishna

Some days
the wind is hollow.
Fire has no flame.
Where are all the gods
who shiver before you, Krishna?
Ask them all to come
before me
stand in a queue.
I’ll order the gods
to make me a Krishna.
God of the wind, make His flute.
God of fire, make His zero flame.
God of beauty, shape His unfathomable form..
God of sight, make His lotus eyes.
Give Him to me.
Let set the peacock crown upon his head
and send Him away to Dwaraka
to sleep on Rukmini’s bed.
And then, my own Krishna,
in Vrindavan’s swayamvara,
I shall wed.
And in your rain, Krishna
turn once more your Radha to lightning.
Does lightning ever get wet?
Know, Krishna, in your rains
Radha,she only burns.


*

212

Is Love Just The Body?

Is Love just the body, beloved?,
is your love just my body Krishna?
or is it Radha, formless lightning?
is it you? Your blue body
warm as the kingfisher's feather
untouched by every water?
What is love?
is love soul,
bereft of the thirsts of longing
or our bodies entwined
in the night ooze of the senses,
among the dipp'd blue lotuses
Tell me,
Am I, the flute, Radhae
is the flute me?
Don't you remember me with every note,
though you are the song
that pours and pours?
So, love must be, must be
when you can't just tell
the body from the soul.
Where the colours of the rainbow
prism
colourless
there flows love.
With me in you,
you and me in me,
you in me
me and you in you,
when you open to me
as your eyelids close,
there's just our togetherness
turning divine,
steadfast as moonlight
upon calm Yamuna
in unassuming celestial
flow

*

213

The Departure

The next time you come,
Krishna,you won't have to search for me
in Brinda,no, not even in Brasna.
Trace me
back to your blue feather.
Wading in Radhamrith,
as you hold my hand
and lead me
and we fall
in love
galaxy,
upon
galaxy....

radhea-radhe -radhae -krishna-krishna-krishna-krishna-radhae





opinion on ‘VRINDAVAN’. (Edited)

Fascinating poetry, notes and discussions here …. - Ian Duhig (Irish poet, two times Winner National poetry competition, author of Lemmas Hireling).

It's not often one is so lost for words.... It's not often that mythology ends up being so relevant, as this one possibly is….The universal can be so personal sometimes. Absolutely numbed. – Saumendra Bajpai (Poet, oncologist, USA)

I see the passion, the viraha, and the breath-taking language you use with utter ease (….). This use of English is probably unique in Indian poetry written in English. (….) Each verse I read (gives me ) a joy that's not easy to express. As with great music, so with Gopi's poetry.--- Prof. Subbarayudu G Kameswara, Professor of English, (Retd), Osmania University, Hyderabad.

… Beautiful verses that took me to another level.… Soaked in nectar of love I really enjoyed this premras…. Tikuli Doggra , poet, blogger, columnist.

...A series (that) has appealed to me because there is freshness and the beauty of deeply felt and experienced bhakti and myth there. Truly inspired ( the series must be ) to give us such delightful soulful poetry in language that is simple, ... unpretentious. Priti Aisola, Poet.

Awesome... both sensuous and divine! … Wonderful play of colours in words! Wonderful word work Sindhoor Varkoor, Research Scholar

Really beautiful are the poems which you are stringing together on Krishna and Radha. Manohar Kumar, Rome.

Too dazed now to comment.... Chandrika Balan, Poet, and short story writer.

. The distinctively new style is attractive and takes every line straight into the heart of the reader ….P K N Panicker

Your Krishna series gives immense pleasure. Bipin Patsani, poet

….Now it is truly amazing, the way you have brought out the pangs of that lovelorn heart in an innovative new perspective. If only you could go on and on writing …Jaya Kumar

It breathes with what we've dreamed of about Brindavan. Shreekumar Varma, Novelist, and poet.


Each poem competes with other to be in the forefront in all their attributes…Dr. Achyuth Menon Economist.


…. A beautiful beginning, to live in a barren world... Once again, thanks a lot for (this) anthology of mesmerising love and its pain Vibina Narayan poet

I have read it once and I know that it is not enough… New Nonentities


I was mesmerised. Gitagovindam and Tagore's Bhanusingher Padavali came to mind. Gopali Gosh

Very beautiful poems, I loved it! Could you tell me who wrote them? ...Elizabeth Grillet


BRINDAVANAM….’. Its strength lies in its simplicity and fluid lyrical movement. It moves and moves. …. …. The work has a music of tranquility.… It is deliciously simple and for this feature it can be placed under the genre of “Post Modern”. Prabanjan K Mishra, poet



Copyright
Gopikrishnan Kottoor

BRINDAVANAM: (The Basil Groves Of Radha Krishna)
Notes :

1.Was It you
Pitambara: Yellow or golden dressed : Krishna is one who is golden dressed.
5.The Fall
: Kadamba Tree : known for its amorous associations of lila (Love games with Krishna, Radha and the gopis.)

6. Because I could Not Sleep, Krishna :
Rajnigandha ‘ The Fragrance of the Night’. Peepul : “Of the trees I am the Peepul”- Lord Krishna
9. The Competition : The voluptuous eight : The Astasakhis or eight friends of Radha, who are actually her extensions. The jealous sixty four are the sixty four main gopis of Brindavan. Carucandi- the coal dark gopi.
10.Possession : Madhava – The Lord of Fortune
14. Krishna-Parrot- Bright red plumed parrot.
15. The Wait : Lila- light amorous dance play. Dandiya- dance form of love play of Radha and Krishna
18 Pining : Indrajao – The paalai flowers that resemble Frangipani, sweetly perfumed and abloom without night fade.
20. Radha Introspects on Krishna’s Behaviour-
Kadamba Keli- The keli-kadamba , with its fragrant snowy ball flowers is said to resemble the mood and complexion of Radharani. Whenever Krishna thinks of Radha, he sees Keli-Kadamba in Brindavan.
28. The Signs -Madhumalati- Bunched and drooping flowers of Radha manoharam (Radha The Beautiful)also known as Rangoon Creeper (swarnalata) ranging from white, crimson, to red.Madanonmadini- Grove with betel and flowering creepers.
30 Early Spring In Brindavan – Golden Shower Tree, or The Golden Chains, are flowers of the Laburnum ( Cassia Fistula). Flame of the woods – Flowers of the Ixora Coccinea (thetti poo)
31. The Cover- Mukunda- The liberator
33. So, You’ll Come Tonight Butterly Pea- The shanku Pushpa ; Chempa –Frangipani. Tree of Sorrow- Night-flowering Jasmine, parijatha, or shefali.
35. Devoted To You-Ras- Lila – Dance of divine love.
38. Poisoned Milk- The poem is based on the story that Raukmini and others, jealous of Radha’s love for Krishna makes her drink milk that is poisoned. Radha drinks the milk, but ulcers appear on Krishna’s body. This showed that Radha-Krishna, though two bodies were essentially one.
39. The Memory- Gandharva Raag- The music of the Gods of music. Bhava Brindavan- Brindavan of the world is earthly Brindavan. That which is not manifest or seen is the Brindavan of the mind. Brindavan that is beyond both the manifest and unmanifest is Bhava Vrindavan.
40.You And Me- Dwaraka- Krishna’s Palace in Dwaraka, present day Gujarat. Rukmini and Satyabama-Krishna’s consorts.
42.The Bond- Krishnachura- ‘ The crown of Krishna’ or The Gul mohar, also called The flame of the Forest.
43.Summer In Brindavan- Malikarjuna flowers-Flowers of the Shivalinga Tree, also known as Canon-Ball Tree.
47. What They All Say- Charanamrit : The nectar of the feet. The story of Krishna sipping the water of Radha’s washed feet. Only Radha was ready to offer the washed washed to her Lord while others believed that it would be a sin to do so, including Rukmini. Radha (The one who loves Him true) gave Krishna her charanamrit, as an act of sacrifice to her Lord, saying that she did not mind going to sin, if it meant that her Lord would be cured with the washed water of her feet.
61. This Time, Don’t Leave Me- Amrith- Nectar of immortality
63. Who Holds Love Tenderly – Bodhi- Enlightenment
84. Are You Smiling Now, My Radhae- Kurukshetra Wars- War between Pandavas and Kauravas as mentioned in The Mahabharata, where Shri Krishna was Arguna’s charioteer.
88. Who?- Nidhivan in Vrindavan is the grove where Radha and Krishna rested after the raas lila. Nidhivan and Nikunj Van (Seva Kunj) are two groves that still remain in Brindavan that are said to retain some of the original splendor of the days of lila raas of Radha Krishna
89 A Brindavan In My Garden – Asoka Grove- Brindavan was known for its Asoka van with asoka blossoms, The Kadamba, The Tamala, The peepul and other trees that had emotional and erotic associations for Radha and Krishna.
91. Don’t Be Out, Radhae, Blowing Powder Puff Flowers- Nikunj Van is the grove where the lila Raas used to be ecstatically played out by Radha Krishna. The nij mandir in Nikunj van it is believed hosts Radha Krishna . It is believed that Krishna visits the mandir even today , where a bed is laid out by the temple priest every night for the divine couple, which appears in disarray every morning, suggesting that the Krishna radha love play endures upon the bed every night. It is also believed that as ordained by Lord Krishna, kali yug cannot enter Brindavan.
96. Krishna Heat –Japa flowers – flowers used for prayer (Japa).
99. Radha Prays To Lord Manmadha- Lord Manmadha- The Lord of Love or Kamadeva, the God of Sexual desires- Kadali Van- Plantain grove
101. Premamrith The nectar of immortal Love.
103. Krishna, Dry Me - Kadamba Keli- Bright headed (blossom) of the Kadamba tree. Kanculi- flower bodice made of six colours, high necked and musk perfumed. Bansuri- Krishna's flute (bamboo)
112. How Great Is Your Palace, Krishna – Vaishakhi moon - Bright full moon. MillionFish-ornamented guppies
128. All My Flowers, Krishna. Priyadarshini- Crossandra or Kanakambara flowers, Kalmaashi -Water Willow- Talasi-, Love Lies Bleeding – Tassel Flower, Squirrel’s Tail,Mokandar flowers- Blood Amaranth –Lal saag- Gandharvas- The Gods of music are believed to feed on fragrances.
132 Krishna Flower- Sarpagandhi – The Serpentina shrub. Literal meaning-that which has the smell of the snake

153 The Silly - Braj Bhoomi, Radha Krishna Birth villages in and around Madhura, UP, India. Calla Lily - White sexually symbolic lily
154 Close me, close me- Kamlata, kamini, cypress vine
155- Krishna Keli: Krishna keli (Sanskrit)-Four O Clock Flowers that blossom in late in the evenings-Gllbaas, or Chandramalli,Sandhya Salati, or Beauty-of-the-night
156- I make this Image Of You- Nayantara (Bengali) – Periwinkles, sadabahar
159 Pornami- Night of the full moon.
160. From Brindavan to Barsnadham- Barsnadham- The birth place of Radharani.
161: To radhae In Sadness – Saligram Sacred God-stone.
165. Krishna Kamal- Fragrant Purple Passion flower named after Krishna
167: What wWays Have I Ventured – Tapas-meditation- Tamas- night- Tejas- Halo glow of divinity or Bliss
170-Their Eyes Watchful, The Birds- Taraphal- star apple fruit with with internal pattern resembling stars
173: Let Radha Go- Chandramalli- Krishna keli, four o'clock flowers
175 Radha Goes To Sleep : Trishna : Thirst, desire
176 : Who’ll You Remember First Among Us -Ranga, Lalita, Visaka, Chempa, Tunga, Chitra , Sudevi are Radha rani’s astasakhi’s each endowed with delicate qualities of beauty, attractiveness, fragrances, skills artistic , perfume making, and culinary, as also other attributes. The astasakhis clothe, perfume, and make arrangements for radha Krishna meetings. They are actually extensions of Radharani. Chandravali is the foremost among the sixty four gopis. The gopis are jealous of Krishna’s
love towards Radha. Chandravali is the leader of the sixty four gopis. She often has Krishna falling in vain at her feet. The Manjaris (Angana) are not directly involved in Radha Krishna affairs of love but are colourful attendants who serve the love couple. Malla- husband.
178 Cintamani : Cintamani is the serpent’s gem,. Brindavan is believed to be spread with precious stones such as the cintamani.
179 : As Krishna comes : Kokilas- singing birds
180 : Who’ll come Down – Radha-Kund- Radha pond. The pond which Radha and her gopis dug with broken bangles.
183- Lalita Kund – The pond that Krishna dug with his flute for his gopika Lalita, one of Krishna’s most favoured gopis and Radha look alike, when she complained of thirst after lila.
184: My little Wings- Priyanka- Kind, beloved
185 : To Be Radha, Krishna: Rati- Desire. Amala- The amala fruit tree, more commonly gooseberry. Cobra Lily petals- petals of the cobra lily flowers- Sea of milk- Palazhi, the sea of milk, which when churned by the Gods and demons brought forth amruth, the nectar of immortality.
189 : The Bloodsuckers :Radhamanohari- the flowers of the madhumalati. Madanonmadini – The grove of flowercreepers and betel creepers in Brindavana.
Chandravali- The leader of the gopis and Radharani’s chief rival. Krishna is said to have fallen often for Chandravali’s charms irking Radharani.
190: A Bunch Of Girls – Kanculi- Musk perfumed high necked flower brassiere
192 Until The End Of Time – Kaliyug. The fourth and last time cycle contemplated in Hinduism after which it repeats.
194- Joy of The Mountain – The flowering of the Oregano (indian Mint), karppuravalli with its purple flowers is also called ‘joy of the Mountain’.
195 : Who Plays?- The Tamala Tree-Desire-Tree-. The sight of the Tamala Tree, blue, is said to turn Radha into frenzy and send her to divine ecstasies.
196. The Desire Tree – Tree form of Shyam . The dark Tamala tree is to Radha the form of Shyam , or Krishna, dark as a thunder cloud.
197 The Stops Of The Flute – Janmastami- Sri Krishna’s birthday. Braj- Brajbhoomi- considered the land of Krishna in and around Mathura-Vrindavan, in Uttarpradesh. Maya- Illusion Govind Kund- The pond near Govardhan associated with Krishna and filled with Kadamba trees. The tree upon which Krishna is said to have hung the clothes of the gopis is believed to be present even today. The Wheel- Sudarshana Chakra

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