Sunday, September 11, 2016

Excess Baggage

“You’re a really nervous flyer!”
You exclaim.
Barely concealing amusement,
as you watch me
fiddle with my passport,
stare at my visa,
check my watch,
walk in circles,
practice my answers –
name, address, university.

“No way!” I say.
 Immediately defensive.
But then,
I realise
You’re watching,
But you’re not really seeing.

You’re not seeing
My navy passport
That puts me in a different line,
The guard that sits up sharper
As I walk towards him,
The mothers that reach for their children
As I roll past with a suitcase,
The extra time I schedule
For a “random search” and safety scan
Or for questions at Border Control.

You’re not seeing
The effort it takes to pronounce
All my vowels
And keep a smile on my face,
Pretending not to notice,
The girl across the aisle
Who wants a new seat,
Because I make her nervous. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Long Distance

Accept this picture –
Of these cupcakes I’m baking
This beer that I’m drinking,
Those geese in my courtyard –
In exchange for a hug,
 Or a smile stolen,
 Across a crowded room.

For the house to go quiet
So that we can talk
Across five thousand and ninety four miles
 of silence.
Skype. Gtalk. Facebook Gmail.

I know your schedule –
And you know mine:
Of each other’s lives.
But we struggle
To make sense of our thoughts,
Feelings and aches
In each other’s absence.

I talk
To strangers in a bar.
To strangers from your past.
“Seeing someone?”
They ask
We smile.

Goodnight. Good morning.
 Good morning. Good night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My breath catches
As you unveil,
Inch by little inch –
Mint green, Gold,
Parchment thin
Silken skin
Falls away –
You crumple
And crease
At will.

I trace ridges, valleys, peaks –
Brown, proud
Waiting to be devoured.
Melting at my touch
Promises unfurl
Against my

Your taste lingers
Dark, bitter-sweet
Fetched from corners,
Peeled apart in layers
– pleasures
Hidden within you.

I sit back
And as I close my eyes
I can feel you
Deep in the warmth
Of my belly,
Against my skin
In the raw warmth
Of my mouth


Saturday, December 7, 2013


Let go of your maps
And walk with me
Down this road
Whose name I do not know,
And smile
At the laughter that pours out
Of glowing windows.
Stand still,
Here in the middle of the city square,
And watch as people
Go to and fro,
At the puffs of smoke
That emerge
As you breathe –
You’re alive!

Take a train to a stop,
With an intriguing name
To the lady
On the seat next to yours.
To make sense
Of syllables
As garbled as your thoughts.
At a stranger
And duck into alleys
That look like
they belong in the movies.
Feel the cobblestones
Under your feet

Take you where
He may

Come with me,
As I explore this city –
And I will show you
What it means,
To be free

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grown Up

The initial euphoria
Lasted all of
4 weeks, 6 days
And 12 minutes.
It lasted
Through my unpacking
And my dusting
And my arranging
It was great!
I could cook up gourmet storms,
Clean to a fault,
Decorate with colours unheard of
Shop indulgently,
(Drink even more so)
Trawl the web
Stay in bed
Have Sitcom marathons
 Laugh at jokes –
All in the solitude
Of my Adulthood.

It lasted
Till I took a breath.
And then it wasn’t the same
Any more

Home was
Waking up to the smell of breakfast.
Clothes that smell like Surf Exel.
Having to fight for the remote.
Never finding the clothes you wanted
Because your sister had them.
Having a gaggle of uninvited people
Drop in for chai-biscuit.
Not having to worry
about what to make for dinner
or whether there was enough pasta for two.
Heat and humidity and afternoon naps.
Always having something to do Friday evenings.

Home was
The smell of my mother’s hug –
 Soap, spices and Davidoff.
The sound of my sister’s guffaw
Echoing off the walls.

This isn’t home,
This is my adulthood.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


A blush blooms,
Alongside the first
spring romance.
The radiance of a hot love,
Like a summer.
Tears fall -
Autumn leaves,
Monsoon rains.
The winds of crumbling dreams
blow bitter -
A harsh winter

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I could, if I wanted, write you a song,
full of words that inspired love,
 in Delilah, Anne and Cecilia,
and millions across the world.
If could, if I wanted, write you a story,
full of romance and clich├ęs
and put the epics that star
Romeo, Majnu and Jack to shame.
I could, if I tried, paint you something,
fill it with all the colours
that make up our love.
I could, if I tried a little harder,
sing you a song,
stealing words and emotion
from Clapton, Rafi, Lennon.
I could, if I tried really hard
tell you exactly how I feel
about you
but it would test my patience
and not convey very much.
So I’ll tell you instead,
that the way you make me feel inside…
it feels like…
hot chocolate on a rainy day
my favourite quilt
watching bubbles float in the sunshine
wind in my hair, sand under my toes
and waves at my feet
yellowing books with dog-ears
the smell of baking
candy-colour tongues
and roller-coaster rides.
You make me feel

like me.