Relationships observed
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Love poems. By Ashok Niyogi.


Lifestyle Change

This mentally challenged sea lion
Was afraid of the Pacific sea,
Ostriches don't go walk about,
Their eggs sell en route to Joshua tree.
Penguins in Berlin
Import brides from Sweden,
Orang Otangs have muted
Their breast thumping mating call,
Thinning mangroves and oily swamps
Have dulled the glitter
Of tigers' eyes from Royal Bengal.

I settle back into this lifestyle change,
And test drive
A BMW with ergonomic seats,
I snatch at words from midnight blue,
To tell my Love
That I still can love.



I want I want,
I pray everyday that I should want,
I want your past, or else,
I want your now
Locked up in my callused paw,
I want the long stemmed tulip
That grows in your bathroom tub.
I want you to promise me
Your gray blond hair
Dyed a flaming red,
I want the holes your walking stick
Will make in curbside snow.
I want your leek and potatoes,
Your orange sun in the kitchen window.
I write because I want
To articulate one complete sentence
With words that only I will choose,
Only you will hear,
This gibberish of desire.

Eventually I will be up for parole
Oh! What will I do, what will I do?



Concocted games played on familiar terrain,
Fingertips touching, eyes kissing,
Calf muscles intertwined,
Nostrils flared.
Urgent, everything is urgent.
The time for tattoos in dimmed light
Climbing up the small of a dimpled back
Is over and done.
Now is the reign
Of beads of sweat on upper lips.

Slender fingers holding an unfamiliar cigarette,
Burning pillows,
Wooden shutters on windowpanes,
A taxi stops and starts again,
At the water hydrant children play,
Soon it will be time for a cup of tea.

Streaming hair in abandon on lacework,
You could have held this moment,
You let it go.



Did your diamond catch the light
From the lobby chandelier?
Or was it my crystal tumbler that winked?
Is the token for our overcoats
In your bejeweled little purse?

We have a box, we have a box,
I can at least stretch my legs,
And you have your eyeglass.

Tchaikovsky is flippant today
Like a small boat rudderless
Near a desolate white beach.
Fishermen have gathered up their nets,
Under halogen streetlights, it will snow.

You hold my hand
And let the music flow,
And all the while I play with words
Up lighted through falling snow.


Pavement Dwellers

They say "goodbye" and go away,
The rag picker couple is done for the day
Before the day has begun.

Hoarse and coarse
They sip at each other's earthenware tea.
The couple pushes and shoves.

The rag picker inventories their day,
His woman lights the wood
And puts on her blackened pot.

A little rice in lots of water,
Pickle discarded by "take-away" stalls,
Salt from an empty coffee jar.

At last the tea-stall vendor wraps up and goes,
Then begin the overtures,
Hands into clothes with holes.

Shadows, they look for shadows,
The abbreviated coming together,
Bone tired as they are.

The woman runs her blackened nails
Through his lice ridden hair
After they are done.


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