Arvind Joshi is a poet based in Delhi and writes in both English and Hindi. His published works are Songs From Delhi (2002, published by Urdu Markaz) and Main Astronaut Soon (2014, published by Antika Prakashan).
outside the window when it rains
in port blair,
– and i should know,
i was a child there –
when it rained,
people at the fortan’s house
heard dead japs walking outside
and knocking at the windows
in delhi, there’s just the water
coming down the panes
and the pigeons shuffling
After Four Autumns and Five Springs
It shall come to pass, four autumns and five springs
Gone in a scream shot blast through the pine-woods,
The long flicker of the past that brings
The unsteady home, that draws domestic hoods
Over the brazen eye: what the chief sings,
What the wife brings to the bower with her goods.
And four autumns and five springs gone, I shall cry
What the sky borne black song speaks under its breath,
And I shall member my name, and defy.
And I shall sever my roots from my earth,
Sever my lust from my longing and never sigh,
Never return, never remember the mirth,
The warm stirring by the hearth, and the old song,
Where a man’s blood grows ice and his life painfully long.
At this distance
At this distance from you I am a head
Seen from a window; a morning tousled
On a winter pillow.
At this distance from me, met and parted
You are remembered as the forgotten
Dimensions of a bed, lain in and left
At this distance.
At this distance from us, we are remains
Of a hunting camp, still warm under snow,
The shape of sleep stirring slow beneath,
And the smells of the hurried and the stayed,
The lived in, gathered
In abandoned things about.
At this distance from me, is love’s promise,
Lust’s lure, art, sometimes
Even a longing.
Any farther, is good sense, my dearest
Any closer, indifference.