Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Classic Group of Hotels

Poems to Reminisce Friends From the Past



your love

and now I am looking for friends


with bouts of solitude

I think about you often

to feel I’m human

a feeling I like

something between you and me

the late ’80s hotels were so nice

we shared a pot of tea

to know it lasts as long

as the quiet energy flowing

between us as we sip

and speak in between

when you are sitting with a friend

or just walking side by side in

high English corridors

held close in my chest

I hear about you from others too

I’m proud of you

we are born with each other

each moment, each day

live for me

I feel great with you

in a mountain called home

it’s roomful of friends



What Nikky Finney taught me today


that light is never the dark

the day couldn’t be the night

but you are like me

as much as I like to be

now that’s a distance

when I can’t hold your hand

did we ever meet

when I felt the need

or you did too

is the sky your vehicle

or the ocean your floor

when do we understand

we are far from each other

where’s the humanity

where loneliness gets space

I kiss my life

does it reach you

do you search too

how do we meet

as we go about our lives

we don’t live less than

all of an 13,000 kilometres of a distance

tell me once again

which constellations do you watch sometimes

what’s the direction to you

am I loud enough

can you hear me



Touching the roofs


Nikky Finney’s dreadlocks

remind me of the Naga

whose matted hair was longer than Finney’s

and used to almost drag on the ground

as he walked down from his shack

to the small smoky kitchen below

where we sat covering all space

on the earth washed floor

I never knew where the food stocks came from

rotis baked on a flaming

homemade earthen stove

the cook an energetic

talkative young man

who became friends and used to dole out

an appetising helping on my plate

some rotis were kept for the bunch of crows

that used to come flapping and cawing

in the late afternoon when the cook

made crow calls to them

wouldn’t expect them at that height

where did they fly in from

in the expanse of meadows and mountains

same as I a city bred would walk in

to that roofy top

expecting to meet up with something

but knew not what

as I hiked alone on the steep mountain trail

the roaring river moving down

towards humanity in the depth below

and I moving towards lands it originates from

meeting up with man and nature

each coming like the crow for their food

and flying back to where they came from

soon enough, well fed

or years on years later

on the same track

the English guy with tattoos

all over his body

showed me some crows

that were flying around

picturised on his calve

told me he gets frightened sometimes

looking at himself in large mirrors

in those mountains

I always forget myself

and find myself too

renewed again

your kindness dear mountain

its me did you notice here again

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