Tuesday 13 January 2015


Every colour on Turner's palette
walks past the scribe.

I am still, not quiet, in ochre
and my mother's five silver bangles -

but the one I wanted to write about
was the white dupatta

which seemed to float
with a life of its own

waving goodbye.

© Shaista Tayabali, 2015

I found a bench tucked into an arch of pink and white morning glories, and managed to scribe a few secret poems under Bangalore sky. When they say India has beautiful colours, they only say the truth. Today, at the hospital, I was back to the blue walls and shadows, but part of me was still cocooned a thousand miles away.

secret poem prompt via a Hyderabadi dverse poet

Monday 5 January 2015


When last year made its entrance anthropomorphised as a Horse, I felt excited by the prospect of movement and energy, but the year proved exhausting for me. This year, I read, is the Year of the Sheep, the Green Wooden Sheep, more specifically... and I do like the sound of gentle sheep, inching forward, munching greens, restfully engaging with trees... I am doing much the same in Bangalore - watching children swing and slide down tunnels in sandpits about as heart racing as I am able for...

The other day, sitting outside on the balcony, I observed two boys playing with a balloon. It doesn't get much simpler than that, I thought. And then the balloon popped with all that enthusiasm - I couldn't help laughing when I heard one of the boys bemoan their fate, blaming the other boy naturally. 'What did you do?!' he wailed. I was reminded of Pooh and Piglet fully intending to give Eeyore a plump red balloon (I think it was red...) but finally handing him a sad shrunken rag of rubber to put in and take out of his empty honey pot... (Pooh having helplessly eaten all the honey)...

It's a quiet, peaceful life here, with the colours changing from morning to afternoon...

A few days ago we heard the news that our beloved monk Thich Nhat Hanh is no longer in a coma. He has opened his eyes, is responding with chuckles to humorous stories, is breathing. I have been re-reading the memoir he wrote in his 36th year, Fragrant Palm Leaves, almost sixty years ago. He is a very easy monk to love! Meanwhile I make the most of the quiet hour, trying to conquer the fear and anxieties that gather about my troubled physical form...