A place to play

Dusty driveway runs through

the walled gated periphery

three sheesham trees in the front lawn

bent with the weight of passing

time casting shadows to escape

the sun’s fury

 

It rages often and tirelessly

faithful to every season

draining life from the living

and turning death to dust

Somewhere hidden creatures

with long tails and brittle scales

weaving through bushes

rustling ominous heard not seen

 

The driveway meets the house

where veranda spans width

pillars supporting the roof that shades

Shiny grey polished floor laps

little feet patter in dizzy dances

wheels spin and turn racing games

A place to wait to contemplate

to play to pass through watch rain

fall once in a blue moon

 

Pots of flowers and shrubs dotted around

earthen body painted blood red

edged with chalky white lip

a seasonally manicured ceramic

Bamboo blinds rolled up between

pillars another weapon of combat

unfurled against the heat

when nothing moves for fear

of raising a single degree

the dry hum of air conditioning

the odd car rumbling by

when cars did not outnumber people

 

The driveway ends at the edge

of the garden hemmed by fruit trees

kinoo oranges and guavas waiting

in the woody veins for winter

to set tangy scents free

 

Between the border of trees

a cricket field or football pitch

gay trampling grass canvas feet

lithe limbs eagerly expend pent energy

Laughter bursts cutting the course

of teenage banter flirting

with boys next door

Playing games gaining insights

the psychology of forbidden

romance. A stealthy kiss

and a finger to convention

 

Love like the summer blazes

the heart races in steamy days

yearning for a glance or a sign

 

Youth fades faster than a suntan

the sharpest and brightest of days

catching flies in flight

cacophony of the courtyard crow

Slow orange daylight fades

into nights with stars strewn

sprawled before the pedestal fan

gazing into endless time

 

Listening to wild dogs barking

in pitch black streets outside

they give good chase if you dare

to enter their nocturnal haunt

Emaciated and feral they strike

with ferocious grit to tear what moves

from limb to limb to limb

 

Stars so vivid and close you fear

a splinter from the sky

will rain forth silver shards

dreaming as songs play

just for you on the Sony

If you change your mind

I’m the first in line

 

Drifting into layers of night

slumber eyes cast upon tomorrow

unfathomable the point of no return

will tear you out of this moment

and cough you up into a void

Float into ascendent air sinking

lurch forth feet lodged firm

into the concrete ground

Take steps on a cloud and reach up

to feel the blades of grass

tickling the palm of your hand.

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