HAPPY GHOSTS

There goes my miracle,
touched by the golden dust of peak summer,
when souls shine with the sun’s overcast squint,
dashing against walls
and I discover hidden inner lives of the place I live in.

I,
sitting in the lotus position,
am bewildered by the many happy ghosts
unshackled from self-isolation.
It’s┬ásuch a quantum leap from the unjustified horror
of clinging too close to home.

Little child, gone too soon at breakfast at nine,
you’re tapping at my shoulder,
stripping away fear by the jawline’s underside,
chubby cheeks and round wrists
showing me the blueprint for your little sister’s room,
where I now stay
and there, you tell me,
are the dentures your Grandma kept in a glass case,
her bright eyes fixed on the nail,
from which hung loosely her mother’s photo on the wall from fifty years ago.

**
Today, you say,
she has taken to dancing again,
no more held back by the solidity of her bones,
looking like how she was when your father was your age.

You say your childhood friend shares the dinner table,
facing me with a grin,
finishing off that bottle of jam after I go to sleep
and making me wonder
how it could have happened again within a fortnight.
He plays with my red ping-pong ball,
dashing against walls,
becoming stardust in the process
and then calling out the robin
who perched high on the eaves four generations prior.

**
Sometimes my cat,
actually on most nights,
looks above and fixates her gaze on the ceiling,
as if stumped by some relative insider,
making fun of the mortal world’s overconfident stance.
Now I know why,
how she tries to reason with the invisible force and keep it covert,
the way only she does,
instructed by her own instincts.

Some good spirits always find a home,
even though they pass out like the colours of that antique flower vase from 1962.
They retain their passage from the yard,
all the long way to the forbidden balcony door,
with the red-orange rust and jammed grill.
Sometimes,
they are like the cover of ravens,
shadowy and easily observed
but casually dismissed.
Sometimes they pull at the ends of sofa covers,
fly from one showpiece to another
and entertain me blindly with their play with light and wind,
on these days where the whole city is down on its haunches,
reasoning with ghosts of its own,
both sublime and sordid.

**
These playful spirits come with the season,
squinting with the sun
and jest me,
wearing white curtains over their bodies,
like they do in photoplays sometimes.

They are all posing for the final portrait
before they become like incense smoke,
observing their respects for the mortals joining their passageway soon,
through lands both rough-hewn and magical.

**

These are the ones who settle in the walls of homes they once lived in,
extricated from a past history,
the narratology of which is in my storytelling.
They entrust,
they believe that words are worth more than monochromatic images.
They live in the spaces between these lines,
in the cracks where wasps give them company
and a mother bee nurses her first born to life.


**
There’s a child tapping my shoulder,
his friend is dipping his fingers in the jammed slice
and his grandmother is opening the windows to let little fairies travel,
on sonic wavelengths to and fro,
on this side of the broadcasting station where life is in God’s haikus.

This home is the sanctuary
they let me share.

**