K Ramesh

K.Ramesh writes haiku, tanka and free verse. His poems have appeared in The Little Magazine, Kavya Bharati, The Indian Pen, Poetry Chain, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, American Tanka, The Heron's Nest, Snapshots, Haiku Presence and other journals that cater to free verse and Japanese forms of Poetry.

Some of his works have been included in the following anthologies:
1. Voices For The Future: A collection of poems brought out by Poetry Society India and British Council Division
2. Wild Flowers, New Leaves: World Haiku Anthology
3. Pegging The Wind Anthology- Red Moon Press

He is the author of a haiku anthology titled Soap Bubbles, published by the Red Moon Press, Virginia, USA.
He teaches at The School, Krishnamurti Foundation India, in Chennai.


Different Coloured Threads 

Sitting on a wooden stool
in a small room
with bits of clothes of
different colours strewn
around him,

he has witnessed every change
that has happened outside,
As he keeps pulling the needle
through a shirt or a blouse.

Hung on a wall,
the framed certificate
that says he is a qualified tailor,
has turned yellow over the years.

How much the town has changed
ever since he started earning
his livelihood;

He has seen it all.

In silence,
he continues to
pedal his sewing machine,

as his mind picks up
different coloured threads
of his past,
and weaves patterns
which fade and appear
again and again.

As the old film songs
come out of his
small, leather-cased radio,

he continues to explore
new styles to keep with
the trend of the time.

The Wooden Bird

In the porch of my house
there is a wooden bird
which stays suspended to
the ceiling by a twine

This bird can flap its
wings when a wind blows
but there are times
when the bird is so still,
it looks as if
it is feeling lonely-
being alone on the porch

How long can this wooden bird
flap its wings suspended to
the same place?

Now, as I walk away from home
with my rucksack heavy
on my back,

my mother stands alone
on the porch again

waving her hand.

An Afternoon In The Temple

Long afternoon-
The street around the temple
is empty.
Only the pigeons
once in a while,
dare to fly out in the sun,
make a circle in the sky
and return to
the nooks and crannies of
the tall tower.

Inside the temple,
there is no queue
for darshan now.
A few people sit on
the steps of the pond
feeding the fish
with puffed rice.

Some men and a goat doze in
the shade of the
peepul tree whose leaves
are rustled by
the afternoon breeze.

In the shade of
the long, grey stone wall
which still holds some
faded inscriptions,
the temple elephant
is relaxing-
its trunk not busy
blessing people
with a gentle nudge on
their heads.

On an afternoon like this,
there is no chanting,
no drum beats,
only the sparrows have
something to say,
as they punctuate the long afternoon
with their twitters.

The silence of the bats
that cling on to the roof
where light cannot reach,
seems to suggest
this is how the afternoons
have been in the temple-

for centuries.

In The Din Of The Traffic 

I arrive in the town
where I used to live
twenty years ago.

A stranger approaches me,
smiles, and calls
my name, surprised.

I nod my head
to say you're right,
but I don't remember
his boyhood face.

Who could this be?

I think of names one after the other.

He explains,
and I begin to
remember how we
used to play
hockey in the street,
and sometimes
sit on a wall and
discuss literature
through the evening.

Together we recall
the nicknames of boys
one after the other,
and wonder where
they are now.

He says,
'all the families that
used to live on our street
have moved elsewhere,
and now there are only
a few houses left, 
the rest are all demolished,
and in their places,
there are new ones'.

With a bent head
he says softly,
'even the house where
you used to live is
not there now'.

I invite him
for a cup of tea,
and we both sit in
silence thinking
of a time that is
no more-

in the din of traffic

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