Gieve Patel

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Gieve Patel Poems

It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown

Slowly consuming the earth,
...

The Saurashtra Express waits to start
Chained patiently to the platform,
Good pet, while I clamber in
To take my reserved window seat
...

It is startling to see how swiftly
A man may be sliced
From chin to prick,
...

ow soon I've acquired it all!
It would seem an age of hesitant gestures
Awaited only this sententious month.
...

There may be a very small comfort
In knowing yourself finally
Useless – when even grandchildren
Have grown beyond your love,
...

6.

the old crone
slurping up
essence of chicken
soup
...

A case in point, the expert says;
A woman thrust glowing faggots
Where properly
Her son’s sparrow should nest.
...

Squirrels in Washington come
Galloping at you in fours, then brake
To halt a few feet away
And beg on hindquarters.
...

God or
something like that
shot
through each part of you, down
...

Our English host was gracious
We were soon at ease;
...

It makes sense not
to have the body
seamless,
hermetically sealed,
...

It makes sense not
to have the body
seamless,
hermetically sealed, a
non-orificial
box of incorruptibles.
Better shot through and through!
Interpenetrated
- with the world. Air
mists my lymph. Ex
cretion, degrading
routine,
gives the world passage.
I am a bead.
Sorted,
thumbed,
threaded,
strung,
fingered (did you say) by
threads of all hues,
riddled through,
happily.
...

How do your withstand, body,
Destruction repeatedly
Aimed at you? Minutes,
...

The Saurashtra Express waits to start
Chained patiently to the platform,
Good pet, while I clamber in
To take my reserved window seat
And settle into the half-empty compartment's
Cool; the odour of human manure
Vague and sharp drifts in
From adjoining platforms.
The station's population of porters,
Stall-keepers, toughs and vagabonds relieve themselves
Ticketless, into the bowels of these waiting pets;
Gujarat Mail, Delhi Janata, Bulsar Express,
Quiet linear beasts,
Offering unguarded toilets to a wave
Of non-passengers, Bombay Central's
In-residence population.

That odour does not offend.
The station's high and cool vault
Sucks it up and sprays down instead,
Interspersed with miraculous, heraldic
Shafts of sunlight, an eternal
Station odour, amalgam
Of diesel oil, hot steel, cool rails,
Light and shadow, human sweat,
Metallic distillations, dung, urine,
Newspaper ink, Parle's Gluco Biscuits,
And sharp noisy sprays of water from taps
With worn-out bushes, all
Hitting the nostril as one singular
Invariable atmospheric thing,
Seeping into your clothing
The way cigarette smoke and air-conditioning
Seep into you at cinema halls.
I sink back into my hard wooden
Third-class seat, buffered by
This odour, as by a divine cushion.
And do not suspect that this ride
Will be for me the beginning of a meditation
On the nature of truth and beauty.
...

15.

What is it between
A woman's legs draws destruction
To itself? Each war sees bayonets
...

There may be a very small comfort
In knowing yourself finally
Useless - when even grandchildren
Have grown beyond your love,
And your would-be widow
Has outhobbled you and
Wont be around to break with
One or two of her last thick tears,
And not caring much for
Your fellowmen, the doctors
Wont get your body -
To know how simply you
Will be bundled away, startling
A lifelong friend who finds
He cannot mourn
At the quick and easy changes:
A sprinkling of water,
The disappearance of an odour,
A turn of bed-sheets, leaving
A bed, a chair,
Perhaps a whole room,
With clarity in them.
...

It is startling to see how swiftly
A man may be sliced
From chin to prick,
How easily the bones
He has felt whole
Under his chest
For a sixty, seventy years
May be snapped,
With what calm
Liver, lung and heart
Be examined, the bowels
Noted for defect, the brain
For haemorrhage,
And all these insides
That have for a lifetime
Raged and strained to understand
Be dumped back into the body,
Now stitched to perfection,
Before announcing death
As due to an obscure reason.
...

18.

the old crone
slurping up
essence of chicken
soup
as though
it were chicken soup
itself, mis
taking the hum in
her veins
for the ima
gined chicken's part
ing gift
while
I know it to be
no more
than hot
water's mo
mentary warming,
and how mo
mentary when even naked
flame would howl
and wiggle
an in
jured fing
er, frost
bitten, coming
too close
to the
waft of de
parting chill.
...

Our English host was gracious
We were soon at ease;
Or almost:
The servants
were watching.
...

Text Book

A case in point, the expert says;
A woman thrust glowing faggots
Where properly
Her son's sparrow should nest.
Puerile in-law practice, he says,
But good as any other
To set the story rolling; begin
With a burn in the sparrow's nest
To extend over all therefrom emerging
Fan and flourish of the world:
Hold the foetus tumbling through,
And before it may express
Surprise at a clean new blast of air,
Lay subtle finger over mouth and nose.
Watch it blue.
If rather you would be coarse, go ahead,
Use rope and hatchet, knife, stone, bullet,
All you would on the more aged;
Bodies whose gel of blood and skin
Have not exchanged years against sweet air
Will not relinquish with ease.
Against these devise infinite means,
The pictures in my book will instruct.
Change vantage point inch by inch
To discover them all: recall grace
Inherent in each new part, find
Weapon against it. Lop off limbs.
Smash teeth. Push splinters
Underneath nails and lever them
Off fingers; offer acid in a drink of wine,
The house of song is blasted. Soft skin
That clothes the gentlest dunes will retract
Before knife and bullet. Proceed.
Flick pages. The regal column of the neck
Upholding the globe of sight and sound
Is often undermined; or straight
Charge at speech and sight, chop off tongue,
Gouge eyeballs out, hammer nails into the ear.
When you have ravished all, missing
No entrail, do not forget
To return where you started: with a penknife
Strike at the rising sparrow's neck;
With ends of twine strangle the orbs
That feed him seed;
And outrage the sparrow's nest.

You are now full circle
With nothing
Not thought of, not done before.
...

Gieve Patel Biography

Gieve Patel is a poet, playwright and artist, as well as a practicing doctor. Early Life and Education Gieve Patel was born in 1940 in Mumbai. He was educated at St Xavier's High School and Grant Medical College. He lives in Mumbai where he is a general practitioner. Career His poetry works include Poems than first launched by Nissim Ezekiel followed by How Do You Withstand, Body and Mirrored Mirroring. His plays include Princes, Savaksa and Mr Behram . He held his first show in Mumbai in 1966 that went on to have several major exhibitions in India and abroad. Patel participated in the Menton Biemale, France in 1976. India, Myth and Reality, Oxford in 1982; Contemporary Indian Art, Royal Academy, London 1982.Patel belongs to that avant-garde grouping of artists based in Bombay and Baroda. He has also exhibited for Contemporary Indian Art, Grey Art Gallery, New York, 1985, Indian Art from the Herwitz collection Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, 1985 and 'Coups de Coeur' Geneva, 1987. He has been conductng a poetry workshop in Rishi Valley School for over a decade. He also edited a collection of poetry which was published in 2006. The Poet of the Body Gieve Patel is considered to be the poet of the body since human body is a recurrent theme in a majority of his poems. In his poems, the body acts as a living metaphor. His sympathies are with the oppressed or down-trodden and anyone devoid of his basic right to live. In an appropriately titled poem, The Ambiguous Fate of Gieve Patel, he being neither a part of Hinduism nor Islam in India, he grieves the isolation faced by the Parsis in the starting line of the short poem based on communal riots, when he writes; "To be no part of this hate is deprivation". As a Parsi observer, he cannot choose to be a part of either side, he poignantly remarks, "Planets focus their fires/into a worm of destruction/Edging along the continent. Bodies/Turn ashen and shrivel. I only burn my tail." He is thus counted among the well-known Parsi writers in India.)

The Best Poem Of Gieve Patel

On Killing A Tree

It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water,
And out of its leperous hide
Sprouting leaves.

So hack and chop
But this alone wont do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.

No,
The root is to be pulled out -
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out - snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed,
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.

Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.


(From POEMS, published by Nissim Ezekiel, Bombay 1966)

Gieve Patel Comments

Soul Watcher 19 January 2016

Liked your poems .. thanks for sharing

4 0 Reply
sachin tiwari 21 February 2018

this poem make a relation between nature and human being. but some human due to poverty they cuts the trees and sold to earn money for his wags but i am really upset with the robber of the country for their own benefit they are teasing to nature, if it will be continue for couple of years then the whole world will be tolerated with the bed effects of nature as, flood or any other problems so this poem is a approval to improve present condition for future.

2 1 Reply
Nikita singh 13 June 2018

I Liked your poems very much and thanks for sharing me your poems

0 0 Reply
Alice J Thornberry 07 July 2020

Middle East have a far more long running and shameful association with slavery than Western Europe and North America.**************.worknet8 

1 0 Reply
Alice J Thornberry 07 July 2020

For some strange reason “cancel culture” hasnt come for slave owner, slave trader, murderer and warlord Mohamed. Why is this? Ignorance? cowardice? indoctrination? All parts of Africa and the Middle East have a far more long running and shameful association with slavery than Western Europe and North America.**************.worknet8 

0 0 Reply
Alice J Thornberry 07 July 2020

I commend this pastor for taking responsibility and asking his community to take specific precautions before coming back together. It is unfortunate that the Texas state guidelines may have been more lax...............worknet8.

0 0 Reply
Khushi veer 21 September 2019

The poems are very good and informative.

0 0 Reply
Liza saeha 06 October 2018

Awosome......👍 I liked it a lot...😎🤗😀

0 0 Reply

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