Featured Writer Paresh Tiwari

Reading Poetry at a Café

Flowering People by Rajasekharan Parameswaran

It has been raining flowers all night long.

This should have been a poem in itself. Only it isn’t, for they are everywhere now. These pearl-pale petals. On the wet tarmac, the metallic roofs of cars, and under the sticky rubber of wiper blades. Even the brick-lined drain that curves along the road is full of them.

There’s one on the toe of my left shoe. And I cannot bring myself to peel it away.

morning after
the beginnings of a poem
in a sugar sachet

Sometimes, I look up from the book – Mary Oliver’s Blue Horses – arrested by her lack of frivolities and notice the swollen breath of the coffee machine.

The light from the window slants over the barista’s hand, turning his fluid movements into a shadow dance. He etches a latte froth with heart. Another one with a leaf.

An old man in the corner watches the ocean framed in a two-by-three glass. A couple on the centre-table sits in silence; which could be heavy or comfortable, depending largely on how you spent your day before coming here.

And you at the far end, your back pressed against the wall. I notice you keep stealing glances at the petal making love to my left shoe.

almost night . . .
a stray curled around
its shadow


About the author:
Paresh Tiwari is a writer, poet, and a cartoonist in the body of a Naval Officer. He has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. The first collection of his haiku and haibun, An Inch of Sky, was published in 2014. Currently the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a journal by United Haiku and Tanka Society, USA, he was also commissioned for thirty-five illustrations for the December 16 edition of Frameless Sky. Tiwari has been invited to read his works at various literature festivals, including the Goa Art and Lit Fest – 2016, and has conducted haiku and haibun workshops at Hyderabad International Literature Festival – 2014, SIES College Mumbai and British Council Library, Mumbai. His second book of haibun, titled Raindrops Chasing Raindrops is in the bookstores now.

Image: Flowering People by Rajasekharan Parameswaran (1963- ). Oil on canvas. 18 x 26 inches. No completion date specified. By free license.