Three Poems: Father Vaskode's Lesson

By Pitambar Naik

the catwalk

A busy hobgoblin chugs apart in a grilling hemisphere
day in and out the square dance of pinpricks go on.   

You enter as a five-star guest to grope the groins of evening chandeliers,
the weak tone in Japanese accent sweetens,
Chinese pronunciation on a plate, American English,
British grammar on the table and Portuguese tastes spread over  
exposing your old affair for the love of Goan skewed beef, pork 65
deep fried behaviour and full-grown breasts
of the Fortune Miramar.

When evenings come like a street vendor
pushing a trolley of loads
beads of sweat on his forehead smell you—   

cinnamon, resin, big cardamom: flavours from your exhalation   
the 5th floor is frenzy and gauzing the architecture of kisses    
the tickling bare backs of university girls 

You are all in one, like Chetan Bhagat’s half-girlfriend
an illusion in reality of a lagoon of French tequila.

Hot soup with ice coffee to hug the summer
crispy crabs and soy sausage
cherishing a session of yoga  

sucking the tits of mint flavours
a slot of jazz, Sonny Leone and
a hill station drops on a vacation
the east sky spumes mild vulgarity in Hollywood style.

That evening after the deal demystified 
naked soup bowls, chicken tikka, beef burger
stared famished in your navel

Years back I collided with the petrichor
of your see-through diagram 
while a bunch of blondes were on the catwalk
in half pinafores and skirts

blue-deep sensibility on the lips of Fortune Miramar 
was deep-neck in refractions of prenuptial secrets.

Father Vaskode’s Lesson

Water has no colour, sky is not a trousseau
it’s the likeliness of MF Hussain’s paintings
a dream pigment and it’s handkerchief  

dabbled with your miniature perception - a part of history
half-circle dives into the Bay of Bengal’s privacy  

Father Vaskode’s lessons in the evenings
at Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Saligao.
 A stands for alpha, b for beta
e for eata, g for gamma
with apt grammar
learn dear, be a prodigy of the century
Einstein learnt this at 6, Thomas Edison at 7

When did you learn this, Father?
No, idea, he would say.
Methyl, ethyl and nitrate - the chemical isotope
on all butterflies’ lips and across nerves of the botanical garden   
the composition and importance of gravitational force
his dexterity at dissecting a frog

He explained the intricacies in oval-type singularity
with a ceramic pond full of plastic water
he would say, let’s gaze how fish swim flapping the madness 
he would delve into the theory of why the sky doesn’t fall

He would say, let’s gaze how fish swim flapping the madness 
He would delve into the theory of why the sky doesn’t fall
and those dangling planets circling in their own orbits.

Father Vaskode wasn’t a mystery but a shred of our boyhood
purple chocolates and coconut buns metamorphosed his talk

when I lost in the fray of long jump, sprint or javelin throw
Father Vaskode’s eyes brimmed with gloomy clouds

He never wished us to fall off the competitions
today I gaze at his life-size photo beside grandpa’s heavenly green 

Father Vaskode’s soliloquies…
Boys, never graduate from the school of life
Learning never ends

Grandpa becomes cheerful in paradise.


In the curvature of the horizon’s fidelity, a naked crevice gets nostalgic
the July sky froths and drools like an idiot

along the banks of your disagreement
the clamorous lollygagging of a Japanese amnesia takes a pause 
after being twirled in haiku and shrieked in a voyage 
the teenaged meekness of lavenders says, ‘excuse me.’  

The petals of that cherished suffocation you had sucked
ask for a drink and stay
smelling of cultural antagonism 
wearing a few poses of yogasana in the Joggers’ Park    

I am unable to measure the hormone level of death’s teeth
I need to take a few lessons in the hospital in Velha
after a telegram I’m waiting for

Here the longstanding schizophrenia is not the only affair
that mows the youth, that needs to be unclothed in public view   
those tunes of a Greek drama dissect.

When the morning’s drowsy vivacity takes off its clothes
in a whorish way, I fall apart like an overripe star

The definition is a fresh asparagus or a shred of history
the deciduous season blooms a Babylonian mystery
a variegated potpourri at the end of a tragic soap opera
the last word of the puberty ceremony, that Jasmina
hardly believes in

Pinch of new fronds of the anachronism
the delicacies of sanna, balchao, shrimp curry, and good sex
on this jovial beach 
the white silhouette of the body, the hard politics of wine
a wayfarer’s cherished dawn
crawling like a baby wave
into the sprawling meekness of your sea-bosom.



Pitambar Naik is an Indian poet and writer. He was longlisted for the Wordweavers India Poetry Contest 2017 and the Rhythm Divine Poetry Chapbook Contest 2018. His work is forthcoming in an Anthology of South Asian Queer Poetry (HarperCollins India), and has appeared in Vayavya, Ethos Literary Journal, Mojave Heart Review, Literary Orphans, Occulum, Moonchild Magazine, Bhashabandhan Literary Review, HEArt Online, Formercactus, Coldnoon International, Spark Magazine, The Wagon Magazine, The Hans India, The New Indian Express, Better Than Starbucks, Kitaab, Muse India, Best Indian Poetry and elsewhere. He is working on his twin set of poetry books. He can be reached at