The act of standing

On shifting ground

Takes two legs planted
Slightly defiantly
Slightly humble
Arms relaxed
Stomach held in
Chest held out
Shoulders squared
Chin up
Eyes bright
Forehead clean
Breath even


Stand tall
In your wisdom

Stand up
For yourself
For others

For the young
For the mute
For the small
For the old
For the weak


~Shaku Selvakumar, July 2016


Spring Delights
Spring Delight. Picture courtesy


After the storm

Greet today
Open heart
Open arms
Forget familiar aches
Leave behind remembered pain
The anger and sorrow
This life so fleeting
Can unfold unbearable beauty

Don’t birds sing louder
After the storm has passed
Don’t rainbows arch
Lighting up the sky
And tendrils shooting
Towards the light

This valor
The will
The celebration
Despite constant loss
Found in nature

Morning Blossom. Painting courtesy
Morning Blossom. Painting courtesy

©Shaku Selvakumar, June 2015


Every winter the Bougainvillea withers
Her branches without leaves
Exposing thorny stems
Spiky and stern

She is chopped down to size
Leaving behind nothing
But a grey and painful

She is left to be
Ignored and incubating
Nine months it seems
Nothing to be seen

Every year through
Each winter severe
I wonder if she will
If her roots survived
Will she win the fight

This morning I see
Her glorious form
Resurrected and wild
Throwing out wanton branches
With youth filled magenta blooms
Her spirit contagious,
Bold, fierce and resilient

Owning her brief time
Under the sun.

—Shaku Selvakumar August 2014


Spring Leaves

I sit under the peevish breeze
Shaking the trees
Carrying the promise
of ripening figs

The sun wavers
Between gentle and bright
Reluctant to leave
To go out of sight

I bask in the light
Loathe to leave
These stolen moments
Of paradise

A bird calls in the
Repeating someone’s name
Again and again

My dog sits near me
Half alert
Half drowsy
Her breath insistent

I hear young girls
Their giggles
Faint tunes
Untainted and innocent

An airplane
Flies overhead
Scattering nature’s

I look at the
Blue above
The swaying green around
And hold onto this frame

Soon time
Will turn and
Another day on this earth
Will gently end

— Shaku Selvakumar June 2014

Spring Delight
Spring Delight


Last night the skies exploded.
The release
of long held tension
rattling every tree,
spilling dead branches and leaves.
Unhinging anything
not sturdily grown.

Through the vicious
Wailing winds
Striking lights
Ominous sounds
You stayed cowering
Hoping your man made
Shivering abode could hold its own.

dear human,
What use are your
Guns and rhetoric?
What use are your
Thrones and politics?

—Shaku Selvakumar May 2014