Fall Theatrics by Roja



Fall colors                 collapse

on my peeling deck

tired leaves on stage

with makeup

mimic my struggles

watched from preferred seating

audience on trees


my unbuttoned exhales

green-screen to unedited scripts



Tall-tale embers depart


carrying over-rehearsed grief, anger

smothering snuggles.

Kind leaves

relace my veins

recolor my blood



obediently unpack



Truth witnesses from wooded lot

Lent hurting laps

Corrosive words rose

licking green

into colors of fury.

Bleeding leaves

Fall heavier

sooner too perhaps?

Some green

some orange

some self-stir cocktails

to bury          blood.


Gliding urns sedulously land

with wet  buzzing soot

some curl some serrate

some dare

to tare


Some bling yellower


a lusted  gold loot


collage collective

emote redhues

simply lying there




Us       leaves and I



towing elastic ribbons

from   internal theatrics

Deprived of many suns

we half-die


fish on granite

Death-dances are


joy-leaps in a child’s eye.


We dance     fall      leap


that fake stillness

of dramaturgy

born-again desires

float beneath


That Fall

My eyes

fell closer      to my nostrils

laden with liquid salt

rimming cocktails that fall



could I see    past my pandemic

not even       Covid stats on TV.

My nose


like the masked mannequin’s

in that locked down mall.



We travelled

arms locked

like sisters on a train

Gasping  between giggles and finger squiggles

Fall leaves    and me


Stormy travels

at times

as freed confetti lain

while squirrels chased their union

we twirled    entwined.



I step out on deck

we meet  its our stage

tickling caresses on my toes speak

“I heard you   hello”


French door responds to wrist-hug

sliding smooth

sole-mates enter my home

bandaiding my cracked feet.

I routinely beg “leaves stay”

they do

Tinkerbells   in my dim hollow.

“I’m not dead” we cross whispered

We’re simply here

Proving verbal gravity



Colossal trunks accommodate   skies

while bleating leafless branches

often miss    a beat.

Twins we are

admired when naked


in unrhythmic repetitions.


Suns need to shine elsewhere

so do we

chlorophyll starved

green-screen  peeled

real scenarios

pretty ugly revelations.

We waited

like cold stone

to be seen






Bodhi leaves tutored

a seven-week folded descent

to ascend Siddharth.

Buddha-in-progress           sat

Nirvanic mercury balls

surface-tensioned on       filial piety.

My HomeGoods Buddha with cement-smile

holds bird

borrowed from my broken bird-bath.

Buddha stands

I sit


twitching     awning eyelids

war with stillness   collateral beauty.


Eyes close     truth-telling enactments

misspelt negotiations


behind flesh screens.



6.“Fall colors, beautiful, stunning”

they say

as roving eyes hurriedly depart

Fall admirers turned rakers

fashioning  Colorless crunchy mounds

crowning     cul-de-sac yards

My voices     and hearings


in that protective incubation

My winsome warriors

in brown shades

as my family’s skins


but discards.



  1. My unseen soul

awaits a green engineered reincarnation

Some of me

will emerge whole

some curled

some serrated

some free.


Naan (I am) Ponnuthai – ponnaipol millira (Shining like gold).

Naan (I am) Roja  – viduvithu manakka (liberating scent).

Naan (I am) Jebaroja – Praarthanai karangalil Naan (meditatively holding myself).

Ponnuthai (Golden mother) Jebaroja (Prayer rose) is what my parents named me.

Their prophecy liberates confetti galore

on messages on mini post-its I soar.


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