Words

Collection of poems




A River Remembers

June 2012

Teach me the old names of things
Teach me the names of numerous places
You and I have traversed
In countless lifetimes, in countless forms
Teach me the language of prayer
That trickled down through generations
of consciousness

 

Prayer

All my life I have prayed in languages I did not know
But is it not enough that I carry my body around?
This body that has soaked itself in rivers I have known,
has dried itself in the wind flowing from your shifting shores.
Even when I sit and look at golden sunsets across the hills,
my body that is in travel and unrest
still finds salvation in memories of the soft afterglow
seeping through the translucence of my window.
In a house that I have left long ago.

 

Origin story

My grandma died a year before I was born.
I know her through the old, black-and-white pictures.
Some sepia-tinted, [y]ear-torn pictures.
She hung on a piece of old, rusty nail
As I grew up in our middle-class, urban, two-roomed apartment
My mother called me ‘Ma’.
She said I was her.
I looked for traces she had left behind.
Unknowingly.

 

Life bled through the pores

In the beginning, the stream was crimson red.
It flowed across the surface in a translucent line that gave birth to several other crystallized tributaries and distributaries.
They all flowed across the differently shaped mounds.
The streams thickened.
And bright yellow fluids seeped through the openings left behind on the mounds.
The reds, the yellows, the greens mixed together in a colourful palette on the mound.
There was life around the colours - throbbing - and therefore pain.
Life bled through every pore.
And therefore pain.

 

Vanishing point

I’m lying in bed.
It’s a scorching afternoon in mid-May.
My aunt has drawn the curtains
To block the sun.
But its resilience keeps peeping through the thick, white fabric
Creating patterns of shadow on the ceiling.
I look at the smoke of the incense she has burnt
Before she has tucked me into bed for an afternoon siesta.
I am eight years old.
I am still looking for god

 
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