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Sukrita Paul Kumar

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Sukrita Paul Kumar



Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Male, Shillong. Photo by Nitoo Das




I CHING

Not five thousand years ago
But yesterday

In a flight of freedom from
the silky sheaves
of affluent slumber
folded in
A coffee table book
in a Hong Kong household

Our great ancestor
Grandfather Fu Hsi
the Chinese seer

Leapt out of chronology
Freed from the tentacles of calendars

and exhaled
into the
landscape of my soul

splitting the mountain ranges
of my existence
all into sixty four hexagrams

each one a tell tale oracle
he said

the geometry of my being
aligned with
wind earth heaven
fire rain moon
mountain and thunder too –

With the call of lineage
answered
I stood like a heron
in contemplation
still and steady

Ready for the cries of birth.


THE MAD WOMAN ON THE AVENUE OF STARS

Hanging stars
Suspended in dusk
Stars below
under the feet,

Stars over the head,

Stars wandering away
from lovers' eyes,
Stars slipping out of children's dreams

Ocean waves
Splashing ripples of colour
on innocent wonder pulled out
of nursery rhymes

Chinese wrinkles
giggling and breaking into
shimmering creaks
And vales twinkling
The old woman tearing her hair
andsquealing in Cantonese glee

All those cobwebs of silence
surrounding people
revealing, dissolving

in the din of stars.

 

AMBERS IN THE PACIFIC

On your chest lies Pele
the formidable
Goddess of volcano
The flow of her red hair
Trapped in the cracks of
Molten lava
Ambers in the coastal sun

Aloha
Be not in slumber
Says Papa the male god
Raising his neck from the
treacherous oceanic depths

From island to island
Hawaiians dance hula
Their simmering hearts
Tuning to Laka's call
Whistling in the breeze

Islands of desire
Fed on sacred food

Islands with white shores
Combating tiger waves

Islands held in Kumulipo
The Creation chant
In multiple rainbows
That Hina climbed
To reach the moon

When the moon is full
They see her
In the tides that rise

They hear her
in the rumbling belly
of the dormant volcano,
Mauna Kea…


OF NEW LIVES

What is that,
Yonder, out there?
Not a shadow, not indeed,
But definite contours of
A body reflecting an already tough mind
A stubborn shadow of her own
A fledgling come into a lingering adolescence
With threatening wings
large and awkward
A warring life
Marching in defiance
Deadening the mother, her adventures,
Leaving her cold and alone
A corpse
Inside the tomb
Strangled by fear and caution

Its the daughter giving
Birth to a new mother,
A mother-fledgling fluttering for
Fresh skies and new grounds
For yet another journey.

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