Sometimes I ponder
that my country's limbs
are crushed down somewhere
in the busy traffic of a metro
while freedom hides with shame
in its sixty-fifth year
under the bed of the battered baby
deserted by parents, unknown,
in the trauma centre of AIIMS, New Delhi, India.
"Average three infants deserted daily
in the capital"—reports
the daily newspaper.
My fingers nimble
by the cold wind.
in the hurt air.
Here, molested children
and abandoned old parents
prize their freedom
in wakeful dreams.
I scream inward
to refurbish the old world.
The sun is a falling rock.
Sometimes I wonder
why my country's limbs
are crushed down somewhere
in the false assurances
of power and failure
and in the fate of the girl
gang-raped in a bus
by aged men and a minor
her silent death in a
the depths of our rage.
I look at freedom in the eye,
freedom, the dry drone of
just a ritual.
In my ignorance, I wish
to end this season
thechaotic drum beats freeze around me
turning into twister pillars.
Each hour, each second
pass through my waiting veins
like the shadow of a triumphal arch.
I try to understand the only freedom
the freedom of the womb
and the freedom of the ashes.
Freedom hides somewhere
in the contours of my
country's body, alien.
The wind's wave is waiting quietly
to be carried by the wings of spring;
the dream upon which I would wake up
suddenly in the night is like the exhausted fairy
because here I have lived life within stories
a glimpse of my destiny and destination
a homonymous world, where light grows
stronger, but fog doesn't disperse.
At times even history is a dead river
aging in the paddy fields like a metaphor.
The blue blooming flowers round the corner
peer into the cold glass of the window.
It's a different adult would, sans
the lacerated fetus of hope.
No one had warned me to hide
my eyes from there; it was a tender feeling like
seeing my identical cousin now living in North
Africa, in a foreign land ahead of the ageing winter;
I have heard, or perhaps my mother's
anointed body believes, that she had planned
a hundred brothers for me, elsewhere,
while we, all her girls, queued up like wounded flags;
today , for her , the aging winter is
tangible and intense; she always knew it
she is like a mythical underground statue
buried during the Kalinga war, her
myth, oral enough for the world, noiselessly
moving like a shadow without flesh
the skeleton suppresses an irrepressible
grief -- is it summer even before the spring?
My mind is vacuum, hunger and pain
of a million years have invaded
me . An aged laugh disturbs me
carrying a sleeping child in her arms
clinching its fists; the child's blank
innocence is like the innocent animal figures
in the suburbs of the Konark, whom time
has brushed aside to age gracefully with dust and water.
This physical poem excludes me from memory's mirrors;
it's time for my story to move on.
To speak about pearls, shoals, ocean hearts is one thing,
but oh, to ooze shoals of secrets form the four cells is something else!
To dwell on the past and look back in angst is one thing,
but oh, to look ahead, forgiving the grievances is something else!
To live in a country of ghosts, in the midst of their murmurings is one thing,
but oh, to silence all sounds, flawless yet moldy, is something else!
To be the ripples and waves on water is one thing,
but oh, to be the unseen, unheard river of words beneath is something else!
To follow dreams of commonplace yearnings, the crops of desire, is one thing,
but oh, to be the myths of discovery, Archimedes' bathtub, Newton's apple is
To have a future resolved, for days, weeks, months, years is one thing,
but oh, to follow an unknown alibi for a lifetime, unapologizing, is something else!
To be the crowning glory, nurtured, groomed, fed is one thing,
but oh, to be driven inward, lay claim on a wider world, be an incarnation is