Like the Seabird oiled with oil

Like the seabird oiled with oil
Is what she felt like
Is what the morning felt like
Made up of the froth and filth of an oil spill
Of unbearable anger
Erupting in flames
On the tarmac of the road
And in the sea
Inside the pages of the book
She was reading
And in the room
She was reading
Of an office fight
Enlarged
Enhanced
Engulfing others
Needlessly dragging others
Framing the innocent
The naïve
Killing people
Leaving birds unable to fly
Maiming them
Maiming my voice
My wings
Chopping all skies around me.

*PANKHURI SINHA

The Good Life

You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind’s sighs that are like caves in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.

The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing that you can do.

The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.


*Mark Strand

December

I want to be a passenger
in your car again
and shut my eyes
while you sit at the wheel,

awake and assured
in your own private world,
seeing all the lines
on the road ahead,

down a long stretch
of empty highway
without any other
faces in sight.

I want to be a passenger
in your car again
and put my life back
in your hands.

*Michael Miller

A Full Stop To Her Hope

She bows down her head
As she walks on the road,
To hide from all rubbish talks
Every time a concealed face she showed.

Her heart cries
Listening to the chit-chat against her,
And throat dries
Hearing all blaming whisper.

Look at the one
Who was entangled in the crime,
Even if it happened with her permission
She destroyed her uncle’s life

As she steps into the market
The roadside boys point at her,
They look her in lusty eyes
Sharing common mockery laughter.

She rushes into the Auto
Covering her palms on the chest,
To protect herself from devils again
And to peacefully rest.

The biased society thinks
It’s correct to treat her like dirt,
As she has been raped by people
She might be draping a naked mini skirt.

She feels everything has ended
And she will no longer feel joy,
She is spat upon by people always
For making friendship with a boy.

She falls over the nearby bench
Throwing her all accessories down,
I can not bear it anymore
She screams and cries aloud.

She comes back to her home
From the reckless world outside,
She feels so sad for herself
And decides leaving this world is right.

Haripriya

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

January a Calendar of Sonnets

O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn
dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire
The streams than under ice. June could not hire
Her roses to forego the strength they learn
In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can burn
The bridges thou dost lay where men desire
In vain to build.
O Heart, when Love’s sun goes
To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter’s own release.


Helen Hunt Jackson

Books are door Shaped

books are door-shaped
portals
carrying me
across oceans
and centuries,
helping me feel
less alone.
But my mother believes
that girls who read too much
are unladylike
and ugly,
so my father’s books are locked
in a clear glass cabinet. I gaze
at enticing covers
and mysterious titles,
but I am rarely permitted
to touch
the enchantment
of words.
Poems.
Stories.
Plays.
All are forbidden.
Girls are not supposed to think,
but as soon as my eager mind
begins to race, free thoughts
rush in
to replace
the trapped ones.
I imagine distant times
and faraway places.
Ghosts.
Vampires.
Ancient warriors.
Fantasy moves into
the tangled maze
of lonely confusion.
Secretly, I open
an invisible book in my mind,
and I step
through its magical door-shape
into a universe
of dangerous villains
and breathtaking heroes.
Many of the heroes are men
and boys, but some are girls
so tall
strong
and clever
that they rescue other children
from monsters.

Margarita Engle

Impassive Calm

Impassive calm. Because we mustn’t be afraid, everything will happen as it must.

I would have managed a reply,
because I have one.

You would have asked,
why are you wearing a pretty dress?

Perhaps there was nothing to decide, after all.
In between silence and absence –
life carried us along and we just went with it.

You would have smiled.

I would have managed a smile too.

Then again, we would surrender to this impassive calm. Because why should they understand this? does anyone care?

Yamini Sharma

I Was Born of A Matchstick

I was born of a matchstick
My mother and her stove are my first memories
and the strongest
so much so that I trust smoke more than I trust human beings,
more because it fades with a grace

I was born
just before my mother slipped into a coma
not the usual kind
but the one in which you are conscious and walking around
and no one knew
she fainted on Thursday, the 6th, and never woke up,
except me.

In the coma, she painted butterflies on my stomach
and cowdung on the walls.
She made kheer for me
even on the days she counted her sleeping pills.

She made bridges for us to come back
and we kept on burning them,
gradually and even ceremoniously sometimes.

We were proud of crossing the river,
She was afraid of becoming one.

And she decided to overturn a bus one night but relented,
She remembered all the helpline numbers
but never called any.

As I said, in the coma, she made magic for us
and made tea for my father’s friends and love for him.

She made love
and I shouldn’t talk about it anymore

As I shouldn’t about the fire
that has engulfed me ever since
or the coal lumps I found in her sandook.

You should touch your mother’s feet
and put her name behind yours if you are the activist type

but you shouldn’t talk about your mother’s eternal coma
and the love she made
and the love
she couldn’t.

Gaurav Solanki

Proof of a Tyrant

There are many proofs of a tyrant’s innocence

His nails or teeth aren’t long
His eyes don’t turn red
Rather, he keeps smiling
Often, he invites you to his house
And stretches his soft hand towards you
He is stunned that people fear him

In the tyrant’s house old swords and guns
Are displayed only for décor
His catacomb is a lovely place
Where around famous artworks swim
In the midst of great music
The security you feel is nowhere else

The tyrant is quite popular today
Many among the dead too keep visiting his house

Mangalesh dabral