why wear this veil of politeness?
I know you hide behind closed doors
like clothes from a peg left hanging,
crumpled malice, worn again and again,
and gnawing jealousy, hasn’t it turned
your hands, your legs, hollow and void,
till you’re left just dangling
without a sane head?
Not while sitting under a banyan tree,
but it’s always, the absolute moon
stuck between night’s black eyebrows,
which is enlightenment for me.
Not when it’s just a crescent,
ethereal, and my surprised fingers
look through other starred worlds.
Not when it’s just a pencil arc,
shard of a broken earthen pot,
mortal, and I yearn for a round
silver bangle on my wrists.
Not this, like a watermelon wedge,
as my thirst has been growing
to be the full loop moon.
But more, yes more
like a celestial circle, endless,
where I know not where I begin
and where I end.
On Horse’s Hooves
This morning suddenly,
through the window,
like of hair the tree looked
a tangle of leaves, disheveled.
While as if riding on the snail’s back,
slowly, slowly, the clouds moved, lazy.
And as if for the first time, the koel sang,
gently awaking, waiting for applause.
But suddenly, the lawnmower
rushed, rasped across the lawn,
and grunting, galloping,
at the back of my mind,
it sounded like impatient time
running away on the horse’s hooves,
cropping, crushing my slumber.
Just for this one day
pull out the surprised joker
from the pack of moments.
Switch off the radio birds,
the monotonous jingles
singing again and again.
Switch off the blinking cell,
a maze of waves, this wired toy
buzzing on and off.
Switch off the television,
stop shedding tears
with shrill dramatic lives.
Oh just for the day, this one day
let me shuffle, play with silence,
indulge in small talk,
and listen to my unheard words.
Now I’m not a frightful face of fire,
nor is my face a wavering wick shadow,
no, now I look more like these white ashes,
waiting for faceless oblivion.
My ears, eyes are not an empty house,
nor my legs the wild garden,
but am just a patient door
waiting to open, hear footsteps.
And I don’t look like a window, either,
nor the breeze caught in this room,
but have just gone limp like the curtain
waiting to sway with destiny.
Now, when my years are all spent away,
I’m not the day, nor the night,
but will be just like the dust scattered,
from which I sense centuries
waiting to rise with new faces.
Minal Sarosh is an Indian English poet and novelist. Her first poetry book published ‘Mitosis and Other Poems’, Writers Workshop (1992), Kolkata. Her first novel published ‘Soil for My Roots’ (Lifi Publications, New Delhi, 2015).She is winner of National Awards like — (a)All India Poetry Competition 2005 of The Poetry Society (India) Delhi. – Commendation Prize. (b)Creative Writing Competition 2006 of Unisun Publications, Bangalore-Third Prize : (c) SMS Poetry Competition 2007 and 2008 Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai-Third Prize : (d) Unisun Reliance TimeOut Book Club Awards 2008-09 -Special