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RATI SAXENA - Page 2

They are cutting off Waiting Tell me the name of a flower
Come, we will spend the evening Jugalbandi No need
The father of a sick daughter The frames of pictures... Today
Mountain Nights
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They are cutting off

They are cutting
Every height
That goes
Above their heads.

They are trimming
Every flight
That crosses
Their boundary.

They are burning
Every root
That gives the itch
To their feet.

They look everywhere
For their equals.







Waiting

She sits
On the doorsteps
Tying up
The earnings of a long life
And the dreams
Of the past
On the torn
Sheet of memory.

Shading the eyes
With broken palms
Under the whitening
Eye-brows
Looking at the other side
With dead-worm eyeballs
Collecting wash clothes
Afraid of every sound
Keeping the bundle neat
Sitting helplessly
Before taking any step
Waiting for unwanted desires.







Tell me the name of a flower

That mad woman
Stopping every passer-by
And asking:
Will you play the fragrance, the fragrance?
You tell me the name of a flower,
I will become its fragrance.

Oh boiling, walking sun,
Stop, stop a bit awhile.
Oh swimming, swimming moon,
Blackened clouds,
Flying air,
Stop a little awhile
And listen to me.

That kanikonna laughed,
Listening to the mad woman,
Who stops for whom?

You tell me the name of a flower.







Come, we will spend the evening

While melting in a light
While blossoming in the stars
You lightly touch
My little finger.

One evening
When you move away from
The geometry line
Searching for the meaning
In the arithmetic
Adding a to b
Subtracting b from c
Dried up in emptiness

One evening
When we disappear
Like a line on the sand

Please come, we will spend
An evening together.







Jugalbandi

Slippery touch on the wing
The misrab dancing on the navel
Possessed and dancing to the sitar
While filling the emptiness inside
With the slippery sound
Of the desert snake
The whistle of the jungle bamboo
Cries of lightning
The hua hua of the wolves
And when the elephants
Crossing through the thick forest
Rubbing their bodies
And buffaloes are fighting with their horns
Suddenly a stream of sound came up
The force of the stream
Is collected and tightened
On the face of a tabla
While calling whole jungles to arms
Passers-by crossing the sounds
And walking in the vilambit
Running on the drut
Tapping on the toda
And clinking the jhala
The air comes and stands
A little below
And the skies start
Peeping down
Who does not need
The forest happiness to fill
The long emptiness
Who does not want to fill
That unfilled emptiness?







No need

No need
for the palms
to press against each other

No need
for the black spot on the lips
to be crushed

No need
for the embroidered body
to blossom forth

Not less than anything else
is the gentle warmth
of small talk.







The father of a sick daughter

A father
with the feverish body
of his daughter
seated on the bed
smelling of vomit
prays
that her dry lips
may blossom a bit
that her dried eyes
may shine a little
that her naughtiness
may dance like
the sound
of anklets

This moment
he is not counting
the dowry to be given
not thinking of
her education or her job
he does not remember
even the thorny boundaries
made by society

He was doubtful
if the sun would rise
after the dark night

The father of the sick daughter
started getting warm
like the sun.







The frames of pictures...

I always wish to
Fix myself
Inside the frames of pictures,
To become friends with
The walls.

I place myself into a
Picture from the eighteenth century.
Now I have only two colors
And one pose
But no butterflies on the flowers of
My blouse.

I walk way ahead of my time
Reaching into a twentieth century frame;
All of a sudden so many colors start jumping to me
That my first colors fade.

I don’t think that I can be a friend to the walls,
They only cross my ways.

Pictures, please wait,
Your frames are smaller than my height.

Give me a time table
Without my own time there.

Then give me a time table
In which only my time exists.

I will drink both time tables
Like a Mango shake.

My time will be inside me
And I will be out of it.







Today

Today I woke up late,
Ignored the cup of tea,
Started reading an unknown Lithuanian poet.
His poems were open, like cattle
And my words started filling the spaces between them.

Today I ignored the unclean utensils in the sink,
Did not bother to fold the washed cloths.
I turned on the TV, changed the channels
And let my room fill with many voices.

Words took flight from my fingertips,
Fingers on the keyboard
When a poem took birth on my computer.
The time was wandering around me
Like my tame dog.







Mountain Nights

Last night
there was a dream
And
In the dream – You

You
You
And

Only you
Where was I?

**

Before your arrival
I knew some names
Mountain, river, lake, waterfall

You introduced me to
Tents of snow camping on the mountains
Storms rising in the rivers
The tiniest waves of a lake
Singing waterfalls

And

to myself

But it was you I wanted to be friends with!

***

Last night
Earthworms lost their way
and crept into snake pits.
Finding no room, snakes
created a stir in the sea.
No, no,
Nothing happened to the fish.
They stayed in the sea,
And as if looking for - for what -
almost forgetting to swim.

No one called the gargling earth.
Neither the sky
Nor the sea.

I stayed up last night
on the tree.

****

Last night
the sky was so close
that I could cover myself.
The mountain too, sat,
smoking.
The sea kept
caressing my feet.
Only I was not there,
Maybe I was roaming
with wild animals.

******

They say
his nights are like mountains.
Mine was like
sluggish water.
Yet
The night stayed awake
in my eyes.




Dr. Rati Saxena, C.P. Aboobacker, Sree Parvathy: three
editors from Kerala.





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