Thursday, 31 December 2020


by Shikhandin

The season slides off your shoulder. A tidy pile
of days. A folded-up-laundry list
of things-you-could-have-done-but-didn’t.
May’s sun veils the plumes of a sly fever
roaming the deserted streets of your city. Five times
a day the Muezzin calls to the faithful. Each time
you lift up your head to see the muted
hours of unreconciled sorrow flow past…

Soon this year too, will close like a protracted

sigh. Disappear like the legendary
Saraswati, and join the underground
aquifer of time. Swiftly,
like spilled water in summer, this age
will evaporate. Scattering your imprints
like fossilized small creatures.

Wish them well, before your heart takes

a turn. A sickled figure looms at the river’s bend,
lengthier than a late afternoon shadow. Watching
life drip like dew from a bent blade
of grass. Heed
the misty waters into which your shrouded feet
will eventually dip. Your soul fluttering
frantically for anchor. And, the boat ready
to row you gently down the stream

Empty your heart, now that humanity is slipping

off all needless raiment. And, desire is pure,
seeking nothing more than an
Earth of abundant joy.
Life may recede, but the season
of giving remains, as clear as a mountain
brook. Life’s flume, slaking the seekers.

* * * * *

Shikhandin is the pen name of an Indian writer who writes for both adults and children. Her published books as Shikhandin, include Immoderate Men (Speaking Tiger Books) and Vibhuti Cat (Duckbill-Penguin-RHI). Prior to that a novel and a short story fiction were published. Impetuous Women is forthcoming from Penguin-RHI. Her poetry and prose have won numerous awards in India and abroad. She has been nominated twice for Pushcart. Her work has been widely published nationally and internationally, in print and online journals and anthologies. Details at


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