Thursday, 16 December 2021


by Shikhandin

At midnight I saw the clouds march
across the sky. Saturn, Jupiter and our moon
hid their angles and their light. Your spirit descended,
a fluff of life upon my shoulder.
Warm rain bent the perimeter of palm fronds
on the lawn. Clung to the rose’s thorn. An insomniac koel
broke into song. Then, softly, softly the clouds
drew apart. As if lanced by that bird’s voice. Your spirit
winked with the icy light of unreachable constellations.

Love’s longing, and longing’s agony are seeded by hope.

One morning when I walked
on a path newly turned for planting, tender invertebrates
began to fold and unfold at my feet.
The shy breeze caressed my cheek
in passing, and brought news from a far and unseen orchard.
The sun scattered his coins of gold. I saw you then,
come riding on one as it rolled
down the sequined walls of morning’s air.
Birdsong swelled to the firmament’s edge,
as fine as a mist of French perfume.
The falling leaves were kisses blown at me. And you
were there in between, a charade in a dream.

Love’s longing, and longing’s agony are seeded by hope.

When at last dusk swept away
the day’s leftover light into the void’s rim,
I went about lighting the lamps on my patio. Paper
lanterns swung from my eaves. The branches
of the sole Frangipani tree in my garden lit up with blossoms,
reminding me of fallen stars sending out their dying light.
A sleepy bird nesting in the crook of a branch dropped
a half-song into the grass where it seemed to linger
for a milli-second more, before a cricket took it up. The night then fell
in sheaves of mystic brume, and the ordinary objects
of daylight became vaporous silhouettes. My heart burned
for there seemed to me a promise forming from that
clairvoyant sight. Or perhaps it was my folly,
for presuming to see your shape wavering at the door.

Love’s longing, and longing’s agony are seeded by hope.

* * * * *

"Hope Springs Like Grass from Ashes" is from Shikhandin’s poetry collection After Grief published by Red River, India, August 2021.

Shikhandin is the pen name of an Indian writer who writes for adults and children. Her published books include After Grief – Poems (Red River India), Impetuous Women (Penguin-Random House India), Immoderate Men (Speaking Tiger), and Vibhuti Cat (Duckbill-Penguin-Random House India). She has won various awards and honours, and her prose and poetry have been published worldwide. 
Amazon Page: 

No comments:

Post a Comment