Amrita Sharma's Poems
The Colour White
Do you know there are several shades of the colour white?
They surround me and you in countless hues, tinged and tarnished,
They elapse in flowing minuscule that stretch around the thresholds of the colour spectrum.
There is white in the first drop every mother fed the new born,
With a yellow tinge that slowly fades away, and perhaps, turns invisible as they age.
There is white in the rice puffs whose polished surfaces, sealed in an expensive packaging,
carefully conceal the brown of the soil.
There is white in the hybrid Rose of York,
no longer a wonder amidst the genetically engineered ,
human grown variants that sell at a higher price.
There is a shade of white in every building I visit, at times however,
they gather men, to pray, to process, to purchase,
to procure the dying as he breathes his last.
I never visited a building devoid of the white.
I see white in the melancholic men that wrap the dead and conceal the black that the unknown death holds.
There is white that conceals the dead from the world,
It draws a veil for the countless grief the men hold.
I often see people abandon the colour white as they turn fearful,
Frantically attempting to colour each part of the pictures they drew,
For the colour white has proved to be the most frivolous one.
Perhaps, we learnt it from Zeus who turns white clouds to grey at his will.
I was born in a culture that forbids the colour white for the brides,
But over time I learnt to appreciate the Chinese bridal gowns,
For me, the colour white represents my outgrowth,
An alienation that I hypocritically endorse.
I know Luna watches us all perplexed each night,
weary, as I say each time, I love
the colour white.
I hear people talking of death these days,
Uncertain of the corrections that they need to carve,
In patterns of grief that our cultures hold and sustain.
I see people writing of death,
As they flip through the life cycles of the living,
Reduced to the philosophical churnings of the ones who escaped,
Confined to our own interpretation and linkages,
That we impose and superimpose upon the unknown.
I hear people saying that last year was unforeseen,
It taught us new words, new trials, new losses,
Irreversible ones that shall never heel.
I often read Donne these days, the metaphysical presence
Now turns to a lure of the unseen.
I feel at a loss to find words for my fears,
As each callous musing turns to a dreadful end,
I retire and turn each thought to a question—
do you too check the worldometers each morning?
A Paint Brush
When was the last time you dipped your fingers,
In a moist soil that drenches your skin,
Turning it to an paint brush with living chords.
As you look through the patterns that cut across the sand particles,
And are drawn to the memories that you have been trying to let go,
You begin to count them upon your brown fingers.
Each time you touch the concrete wall beside which you stand,
You leave marks and patterns of the moist soil,
Creating more memories each time you think of the ones you had.
The canvas obliterates each time I begin to paint,
It already has marks that resemble the dried up soil,
What once bore life has now turned to a monochrome brush.