Vinita Agrawal's Poems
|Poet, Editor, Researcher |
It was the only room Grandma had to herself
a small dark store, between the kitchen and the hall
it's air swirling with Chandan incense,
black cardamoms, whole wheat flour
and tins of ghee
ready to be carried to the community ovens
and baked into nan khatais. For me.
After she passed away,
its doors swung open to let the world in.
I peered into the spasm of that space
expecting to see another world,
instead I saw a quiet room
curling softly around her absence.
A small wooden chest
sat at the bottom of the racks
bursting with balls of wool, bits of tapestries,
and a strip of sandalwood buttons.
Buttons that had nestled
in the pestle of Grandma's hands.
that now fastened memories
to tissues of love
that popped open an ampule
of years gone by—
a crescendo of time's foliage
dew glistening on every leaf.
Like tiny medallions of her affection
nipping away the roughness of death
holding together the frayed edges
of an irrevocable parting.
Sometimes our limbs
are spun in bone lace,
our hearts held together
by a neat row of buttons
sitting in wooden chests,
waiting to be discovered,
silently linking one generation to the next.
Notes: Chandan- sandalwood, Nan khatais- a variety of biscuits
is a cardinal direction.
Opposite direction from the east.
The direction in which the sun sets.
Say it in any language
Separazione, Trennung, Judai,
the word somehow cognates
with the lone evening star.
It is the realm
of the great goddess of water,
mist and moisture.
A portal to the netherworld
the essential link with death
but not in a negative way
The prevailing winds in separation
—I call them the separlies,
are non aligned.
towards the Buddha,
has a deific personification
beyond all horizons
where all of earth,
all maps, all borders,
fall off the edges
leaving behind an empty coconut shell.
Perhaps it’s a river basin
Or a Tolkien universe.
A solar system.
or just a retrograde Venus.
Perhaps it leans towards God.
The rustling heap of leaves,
yellow and brown
discuss the greens they wore in summer
In the book—the dry leaf.
I stare at its hardened veins
reckoning years of thirst.
On the tree
leaves croon birds to sleep
the moon too lulled to a sickle by the murmur.
For every leaf that falls
a memory is pressed
into the withered bark of time.
A personal world full of freedom
and isolation to overcome the mental noise.
A medallion soap of clear light, a washcloth of betrayals
propped on the tub's edge, leaving the bare neurone of arms tingling.
An inverse view of birds, like an x-Ray
every black line telling its own story.
Silence—the broken link of duration
addressing messages of shadows and suffering.
Oppressors changing masks constantly
proving that there is no end to greed.
The Sufi ashes of human shudders
disappearing into the waning blue of our souls.