Monday, October 1, 2018




The fragrance was overpowering
Gunpowder blending artfully with incense from the Mazaar (grave)

An air of desolation hanging like teardrops on a rag-picker's grimy cheeks

Vultures playing dead -dead on the biting winds up high
Kissing the azure with blank stares
Wooden, beady eyes ajar

The guns belched and broke wind
Traumatizing and terrorizing
The toddler with his hands on his ears

War was the evil witch that would take away his sisters
War was the elephant's foot that would trample his toy car
War was the step mom that snatched away his bowl of gruel

The piteous sound of muffled sobs shook the hut
Rain splattered through the torn canvas roof
As his best friend's head was blown off
Making a bloody pattern on the ground

Bees buzzed around delightedly and the world went about its business as usual
The rickety clock groaned out the time
War bared its fangs and smiled its sinister smile.
Copyright Lily Swarn 20.10.2017


Love hope betrayal
Betrayal is an anguished word
It reeks of rancid emotions and dead feelings
It's an abomination on the pure alpine grove of love
A vanquished prince
A cowardly warrior
A wayward son
Betrayal is the scar that no tears can wash
It's Lady Macbeth's little hand that could never be clean again
It is hot with the fresh blood on Caesar's heart
Yelping in pain at Brutus' unkind cut
Betrayal bangs its battered skull on Iago's chest
Betrayal beats its breast

Hope is the cactus flower that blooms unseen and un serenaded in the desert sand
Hope hides in the last corner of your throbbing heart
Singing songs like "we shall overcome one day "
Hope is the lone Koel that calls for it’s mate on the blossoming mango branch
Hope is the questioning look on your mother's face when you come home from your
first assignment
Hope hums melodies

Love is lonesome
It crawls into crevices of longing
And waits for the sound of music
Love lets itself go to hell in return for
A taste of heaven
Love shimmers on your beauteous visage
Inebriated with the incense of divinity
Love is the intense yearning in umpteen dreams of lyrical laments
Love is life.
Copyright Lily Swarn 15.4.2017


I think the tree that I gaze at
From my kitchen window each morning
Is perhaps my closest confidante
It sees my slumber dazed eyes
Open up languorously to clasp
The first glass of water for the day
I smile indulgently at its seductive blooms
Perking up my mundane existence with
Their brash brilliance
The green is comforting
Mossy and cool like the stream that flowed in the quaint red roofed village in the hills
The long brown pods that are its fruit
Dangle deliriously in the scorching breeze
I wish I could shin up its inviting branches as I did
On the mango tree in my mother's house
Surreptitiously peeping into the neighbour's garden

Girlhood is far behind
My knees might creak in protest
I am sure I will get breathless
Besides its not the same tree
This Gulmohar is my friend
It knows me by name
It hears my heartbeats
It tells me tales!
Of loves long lost
Of promises unkept
Of lives unloved
Of buds that wilted before
They could blossom!
It bids me goodnight
At unearthly hours
How comforting is its
constant presence in a world
Of make believe!
Copyright Lily Swarn 23.5.2016


Kamal, Neeraj, Pankaj, Saroj, Jalaj
With your puffed lotus seeds the Phool makhaane
Your delicious stem the kamal kakdi
Loved by Kashmir as Nadru
You exotic flower rising above the lakes and ponds
Beauteous as a divine painting
Symbol of feminine beauty
The eyes like kamal nayan
Bewitching all who gaze enraptured

O ye Seshen of ancient Egypt
Symbolic of Sun and rebirth
Blossoming as the sun rises and closing at dusk
Aren’t you the magical lotus that can be transformed from a dead man
Charmed with spells and resurrected?
The blue lotus in hieroglyphics with papyrus
Priest Nebsini with the flower

Rising above the muddy waters of desires and attachments
Symbolic of spiritual enlightenment, O Padma
From darkness to wisdom
With your roots in slush and filth
You are the Buddhist's icon
Head held high
Pure and undefiled in the sun
Most exalted state of humans

Visualize within yourself a lotus
Centered right within your heart say the Hindu scriptures
Prajapati, from the divine cosmic waters
Evolved a thousand -petalled golden lotus
A doorway of the womb of the universe
The Cosmic lotus, first product of the creative principle

A fully blossomed pink lotus
The seat of Goddess Lakshmi of wealth and fortune
Who holds a lotus in her right hand
Mahabharata narrates the origin of Lakhshmi
From a lotus growing in the forehead of Lord Vishnu
A garland of 108 lotus seeds used to worship the deity

White Lotus is for goddess of wisdom Saraswati
A garland of lotus by Varuna for adorning goddess of Power, Durga
Legend has Lotus arising from the Navel of lord Vishnu
With Brahma the creator in its centre

Do you want to reach the highest levels of consciousness?
Sit in padmasana, the lotus position
Find it in the thousand petalled lotus Chakra on the top of your head

Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita
As lotus flower and leaf remaining dry despite living in miry waters
Smutty swamps of ignorance cannot touch this symbol of purity and enlightenment

Earliest reference in Rig Veda
Padma pink lotus, Kamala red,
Pundarika white lotus, Utpala blue
The star of Sanskrit, Hindu scriptures
Perform Dharma without attachment o Ye folks

Dragged by Odysseus
to the ship, the wailing lotus eaters
Inebriated by the flowers and seeds of the lotus
You hypnotize me o Lotus!
Copyright Lily Swarn 15.1.2018


Hail Aphrodite
Alluring Venus of April
Bunches of cherry blossoms
Secretly shielding sensational sensuality
Hypnotism  oozing from your
Voluptuous curves
Married off to Hephaestus
Myrtle, doves,
Horses and swans you adore
Pleasure and procreation follow in your wake
You beloved of Adonis

The hills are alive to the music of the daisies
Fields of dancing poppies, scarlet red,
Dot the creamy butter cup yellow of the narcissus
Moss green meadows whisper to the winds
Their ardent desires to capture Spring
And never let it go!
The sweet pea embraces the tall grass in a vice like grip
Darting furtive glances like a suspicious wife
The trees sprout tender tendrils of lemon green
Satiny leaves open their hearts like ardent lovers
Waiting for the blissful April showers!

The corn flower blue of the yearning sky beckons a darting sea gull
She swoops down to kiss the foam
Of the gushing seductive ocean
Flamingoes preen and strut around
Parading their flamboyant attire
Woodpeckers knock perseveringly
For Spring's treasure trove to open
Come Aphrodite with your magnetic
Powers of attraction
Take us to realms of peace and love
Where no life however small, suffers!

Copyright 24.7.2016

LILY SWARN, poet, writer and columnist, won the Reuel International Prize for Poetry 2016 and was recognised as "Global Poet of Peace and Universal Love "by World Union of Poets .The World Institute of Peace awarded "World Icon of Peace "title in Nigeria . The administration of her city Chandigarh gave her the Icon Award .She has been decorated with a "Woman of Substance "trophy .Lily was awarded the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Award in the World Poetry Festival and the Sarojini Naidu Award for Excellence in Poetic Recitation and composition .Lily 's book of verse ,A Trellis of Ecstasy is  highly appreciated by the Chief Minister ,Punjab and by India Today .Her book Lilies of the Valley which  is a collection of essays has got rave reviews .Lily's columns in international web magazines are widely read . She writes with a poignant touch in English , Hindi , Urdu and Punjabi .Lily has been a radio show host and believes in world friendship and loves all humanity regardless of colour or creed.Her novel , The Gypsy Trail , is due for a launch any day . Lily feels that the spirit of her late son watches over her.

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