Wednesday, May 1, 2019




Fireflies that flame
To tantalize my eyes and hands,
My belljar hands cup them
Against my heart;
They burn warm red there,
Then break out through chinks in my armour;
My arms flail to gather them.
They shoot up;
A spell in the dark night sky
And turn
A stream of stars -
These letters that spell your name.

This burning red, throbbing for you
Is not my heart, you say
But just a red shoeflower
That grows along the way?
The stars I sent
Were not your name ?
My blurry-eyed love,
I know your game;
Shall I bring you sight ?
Make myself bright?

I am not all heart you know;
I shall pierce your three -strong force
With my twin rapiers of ire
And pin you so
Till you see my heart, my love,
And cry out loud
And melt in my leaping fire.


When the strong winds blew the sea into great whirlpools and sucked in scores,
You stopped eating the sea's gift.
You claimed bits of bodies lay within the gleaming fins and tails
Like beetroot in cutlets
I felt with you first; then laughed you to scorn
As the days grew drier
like you,
As the sea calmed down and
The cyclone sank back;
My laughter shriveled
And became weak.
You would not eat your favored fare
Or was it you could not ?

I did not know then
That an Ockhi was brewing in our twin sky 's grayness
Waiting to blow catastrophe
Into you and me
and our precarious We.


My mother said I was weaned with pain;
Kicked and bit and howled
For those creamy orbs I wished to gain.

How much more painfully I grew
From only child to one of two !

I watched it grow, distending,
Till I could no longer sit, reclining.

They spoke of it with bright smiles
But I could sense their wiles.

The day it came home on my mother’s breast
In the front seat, my special place,
I threw up all over my father’s face
As he held me against  his chest.

I watched it whispered to, sung to;
Songs I knew but would not sing
Saw it drink where I no longer could
Saw it kissed; that puking thing.

I was an old toy, set apart;
Invisible, sad, a little mad.;
I cried out loud in my seared heart,
“Pet me, Mama; kiss me, Dad.’
All I had lost spewed up in me:
I flung the Cerelac bowl at it
In a hatred haze
But it missed that pasty face.

Once, unseen, I tilted the pram,
Tumbled it to the ground-
There’s a big scar still
Where I tried to kill her-
My pretty little sister.

Hush! Not a word to anyone of that fall-
They’ll shut me up in Jackal Rock*
In the violent patients’ block;
And that wouldn’t do at all !

*Jackal Rock is a literal translation of the name of the place in Trivandrum where the main mental hospital is situated.


GEETHA NAIR G. is a retired professor of English from Trivandrum, Kerala. She has written poetry for a considerable time, taught it for more than three decades and loved it all her life. “Shored Fragments”, a collection of her poems came out in January this year. Another collection of short stories and poems, “Dragonflies Draw Flame’ is on the anvil.

No comments :

Post a Comment