Wednesday, July 1, 2020



The Blank Canvas

I entered life, a blank canvas

for others to paint pictures, write stories;

the pictures emerged but not my colors.

Ma layered soft muted shades of overflowing love,

Father stroked a flourishing authoritative signature

I could never come up to that measure.

Entered school blindfolded, deaf, mute, blank,

to believe and write what others thought right.

Fun, frolic, mirth and giggles

surreptitiously smuggled into classrooms,

frowning foreheads issued stern warnings.

Every scowl scotched buds of creativity,

paints and quills languished in exile

while teachers smeared my canvas with clots, scraping veins

clogged with information in fossilized brains,.

The world evaluated worth of the canvas

by the color of my skin, religion, caste, country

to be boxed with millions of similar branded cattle.

My pristine canvas besmirched with greys from war zones,

browns of laboring emaciated bodies doomed to gloom.

Juicy blood dripping gory black tid-bits served

on crispy folded white platters at breakfast, every morn

my repulsed brain revolts, dreams of pink dawn.

Clawing, crawling through mounds of debris

of immolated dreams; the albatross a forgotten nightmare,

I regress into the primal womb.

Rebirth, soar into infinite skies, alone

paint my stories, create a destiny my own.

Where interminable blue skies cloud oceans

shower satiating raindrops in white layers of purity,

nourishing lush green forests. In verdant meadows

brilliant flowers and butterflies abound

lives decked in all colors from His palette, celebrate life.

A tiny silver sliver of a baby’s first tooth sparkles

she gurgles and chortles

and two deep blue sapphires twinkle in her eyes,

the mother’s rosy cheeks blush a deeper pink of pride.

Children dare to fly high their kites of fancy

where little girls fearlessly skip and prance

women live in freedom to sing and dance.

Youth’s amorous ardor spills fiery tones of passion

red, orange, scarlet of carefree love and vivacious abandon.

I keep adding dashes by choice,

letting go of the unwanted.

Time sprinkles yellow and ochre of spirituality,

many hues of compassion, peace, freedom.

Stepping back, I see a life well-lived,

as many rainbows splash across my skies!
Copyright@ Dr. Sunil Kaushal 11/07/2019

What If
(A poem based on parts of my will)

   What if, I were to sleep tonight, forever

my dust to dust journey over

   What if, kith and kin lament for protocol's sake

devoid of feeling, fill the void with obligatory rituals,

eager to get back to grinding the millstone.

   What if, murky waters, gracefully embrace me,

along with corpses and carcasses.

  What if, discovered down the line, in crumbling albums,

now turned digital, fade out of memory.

     What if, my heart transplanted into a terrorist’s

sing to him the language of love for one and all,

or a young one whose own heart has given nothing but pain

    what if, my eyes could let a blind man see

love in the eyes of a woman, a child smile

or the sunrise when the gardens are waking up.

     What if, my bones were able to make

a crippled one walk and run or dance at his wedding.

   What if, my skin could make her whole and beautiful

whose face was melted with acid

or the one who barely escaped the pyre of dowry.

-       What if, my ears could let a young mother hear her baby

gurgle and chortle as she croons a lullaby or thrills a young one

hearing the crack of a cricket bat or sway to a symphony.

-       What if, a way was found to use every muscle, sinew, and tendon

and send a paraplegic athlete back on the field

or a differently-abled  climb the Everest.

-       What if, parts of my brain be given to those who are able to

revive my aborted poems, resurrect my stifled dreams

and pass on such DNA that can help make the world a better place.

-       What if, something remained that still needed to be burnt

then burn my faults, shortcomings, or any ill will

in thought, word and deed, I may have borne to my fellow beings.

-       What if, this will of mine was followed to the letter

would I not live forever?
@ Copyright Dr. Sunil Kaushal

Losing You

I cannot recall when this misty curtain rose between us

as the lines that separated our worlds

grew further and further apart, while we lost you bit by bit.

There never again came a time getting you back,

except in fragments when you regain yourself, even for seconds.

I hang on to the delicate thread of the moment

trying to soak up, whatever you have to give

as you slip focus again, suddenly fading into thin air.

A long time ago, it had taken you away,

you on the border, you on the brink,

on the brim, on the rim of shattered shards

at times it’s really tough seeing your vacant stare

into space where the present exists not.

You ask, “How is your Daddy?”

I say, “Mom, last year he passed away.”

“Hush child! what if he were to hear?”

And from dry eyes,

I shed many a silent tear

Today you mouth strange words and thoughts

but I pause not to correct you, no meaning it can wrought.

Since you forget to remember, I too remember to forget

as I remember for you, so you don’t have to.

Nor feel that you ask me the same question again and again

as I answer it again and again. Just as, I as a child,

asked the same questions time and again

but you tired not of giving the same answers again and again.

I am happiest when I see wonder in your eyes

for the pall on your memory has not swallowed your fine taste

as you finger and admire the rich sheen of my silk raiment;

or your favorite pastime of knitting caps for your grandchildren

while you weave love, stitch by stitch, into multi-colored skeins of  yarns

taking care not to get them entangled, unlike your nerves

which no longer can be tied into knots close enough

to stop your today slipping into your yesterdays,

for the bald patches in your brain cannot grow back lost memories,

as you lose yourself in a maze of make-believe stories.

Now that you are free

I often wonder,

if you have found something greater

and what we called Alzheimer’s was only a gateway,

perhaps to something better!
Copyright@ Dr. Sunil Kaushal


SUNIL KAUSHAL: Dr.Sunil Kaushal, gynecologist, trilingual writer also writes haiku, micro-poetry, and limericks. Published in a number of National, International anthologies and magazines, she has won many awards and competitions. Her poems have been translated into French, German, and Greek. Read her in Crumpled Voices 2, Feathers, Nature Poems, Forever a Lie, Bloodshot Eyes, Learning and Creativity, Love – A Divine Madness Vol.1&2, Episteme, Kafiyaa, On Fire Cultural Movement, Setu,  Storymirror, Kalaage, Muffled Moans, The International Multilingual Amravati Anthology,  Glomag, Quill Master, The Significant League’s Roseate Sonnets Anthology(International), Aatish 2, her memoirs Gypsy Wanderings & Random Reflections Part1, and her blog In October 2017 she was honored at the Indian World Poetree Festival with The Enchanting Muse Award(International) and Fellow of the Regal World of Scribes(FRWS), by The Pentasi B Poetree Group. She has been designated as Literary Brigadier by Story Mirror. Literoma publishers conferred on her the Woman Achievers Award for the year 2019. Her debut book of memoirs, GYPSY WANDERINGS&RANDOM REFLECTIONS recently won special category non-fiction, prize from Nissim Ltd. Awarded by The Significant League for its ‘the exquisite prose’. Currently, ‘Gypsy Wanderings Part 2’, her book of poems and translation of her brother P.S.Gill’s book from German to English, keep her busy. An accomplished actor, she has done a number of stage plays, TV, and radio programs. Having been on the Advisory Committees of National TV and All India Radio, and as the medical doctor on board, All India Radio, Jalandhar, for 30 years, she brought about a number of changes for Women and Children’s Welfare. In 1982, she was awarded ‘Best Lioness President, Asia. She has also been chairperson of a number of socially committed organizations for many years and is associated with Mother Teresa’s Home. Sketching, Yoga, meditation, Classical and Sufi music charge this 75-year-old with vitality, staying in love with life!

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