Wednesday, July 1, 2020



The Hardened Edifice

Decades ago a towering edifice
stood formidable to defy
posing a haven of refuge
a shelter in times of a deluge,
comforting many a tormented soul
with her calloused fingers,
leaning against her frail facade.

As time lapsed, her frame grew weak
within weeks froze her physique.
Bereft of love is she now
a receptacle of hatred and envy,
Absorbing tears and pain
concealing its source but lo! it stems again
cloistering poverty and shame.

Menacingly, they peer at her now,
cowering their listless frame
beckoning for help
as veiled, hooded glances
pierce through her crabbed heart.
They glower at crevices that now deceive.
she isn’t whom they first did blindly believe.

A forbidding air her edifice shatters
bludgeoning sinister doctrines at her
tattooing treachery on her breast.
She squirms and quivers,
echoing their lies.
They splatter blood on her being
now wasted and defiled.

A deeper crack penetrates
her barrier disintegrates
communities, religions and races.
Yet what plagues her soul?
Nothing affects it anymore.
neither death nor shame,
she is but a damned name.


I perpetually revel in my spectrum
as I flit between real and virtual,
a dichotomy or a puzzle harboring no complaints.
I dribble my ink between both worlds
ecstatically, never menacled in chains.

My virtual playground once evoked the curiosity
of an experienced habitue, (I won’t disclose his identity)
His game was to lure,
with an intent impure.

He donned numerous hats, mostly fake
stringing pearls of words in necklaces,
that luminously dazzled
often blurring my vision,
haunting me in moments of hypnagogia
as I’d vapourise them into recesses of my delusions.

Time zones played truant by happenstance
transmitting thoughts into swirls of contrivance.
Buttercup mornings flooded aconite nights
until rumours penetrated layers of noxious air
skimming through my perplexed ears in despair
like wind humming a dirge on blades of grass.
The smile he wore split my world into shards.

Each smile gaped at me,
laughing at my vulnerability.

My ink obliterated copyrights,
slithering into hungry, borrowed palms
coarse hands of impropriety
like a reckless river flowing into an expanse of sea.

The sea had no fault
just a gleam that enticed frangibility
without coercion or persuasion,
My blue blood dripped through tears
dissolving them into acrimony.

I was a queen bereft of her castle.

The wind moaned and howled,
circling tufts of ominous clouds.
Somewhere, an owl hooted in consonance
while ink was sealed in a borrowed diaphragm
to be split into worlds that wore another  name.
The button that sealed our friendship
now fanned deceit
its forked tongues rolled,
dancing flames on a carcass of words
reeking of raw blood and charcoal.

No words exchanged nor flowers anymore.

It was not my fault.
I grappled for my spectrum
All that made me stone, cauterized
till fresh ink splashed once more

It was a red letter day for me
For I now discovered my vulnerability
Never letting pieces of my puzzle
fly away into virtual spaces of nihilty.

The Last Leaf

As I unfurl my life into leaves,
Some lie in empty spaces
glazed, luminous and untrodden
cleaving to shoots
rooted firmly to the earth
They await the onset of another season.

Certain days of spring
bathe them with dewdrops,
melting away sorrows
caressing them with honeyed nectar
from the bosom of flowers
as colourful butterflies flit by,
kissing them blissfully
promising undying love.

Soon it is summer
leaves grow and mature,
canopying earth from the scorching sun
that scalds the pores of their skin
sucking out their sap.

Vagrant autumn rages its fury
Billowing them in gusts of wind
as they curtsey to her whims
sweeping them into a whirlpool
of decayed nothingness.

Cruel winter’s thief
impales them into shreds
scarring them with a blighted future
that can never be salvaged.
Its claws tear open rotten bits
devouring the withered torso
still breathing with life

until the last page is turned
and death stares in the face.


VANDITA DHARNI is an acclaimed poet and scholar who topped the University of Allahabad. Thereafter, she earned a Ph.D.  degree. Her articles, poems and stories have been published in journals like Criterion, Ruminations, GNOSIS, Hell Bound Publishing House and International magazines like Immagine and Poessia, Synchronised Chaos and Guido Gozzano. She has also published three anthologies of poetry. She is the proud recipient of the Poetic Galaxy Award 2018 conferred by the Literati Cosmos Society. the World Poetic Star Award 2019 and Star Ambassador of World Literature 2019.

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