Anju Kishore, INDIA

WOMAN  OF SUBSTANCE

Like the dawn you descended
With the sun in your eyes,
Escorted by departing moonbeams
That set up a welcome birdsong
In the background of an early breeze.

You arrived like the summer rains
On an exhausted, expectant earth
To draw from her thorny, stony chest
The hidden, tender sprouts of green
And release the nectar from her breast.

You have raged red like forest fires
And flowed fearlessly like silvery streams.
Standing steadfast like mighty mountains
You have kept cold-hearted miseries in check
And fixed a stern eye on trespassing intentions.

You are the sky that smiles demurely through a starry veil
When the night tiptoes in to make you his bride
Tossing another cog into the wheel of time
To the rhythmic rumble of which dances life,
Life that seeds, bleeds, screams, to arrive.

Also the earth and water, fire and air
The womb, the blood, the heart, the breath.
Every noun there is, is you and none else.
Verbs and adjectives scatter at your doorstep
Like flowers at the feet of the resplendent goddess.

Rise and burn the binds of biased rules and barbed words
That bid to belittle and blight your flight beyond the skies.
Raise yourself to be unfettered of mind, beautiful of soul.
For it is you who will one day soon shape the world
A world now wrecked by men and swallowed whole.


WARRIOR WOMAN

You have hidden storms in your eyes 
While quakes have shuddered in your chest.
You have carried such gales in your breath
Under the pretence of breathing
And hushed that which shattered
Like glass behind your lips.

The world squatted on your shoulders
Clasping and turning your head
This way and that so all you saw
Were harried lights and hurried blurs.

It slapped your ears repeatedly
So what you heard was something
Like a desert wind chopped to pieces
And flung into the frenzy of a city.

The silent scream and the breath
Had consoled each other.
The ears and eyes had made peace,
With what had gone unheard, unseen.

The world slithered down your spine
Sending shivers through your cells.
It gripped, vice-like the elbows and knees
Making moving and living debatable things.

They have names for such and other afflictions
That are triggered when the world
Free that it is, clambers all over you.
And then they market therapies and happiness too!

But you have learnt to rein in the unbridled world
And reclaim yourself from its hooves,
Release the shatters and the screams
To regain the space for your dreams.

Daring to redefine dogmatic definitions
You tore down the walls and burst through the ceiling
Of your pigeonhole that confined you to suit society,
A society that makes, breaks or reshapes everything to its fancy.

You set your sight right on what it was you wanted,
Grabbed the reins, swung the whip, spurred the stallion forward.
You regretted not your daring, doubted not your purpose.
The horizon was far, the path hot and arduous
But you leapt across the chasms, raising dust with your speed
And arrived with the flourish of a victorious warrior on his steed.


AN EVENING RAIN

She came to meet me
Like an old friend
Flying over the rooftops
To drizzle on my face.

I stood there with my fingers
Outstretched, soaking in her sprinkle
And listening to her whispers
For she had a lot to say.

A wicked wind had pursued her
Aided by the sun that shone
Through some fickle clouds
To scatter her and scare her away.

I looked away to hide a smile
For she showered petulantly
On my window, wetting the curtains
With her indignant spray.

She drummed on my roof
As if to catch my eye again.
I saw her stomping towards the trees
That had dared to snigger at her rage.

I would want her to calm down
And murmur some more to me
Of the world beyond my window
And the many goings on there.

But the sky now looks subdued
The wind is vanquished too.
The world has stopped in its tracks
While she poured, steady and brave.

I turn away from my window
For she is no more just a friend.
Like the free spirit of a fearless woman,
She is the liberating evening rain.


Anju Kishore, a Cost Accountant by profession and a homemaker by choice, turned into a poet, seeing the startling images of the Syrian civil war. Horror and anguish at the death, destruction and the plight of innocent children caught in the crossfire between warring adults formed the subject of her early poems. Soaking in the challenges and pleasures of moving across countries, she traced her poetic journey from war to the love of the universe in her first book of poetry '...and I Stop to Listen’ that was published in April 2018. One of the winners of the Great Indian Poetry Award 2018, her poems have been featured in a foreign magazine, adapted into a theatrical performance and are part of e-zines and upcoming anthologies.

1 comment :

  1. The personification of the evening rain as an old friend is too beautiful.

    ReplyDelete

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