Poems by Sukrita Paul Kumar

Sukrita Paul Kumar

The Chinese Cemetery

The smile in the photograph
Is no reflection of what lies
In the dark hollow of the tunnels
Behind cement squares in rows,
Each, one-by- one in size
Marked by dates, picture and name
Of a tiny flash
A dot of life in the universe

Ashes in urns
Ancestors as concepts
In treasure vaults
Wrapped in rituals
Recycling memory
year after year

For the snow to melt
And the river to flow

Bones crackling
In sacred pyre,

The funeral
In The World of Suzie Wong
Consumed the baby,
and then, lapped up
-the letter of introduction-
“To whom-so- ever it may concern”,

Flames are messengers
Carrying the known
To the unknown

Life to afterlife

Avenue of Stars

Hanging stars
Suspended in dusk
Stars below
under the feet,

Stars over the head,

Stars wandering away
From lovers’ eyes,
Slipping out of children’s dreams

Ocean waves
Splashing ripples of colour
Over innocent wonder pulled out
of nursery rhymes

Chinese wrinkles
Giggling and breaking into
shimmering creaks
And vales twinkling

The old woman tearing her hair
squealing in Cantonese glee

clearing cobwebs of silence
that mask multitudes

amidst the din of stars.