Sarala Ram Kamal (Voices Within)

Sarala Ram Kamal is a bilingual (English/Malayalam) poet/translator from Trivandrum. By profession she is a freelance graphic designer and also works as a DAISY Technology Trainer for the visually challenged. She has published a book of poems called “The Unfurling: Wordflies and other poems” and translated a book of short stories and a epic poem into Malayalam. Her poems have appeared in many national/international anthologies like The Indo-Australian anthology, The Scaling Heights etc., Amaravati Poetic Prism, Magnum Opus etc.


we have been looting the green
            from each other
we drilled the lungs
            of our own mother
we poured hot lava
            into her breast milk
we – selfish … greedy … aggressive …
divided the family

we didn’t stop there!

digged each others’ roots
            felled each other
            drown together at the end
            in the ferocious mud-river

now …
the fish wants to escape the water
the birds want to escape the sky

in such evolution
            they become machines

life escaped into oblivion
love married colourless silence

the sky is so bleak

it would have been the rising morn still
had we hadn’t painted the sun
                 pale grey

I grapple the hope with dreams
colourful, and
keep the sun rising within
 my closed eyes

a hope
the spillage
of light

again …

When I know I am in love with you …!

I never felt your absence nor doubted it
For, if you’re absent, then I am absent from myself

When my eyes yearn to see you, they burn
And paint you in everything they fall upon

I fall silent in a garrulous crowd
And waft along with a clouded head full of you

Accidentally unexpectedly if you come
I go berserk in my head and quiver

I postpone the sleep every night
To stay awake with you; a warmth beneath the skin!

I walk as if lost in a wild wood
Feel sad if someone wakes me up in between

There is joy while I search you
Day after day after day after day…

At times when you come tough and rough
I feel more joy in knowing you, anew

From my deep passion you start lilting
Across my imagination’s floor; I feel alive

When I know I am in love with you,
dear “Poetry”, I know I am alive!

Grandma’s wrath

Dark is the world, with tight lips
Even the crickets and frogs failed
Utterly to cut the iron silence
I’m the only one, and a weak moon, up
In this land of (once upon a time) kera*
(Now of rubber, pepper and cocoa)
Once the hills in the east were crowned
With green giants like teak, oak, mahogany…
With their deep and wide-spread roots upheld
The land like huge ramparts around a castle
Now rubber and spices nidificated in hearts
With uncanny promises of feast in silver plates

There used to be the young brave girls
With their water bustling down westward
To splash and bubble in the Arabian Sea
Who disobeyed grandma’s order “don’t
Go out to play in dark nights in this world”
The merchants from concrete jungles
Tricked them away; they loved the young skin
To make vanity purses to flaunt their diamonds

Grandma fumed; in her fury she opened
Her water-mouth, giant. In her fury
Houses of gold and clay, purses of diamonds –
And few old notes - all washed away.
The sun hid behind the Himalayas
Peeped in only now and then in fear
The mountains crumbled like bread loaves
Came down tumbling like Jack and Jill

Grandma is still angry, she will be, forever:
For she is a mother who lost her kids

I hear my breath, my heart beat, and feel

Her grief, for I am a mother!

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

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