Dr. Santosh Bakaya, INDIA

Exclusive: Best of Women Poetry: Edited by Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

I walk in beauty, blooming unfettered,
basking in my femininity; glowing,
flowing freely.  I often slow down,
frowning at the world’s entrenched prejudices.
But, fragility, my name definitely is not.

Yes, I often burst a fuse, am pathetically confused,
amused at myself as I froth and fume,
but at work, can be a hard task master,
blasting slothful workers and pathetic shirkers,
perking up at the sight of a kite flying, untethered 
But, fragility, my name definitely is not.

In my femininity, I revel, although bedeviled by pitfalls,
I walk with a well- earned swagger; often stagger,
bogged by diffidence, cocking a snook at stereotypes.
When I totter on stilettoes, I do not panic,
but goad myself onwards on the potholed road
gaining a surefootedness; weaknesses I have many,
but, fragility, my name definitely is not.

In the kitchen, I love to cook up a storm and also some stew.
I am not a damsel in distress, but, believe me, I need my man too.
Many a time, I melt into a puddle of untrammeled warmth,
clinging to my inherent tactility, I shine like a star. 
Nothing bizarre, but I revel in my power.
 The power of a woman! The exceptional woman.

Dr. Santosh Bakaya, an academician,  poet, novelist, essayist, creative writing mentor, editor and a Ted Speaker,  is the  recipient of several awards and accolades notably: the Reuel International Award (2014), The Setu Award (2018) for “a stellar contribution to world literature” and the  First Keshav Malik Award (2019). Her critically acclaimed published works include her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Ballad of Bapu’, ‘Songs of Belligerence’ (poetry) and ‘Only in Darkness can you see the Stars’ (a biography of Martin Luther King Jr.). Besides having compiled and edited several poetry anthologies, she runs an immensely popular column, “Morning Meanderings” in Learning and Creativity.com.

Best of Women Poetry -2020 :: Setu, March 2020

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