Poetry: Ajanta Paul

Ajanta Paul
1. That Day 

And slate grey was the sky
That day
While the storm was on its way.
It looked down upon
A world caught in the sway
Of a slow torpor,
Waiting for the tornado
To shake it to its core.

The river was swollen,
Ashen and sullen
A surreptitious undertow
Slowing its leaden flow
With the weight of unshed tears,
As the cyclone nears
In the pale afternoon lull 
Before the deluge full.

Fisherfolk were duly warned
Not to venture out in their crafts.
Headlines screamed, and through the shafts
Sirens shattered the eerie silence,
Gusting winds brought raindrops fat
That splattered against window panes,
Stinging pellets auguring the force
That was to follow in due course.

We inhabited the gunmetal grey
Of a smoky 'about to be',
Windows boarded up, hopes evacuated,
Essential rations stored,
Stumbling between updates
Of storm alerts and fresh advisories
In a metamorphosing meteorology
Of deviating velocities.

And slate grey was the sky
That day
As the winds shifted their trajectory
From their foretold arc of ravage
In an ironic geometry of change
That strangely exonerated us
For neither you nor I
Was caught in the storm's fierce eye.

2. Hopscotch

She played hopscotch
on the chequered courtyard
of her childhood home,

her ribboned plaits swinging,
hopes winging…
as she concentrated on winning

through the squares
on the grid of life.

At the end of the game
she found herself alone,
the playmates all gone

dispersed in a dusk
without a name
that descended and spread

like a blur of watercolor
on the page of the evening.

Where were they?
they were done
with work and play

and had gone
their own way
along paths that branched

and forked and danced
through an alien highway.

In a light that fell differently
like pinpoints of pixellation
in the pollen dusty plangency

of a planet in some other galaxy,
light years away
from the pull and sway

of the nefarious negotiations
of childhood play.

3.     Returning

I let the twittering dusk
Into the echoing corridors
Of my life.
It smelt of jasmine
Rain and language
In loitering lanes
As it flowed through my veins
In silting, slitting
 Rivers of blood
Rendezvousing with pain
In the dark flutter of birds
 Returning home
Through a sluggish estuary
Towards a silent sea.

Ajanta Paul is an academician, administrator, critic, poet and author, currently Principal & Professor at Women’s Christian College, Kolkata, India. She published The Elixir Maker and Other Stories in 2019.

1 comment :

  1. You are a brilliant writer! Your images are unmatched in their sensitivity and vivacity. Keep writing please!


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