Vijay Nair: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Vijay Nair has retired as an Associate Professor of English. He was awarded the Reuel International Prize for Writing & Literature in the year 2016. He was the ‘Critic of the Year’ in 2016, 2017 & 2018 at Destiny Poets, UK and was also adjudged the ‘Poet of the Year’ in 2018 by the same poetry group. Three of his poems have been included in the PG syllabus of BBMK University, Dhanbad. 

A Poem and Her Poet

How long does a poem wait for her poet
To catch up with her? She has landscapes
To capture, and a procession

Of protestors to click, and others to touch,
While he scratches his head searching for
Lice, and images to satisfy her body and soul - - 

How long does a poem wait for her poet
Before she grows impatient with his worthless wooing
And decides to pack her bags and go?

And as she waves goodbye and blows kisses
The train of his thoughts
Disappears into the last tunnel - - 

How long does the poet wait for another poem
To smile and make a pass at him
Standing, empty-handed, on a crowded platform?

The Hall: 2022

Our poems follow us faithfully
Like bruised and battered bodyguards
With the warmth of images waking up our childhood - -

In the mist, words linger with your breath
And as you sway into the crowded hall
I hear gasps - -

You read your verses, promiscuous and free
In an orgy of adjectives and applause:
I blew your trumpet from time to time - -

But still you are restless, my love
Like in those days of anxious lockdown
Seeking to retrieve the missing pages of a lost year

We know there is always a pause
Before the living, lie
But the dead raise no dust. 

Summer of ‘79

Your waste-paper basket holds a collection
Of wrinkled and smudged
Letters of the alphabet - -

With every fresh attempt
Less spontaneous than the first
Your calligraphy improves

And words grow into verses
Beautiful yet shallow:
The scent of passion disappears

With each new quest
For the right word in the right place - -
You say you can read her mind

Like the back of your sweaty hand
And that all your life you have walked the talk - -
Days wait for us to fill them:

She waits to read the scribblings of your heart.

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