Women Poetry: Neelam Saxena Chandra, India

Exclusive: Women Poetry: Edited by Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy
Neelam Saxena Chandra

They thought that Medusa should be killed!

The tell-tales spread that anyone who looked at her 
Would turn into a stone!
They desired that she may be buried so deep under the earth
That no one should see even her skeleton;
After all, seeing her head could still turn them into a stone!

Named as a monster, Reptiles are shown slithering on her body,
The mothers are often heard whispering to their daughters,
“Don’t become a Medusa!”

However, the need of time demands that 
All daughters should turn into Medusas,
The Reptiles would keep the amorous beings at bay,
And those who stare at them with lusty eyes 
Should indeed be turned into stones!

After all, didn’t Sterope use her head 
As a protection for the town of Tegea against attack?


The beautiful Medusa- 
Eyed by Gods and demons alike,
Didn’t give a damn to anyone
Lived life on her terms to their dislike!

In the temple of Athena,
The God of the sea was bowled over;
Taking her in his treacherous arms,
He happily impregnated her!

So enraged was Athena, 
After all, she was destined to be a virgin;
She cursed Medusa to death,
As if she was the one to commit the sin!

Medusa’s hair was transformed 
Into coils of slithering serpents,
The Gorgon was metamorphosed into a monster,
There was no one to listen to her laments!

The world hasn’t changed ever since,
Even the Medusas now have to bear the wrath
Of being beautiful, appealing or outspoken,
The wolves so many times cross their path!

Neelam Saxena Chandra has authored 5 novels, 1 novella and 8 short story collections, 32 poetry collections and 14 children’s books. She is a bilingual author, writing in English as well as Hindi. More than 1500 of her poems/stories have been published in various journals, anthologies and magazines. She holds a record with the Limca Book of Records, 2015 for being the Author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi. She has won several international and national awards. She was listed in Forbes as one of the most popular 78 authors in 2014.

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