Poetry: Amrita Sharma

On a plain sheet of rolling scales

Have you noticed each dawn is sliding across?
What you had held in your palm last night.
Tying it to anew daylight without your consent,
It vanishes amidst the yellow star.
Have you noticed how your face looks today?
It slightly differs from your reflection from last night.
Unmoved within your walking thoughts,
It slips you a change amidst the living clock.
Have you noticed that piece you wrote before last sunset?
Now appeals to a lesser number and smells a little stale.
The poem you composed no longer rhymes.
To your thoughts or people it holds.
Each dawn that traverses the days you breathe through,
Each new scar that appears on your face,
Each thought that you attempt to turn to a verse,
Passes by while you were yet to weigh,
Amidst those unrecorded smiles and unheard tales,
It slips by each day each night,
On a plain sheet of rolling scales.


Now with each step, she looks around
And at every turn, she stops to glance
She suspects each face,
Turns at each similar voice,
And her sight now follows each passing touch.

“Why are you being afraid of him?” they asked
“That happens with every other girl in our nation” they consoled
“He’s not following you any longer!” they affirmed
“Be brave and learn to be bold” she heard.
She found herself devoid of words,
To explain herself or each one around,
What had passed by in events or days,
With him or her and now the rest.

Each statement passed,
Each doubtful glance,
Each question asked,
Each suggestion made,
Now is a part of her memory.
It was not her fear but her failure to retort,
It was not her mistake but her inability to foresee,
It was not uncommon yet a shiver passed.

But now each time she recalls the day,
And attempts to chalk out  an alternate path,
Each conversation echoes inside her head,
She sinks within yet walks ahead.


I knew him through a photograph
One amongst those numerous faces
That you and I never touched or met.
Those photographs that gave prisms to view
The unknown ties with unforeseen trails
That altered me to a more distant self.
From one it grew to several though
Often marked with some resounding names
I still long to visit those places they hold.
But I neither look nor ever delete
Those that never carried a meaning with them
My memory fades and the conversations wear off
And with time I erase his presence in my thoughts
But, perhaps, his photograph remains.
Those coloured ones that had held a charm,
Those negatives and darks that carried his self
I shall soon delete each one I often decide
But they remain untouched and no longer suggest
Any sign of his presence or any unsettling thought
For his photographs were never enough to know him.

Bio Note: Amrita Sharma is a Lucknow based writer currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English from the University of Lucknow. Her works have previously been published in Earth, Fire, Water, Wind: An Anthology of Poems, Café Dissensus Everyday, Literary Yard, Trouvaille Review, Confluence: South Asian Perspectives, Women’s Web, Borderless, , Tell Me Your Story, Muse India, Rhetorica Quarterly, , New Academia, GNOSIS, Dialogue, The Criterion, Episteme and Ashvamegh. Her area of research includes avant-garde poetics and innovative writings in the cyberspace.

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