Poetry: Bashabi Fraser

Bashabi Fraser
The Blooming Lotus

 

Like many hands folded

In meditative prayer

The lotus stands in peaceful

Silence, restful on its ample

Leaf, the waters below

Tranquil and reflective.

Then imperceptibly each

Petal unfurls, one by one

In unhurried, purposeful

Choreographed agreement

Revealing the inner core

A sublime beauty, the

Irresistible dedication of

Utter surrender to truth.

***

 

Swinging High: in Kensington Gardens

Part I

 

The sky bent down to touch me

Each time I swung over the bar

I could close my eyes and still see

The tree tops and knew that the

Flowers would be there when I swished back

To their butterfly intensity, hugging the green.

 

It was a game we played, daring one

Another to swing higher and higher

And then parachuting down in one fell

Swoop of effortless touchdown.

 

I saw her before she saw me

My mother resplendent in her sari

As she walked towards the trapeze

Artists. I flew over the bar, caught a

Glimpse of the tree line and then jumped

In ecstasy. My dress swirled like a cancan

Dancer's. I landed on my running feet

And flew into my mother's sweet embrace.

I could feel her soft heart thudding

As she gathered me in her ample arms

Whispering urgently, 'promise me you will never jump

Like that again!' I was startled by the request

But nodded and kept my word.

 ***

 

My Trapeze Artist: in Kensington Gardens 

Part II

 

My friend had dropped in with her

Twin daughters who tore through

The house looking for their playmate.

I knew where she was and walked

To Kensington Gardens to bring her

Home. She was swinging dangerously

Above the bar, pretending to be

The star swinger of skydom.

She saw me and flew off her seat -

Her pink dress ballooning up like

A floating umbrella lost in a Norwester.

My shriek froze. She landed on her agile

Feet and ran to me, oblivious of my

Relief to see her moving and unbroken.

***

 

Bashabi Fraser, CBE is an award winning poet, children’s writer, editor and academic. She is the recipient of a CBE (2021 New Year Honours) for Education, Culture and Integration and declared Outstanding Woman of Scotland by Saltire Society in 2015. Bashabi has authored and edited 22 books, published several articles and chapters, both academic and creative and as a poet, has been widely anthologised. Her recent publications include Patient Dignity (2021, in press), Rabindranath Tagore, a critical biography (2019), The Ramayana, A Stage Play and a Screen Play (2019).

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