Poetry: Mandakini Pachauri

Mandakini Pachauri

An Abrogation

This poem is my shadow in a box

gold rimmed black lacquer

on white damask table

set to dine twelve a sun
flooded room a crystal

chandelier reflects windows

open on rolling lawns

on distant hills trees unfold

their stirring leaves cast wide

intersecting nets of shadow

my poem hides behind

cumulus the sun draws

me indoors again

a room with shades drawn

sheets invite stain of sleep

on its meshed fibre bleached

to rest give up colour

andresistance mute

asking for nothing

a solo crow cries

its proclamation thrice

and leaves the green naked

my shadow grows weak

it grows darker and fades

it whispers send or was it end?





what is this fire

stealing below the snow

to make a point of every object

sleeping stairs downward progression

a squirrel runs across the hardened melt

to stop and scan as if on stage and go on

its been so long since I smiled at myself


no sooner than I am alone I begin

to narrate the universe as I go about
every thing I grab by the hinge

to use as little force as possible
turn and release accumulated dust


set it all up

switch the machine on
behind closed doors

old poets cock their heads

raise their sights toward the song

that begins inside my gut


so much of this is timing

I would have not stayed

back to seesnowflakes

driven in the windtiny flecks

stand still in the storm

if the window hadnt dirtied long ago.



Power as a Function of Resistance

In the breathing forest

I walk the trodden path

observant of life emergent

on all sides

a pale outline follows far

behind a white-haired woman

draws nearer and passes

I stop and wait to let her go


Rain is my sunshine

It pinpoints leaves

in the canopy of superimposition

tiny explosions drizzle

on my rain coated body

Fragrance of wild herbs I have
crushed almost every day in passing
my nostrils fill with memory

my mouth opens a ring-

necked dove coos and stops the rain

fills the gaps in gentle swells

too beautiful to stop listening
and separate from the scene


another younger woman

strides uphill behind me

a soft hello and shes gone

her eyes wide camera in hand


I linger by the candelabra

Elder flower wet and swaying

bitterness I know well
before the curative dark swell


Mandakini Pachauri is a poet, creative nonfiction writer and activist who writes in English, German and Hindi. She has recent publications in Words and Worlds magazine (PEN Austria), World Literature Today, and Berfrois Journal. She lives at the edge of the Viennese Forest and plots a new world every day.

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