Poetry: Mini Babu

YOU HAVE TO GO AND SLEEP

near a sea and take heed to its snores

by nights, what giant breathes it has,

yet you require to jam all sounds,

to take heed to this giant of life.

 

I have forever been tamed at silence,

to listen to faint knocks, to take heed

to footsteps at several phases in life.

I have been tamed at listening to my

lover’s strides, time – past midnights,

by sleeping on makeshift cots,

stranded by door, in case I fail,

to perceive his gentle knocks

amidst the noise of life within.

 

Try being wakeful in your bed

at night combating sleep and

recreate the game of detecting

vehicles that go past, by their sounds

and speeds, I have endeavoured

many a time on sleepless nights,

and you will not know how

nights dawn to days,

detecting vehicles’ speed and

halt and the point at which

one may halt outside your heart.

***

 

NOWHERE

If you sight me ride a bus bound

to, “nowhere” quit demanding where

and why, for this is what I desired to do

for an agelong time . . .

to get on a bus, sparsely filled,

occupy a window seat, drop my

gaze from somewhere to nowhere

and ride and ride half a day to

alight at a “nowhere” halt,

stretch my limbs as if

walking out of a dream,

have a coffee, snack a bit,

develop a knowing acquaintance

with the driver and conductor,

they, like me, were glad to

pass a day to nowhere

and then get on the same bus,

for a return ride for the rest half

of the day . . .

 

And if you catch sight of me

in the middle of a ride,

I may not retort

your knowing glance for,

I am returning from nowhere,

washed off of all memory cells.

***

 

Mini Babu is working as Associate Professor of English with the Dept. of Collegiate Education, Govt. of Kerala and now working at BJM Govt. College, Chavara, Kollam. Her poems have featured in anthologies, journals and magazines. Her debut collection of poems is Kaleidoscope (2020).

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