Poetry: Snigdha Agrawal

Snigdha Agrawal
Tall promises

Pregnant with promises
Sun rushed up the horizon
Anxious to give birth to a new day
Slipping out with placenta intact
Into the hands of morning awakened
Severing umbilical cord attached 
To the dark night’s folded blanket

Shrill call of the Koel 
Renting the air, reminding it’s spring
End of winter’s quietitude
Beginning of hope
Swaying hush of foilages
Cool breeze from nature’s chiller tray
Drenching minds with happiness
Thus arrives ‘Poila Baishakh’
Inbox, Face book, whatsapp 
Jammed with Seasons Greetings
Seeking attention

Tangled in the comforter 
Half asleep, reluctant to wake up
Tackle another day of loneliness
Shrill phone ring pierces the subconscious
Must be to wish “Shubho Nabobarsho”
Instead, voice at the other end
Says “Sorry to share news of his death”
Melodies of spring halt 
Screeching like a broken pin
Stuck on a gramophone record 
Voices in head hum 
“Not fair! Not fair!”
***


Living dead

You dodge security personnel
Entering into apartment complexes
Without any security clearance
Breezing in through the gates
Ringing the doorbell
Dropping your wares
Like Amazon Delivery Boys
On door foot mats
On brass knockers, door handles
And while they make a quick exit
You lurk around lobbies unseen
Camera footage has never
Been able to capture your image
Befuddling!

So what?
Have seen you metamorphose
In many avatars
Seen your wicked grimace
Seen your finger pointed at faces
Seen your gluttonous stare
Waiting to be invited in
Leaving without footfall traces

So, behind closed doors
We live, the living dead
Threatened by your evil presence
Each day, a living hell
Pondering who will you fell next
Piling souls in your chariot 
To unload in Hades
***


Crossing over

O Baishakh! When the wind blows
And buds awaken to bloom
Clouds flirt across blue skies
One minute clear, next
‘Kal Baishaki’
Raising curtains of dust storms
Then victorious sun, dazzling earth
O where have you disappeared?
Where are the varied costumes?
You wear pulled out from your drawers
To dance to the tune of “Hey Baishakh”

O Baishakh! Bring back the crowned 
Bushes of ‘Jui, Jasmine’ blossoms
Atrophied minds seek these smells
To drown the odours of burning flesh
Wafting from crematoriums
Cannonade on us hailstorms
Many decibels higher than
The wail of ambulance sirens 
Day and night heard nonstop
Someone, somewhere being ferried
Into the valley of the unknown
***


Visitation

Clouds bared their black teeth
Black as watermelon seeds
Lightning trembled beneath
Waves frothed like an epileptic
Angered by the injustice of death
Of him, barely in his forties

Trees whispered softly
Warning of a Tsunami 
Dammed emotions kicked open
Sluice gates, flooding their being
Nature acting high and mighty
Crushed souls crying pitifully 

‘Why him? Why not me?’
A mother keeps repeating
A wife keeps moaning
Innocent minds keep questioning
‘But isn’t Death meant for the aged?’
This must be play acting’

Nothing seems to fall into place.
***


April in slow motion

Slowly,
Stepped over the door mat, pressed the lift button with gloved hand.
Doors yawned open. Saw resident passengers without face masks. 
Waved them off to their death bed. Some ask for it!
          
Slowly,
Entered the balcony, dusted the chairs, sank into one, staring into 
greyness. Someone sneezed one floor above. Mind tripped, rushed
indoors. Logic no more holds place in neutered minds!

Slowly,
The wind whispered into my ears of the impending surge. Stocked up on
hand sanitizers and face masks, stitched holding within their layers,
trapped fears. Another year to deal with the virus, peeling away
sanity make up!

Slowly,
Drifting into zombie state, economical with emotions, weighed by chains
of solitude imposed by April, when it should have been the other way 
around, prancing in gaiety to the melodies of spring. Learning how to 
handle this empty time, stretching beyond the infinity!
***


BIO
Snigdha Agrawal (nee Banerjee) is Bengali born, raised in cosmopolitan environment, with exposure to the eastern and western cultures, imbibing the best of both worlds. With more than two decades experience of working in the corporate sector, her outlook on life is balanced, which reflects on her writings. She writes all genres of poetry, prose, short stories, travelogues, hotel/restaurant reviews on Tripadvisor; essentially a versatile writer. A published writer of two books of poems, and contribution to several anthologies, e-magazines, she spends time writing and traveling. She lives with her husband in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

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