Voices Within: Meenakshi Mohan

Meenakshi Mohan is an educator, art critic, children’s writer, painter, and poet. She taught at universities in Chicago, Boston, and Towson University in Maryland. She has published widely in the academic and creative areas. She has been listed twice in the Who is Who Among American Teachers. She authored three children’s picture books, The Rainbow in My Room, The Gift, The Rebirth of the Demon, and edited Tamam Shud, poems of Kshitij Mohan. She recently had a solo exhibit of her paintings in Potomac, Maryland. She is on the Editorial Team for Inquiry in Education, a peer-reviewed journal published by National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois.

The Saga of the Sagar

Please stop and listen to my story.
I am the sigh of the molten stone,
and tears of the sky.
The earth reached out to me,
and took me tenderly into its soft lap.

You call me profound, deep,
but have you listened to my story?
There are mountains and valleys 
and vales of tears in the hollow chasm of my heart.

My heart bleeds fire
when my arteries are maimed with landslides and earthquakes,
and I cross my limits to destroy the innocents,
then I plead to mother earth for comfort and to calm my wrath.

Have you seen my tears and joy
when my heart was churned during Samudra manthan?
But I was thrilled to defeat the asuras, 
causing havoc in the world.
Wth the elixir of my cavities
I rescued the devtas to save the world.

Do you know I am home to mystery and mysticism?
I nurture aberrant plants and foliage,
some with medicinal luminosity.
I nourish astounding varieties of creatures.
Gems and jewels have homes in the dark crevices of my being.

Join me in my exhilaration
as I welcome and embrace rivers in my abode.
Come and read my story
that I scroll on the stones.
Come and listen to the songs
my waves play.
Hark! Hear my gentle whisper,
I am profound with many stories to tell!

Saga: Story
Sagar: Ocean
Asura: Devils
Devtas: Gods
Samudra Manthan: Churning of the ocean – an episode from Indian Mythology. It explains the origin of the elixir. When the devils were causing havoc in the world, Lord Vishnu advised the gods that only elixir that resided at the bottom of the ocean, also known as the milky ocean, could give them strength and power to defeat the devils.

The Day’s End

(On my visit to Maine, watching the sunset at the Penobscot Bay).

The crimson of the Empyreal
awned the Western Zenith –
the Sun was retiring for the day.

The ocean waves rustled to the shore,
smoothly, tenderly stroking its stones,
as if playing Raag Bhopali to a musical tempo.
The day was coming to a tranquil closure.

The fishing boats were returning to the planks
with their nets full of day’s triumph.
The birds flew nest-bound in a triangle
after the day’s hard work.

The lamps lit the houses.
Inside, the hearth spread its warm, orange glow,
the family gathered around it
for the evening feast.

It was the day’s end – 
peaceful and quiet,
until a dog howled far away!

Raag Bhopali is a classical Hindi Music with a soft melodic rhythm. It is played during the evening hours in reverence to God.

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