Poetry: Nandini Sahu

Nandini Sahu
Haiku Poems of Love

They are keen to know why am I a star 
so bright. This is how it glows , a scar,
when it snaps into the scheme of light.

I rhyme like poetry
to spot myself in the large frame of time
and to set the dusk resonating, in our projectile.

You said, love, anything for you, my truth eternal.
Take me, take heart—take it all. I glinted--
Make love to me like a poem, if at all!

He conferred upon us a new directive: 
love each other, just as I love the Universe.
Now everyone will know that you are my cohort.

The mountains may alter, the peaks may be astounded
but my faith won’t move from you,
and our agreement of peace won’t be dazed.

Through your unwavering love
I am granted interminable life.
I will be so, as long as you are the ‘last leaf’.

Prayer is the sacrament of gratitude.
My only prayer is gratefulness to Him for the existence of ‘us’.
My solitary prayer is ‘thank you’, and nothing else.

Half of Her Lovers are Half the World Away

Men who loved their wives and those who did not
all fell in love with her
when she was simply out and about in the world.

Her ‘men’ knew, she was the brimming vessel with an eternal capacity to pour.
Well, she didn’t think much about love,
neither of the ‘safe’ love-loves, nor of any loves in the conflict zone.

Her dry sardonic wit made them only fall in love more with rationality.
Lost in time, with the audacity of hope, she was found in eternity;
turning her wounds into wisdom, an expert at the law of diminishing marginal utility!

She wanted to be forgotten from their collective memory
when she had to wait to watch the slippers of couples in front of the Taj
while the couples were clicking away ‘couple-pics’ to glory.

A street urchin poked a hole in her story in the midst of a deadly inner silence.
“Won’t I even be allowed to wander lonely like a cloud? Ahhh!”
She, of course, had her many longings and belongings.

Her ‘men’ every so often left her drained, high and dry.
Some other times they cared to say a proper goodbye.
In any case, she didn’t judge them, she just did low lie. 

Her self-introspection and serious reflection were a caricature of living-loving.
Her faith was bigger than fears with time’s intoxicants in her hands.
There was no wind in there—just air to protect her ‘men’ from fading.

Above her outer skin, there were wordless walls
with a fistful of sky. With time, invariably,
her men turned into distant memories.

She wrote the stories of many a life, but
her own story lay buried at someplace in a vault.
One day she lost the keys to that treasury that she had carefully concealed.

She had that habit—
save the best for the last.
But much cared-for-stuff from her wardrobe were always lost.

A Man Like You

Did I paint the image of a man like you and secured you to that
canvas, I don’t really know. But I know, I tailored myself in. 

You may ask me, why did I come to your life in the first place? 
“Well, not because I was lonely, depressed, blue or was feeling awfully alone.

For those ailments, there is therapeutic support, isn’t it? I sensed my ideal
quest for a man like you when I was feeling the best of my feelings--

contented, romantic, ebullient, jovial, strong, real, feminine.
I wanted to share a segment of those with you, a man like you,in crux.”

You treasured that. You cherished when I said, “if someone
comes to our lives with depression, they will only share that. And

if one comes with optimism, that becomes infectious.”
Then you resolved that I am the most optimistic woman you have come across.

I love the way you touch me without touching me sometimes
and of course your gentle kisses and ardent touch when you are intense.

I know you will never give up on me even if I am grim or otherwise;
I love your catching giggles and the beam. A man like you is my happy place!

You are unceasingly on my cognizance—if they call it love.
You are the man who can finish not just my sentences, 

but my thoughts. Are you my Stream of Consciousness,
or that Objective Correlative that I live in reverence?

They say the glass is half-empty or half-full, it’s a construal so false!
How about our new narrative my love -- of filling the quasi-filled glass?

After I had given all my reasons you just winked. As if you knew that you knew 
that you knew -- a woman like me is your life time quest, your solitary wish.

The Maps to Reach You

“When feelings are immense, words stand poor.”
From the blue you said that, you, my cherished blue-eyed lover.

You traveled all the way from the island realm remote
I knew, you knew, that is the time when the drinking glass had to be fragmented.

The glass of the mellow and all-encompassing wine is to calm.
What goblet is in my hands? Which map takes one to you, my chum?

Suddenly the Yellow Moon is full. Tonight
you hang like a silver smile on my lips, you pierce me abysmal.

This city sleeps on the pavement. They say a charmer will cross the asphalt soon.
Planting his chauffer, he will disappear to the air thick and thin.

Hauling on my city’s dusky fabric the chauffer is vexed by sea, sand and salt.
I see, you raise your hand to touch the Yellow Moon in amazement.

Just to intoxicate you a bit in a little-eyed window of the lover’s nest
just so you’d be evoked by taciturn glasses and the street I connived.

Standing in the lattice of silence, I am water lily, I cling to the portico
I think of you like ease and breeze, my acerbic downcast face as you pass through.

In the hall of my longings you belong, I smile and make headlamps wink,
in these demanding days your envoys take to the place you’d never want to go.

Because you never knew to want more, and because I introduce you to you, tacit.
Wait and watch, our blue sky will gradually grow thinner and solvent.

Let’s put their lights out, aware and unaware let them sleep.
All I know today is, in your presence I am good to go, let them peep.

Good to go and climb to the summit and reach
the Terza Rima of my wistful wishes and pivotal, infinitive desires, deep.

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