Poetry: Dharmpal Mahendra Jain

Dharmpal Mahendra Jain
Mom, I have seen

Mom, with the Earth in your lap
Your eyes emanating rays of love,
And nectar raining down from your breasts,
you weaved me with your hands,
big and bigger.
Your lullabies and stories filled with love and care,
voiced the sounds that encompassed me;
I saw God singing through you.

I stumbled and fell trying to hold you,
But you flew like the wind,
Faster than my footsteps
Making my life more lively.
As I held your finger
Taking my first steps,
I saw God playing through you.

I remember,
You taught me to write on the slate,
Holding my hand, guiding the chalk,
Drawing letters, formless to form,
Mother, I saw then,
God holding my hand and writing with me.


Mom, as your bangles jingle                           
while pouring cold water from a pitcher,                     
I hear the melody of Raag Bhairavi 
playing on the Jal-Tarang instrument,                                    
it's morning then.

O, Mom

Mom, I need the fire to be born. 
I will not become a part of any vicious zeal. From the cold passive womb, 
you have given me birth many times. 
A toy was born for a man every time. 
Sliding from shoulder to shoulder with grandparents and relatives, 
I kept growing.

As I aged and felt, 
I should have my ground to stand, 
share responsibilities 
and overcome the struggles, 
I could not get that lively feeling 
but wore a strange, nauseating coldness 
to sit quietly.

From crawling, walking 
and running to the end, 
I preferred coldness, Mom 
to lead the life. 
Keeping the body alive is not everything, 
O mother. 

How long will I keep breaching myself, speaking the language of compromise, 
and carrying the robe to look social?
Like a tradition,  
why do you bear 
and deliver me every time, 
setting the lava in a cold womb Mother? 
Why don't you activate 
the deep-seated resentment in your flesh 
and shape me, 
So that the suppressed people 
See their truth in me. 
Mother, I don't want to be a part of 
any passive fervor. 
Should you birth me, 
let it be with your inner fire.

Bio: Dharmpal Mahendra Jain is a Toronto-based author who writes in Hindi and English. He has nine published books: seven collections of satirical essays and two collections of poetry. Dharm is also a columnist for five prestigious Hindi journals. His English poetry has been previously published in Setu, Poetry Pause, Fresh Voices, Harbinger Asylum, Akshara, Impspired, Piker Press, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Dissident Voice. 

Email: dharmtoronto@gmail.com
Phone: + 416 225 2415
Address: 22 Farrell Avenue, Toronto M2R1C8, Canada

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