Poetry: Johny Takkedasila

Johny Takkedasila
1. Waiting 

I will keep the door open,
And leave glances,
Hoping someone might come
To this forgotten, withered form, show love.

Whenever there's noise,
I look at the door with hope.
A tabby cat roams, pushing her kittens,
Her movement blurs my past.

Why doesn't anyone come?
Walls build,
Living like frogs in a well.
How many days pass 
Without human scent?
I long to embrace a kind soul
Recite verses.

Like a sneeze,
Rain arrives and departs.
Life remains the same.
I saw tomorrow's sunrise
In the melting candle.

On my journey,
I encountered Thorns,
Glass shards,
A stone wall as a barrier,
Four chilies, hairs and rice grains.

Between four walls,
With a broken body and closed eyes,
I wait for a touch,
For sound, for kindness
Like a human flower.

Am I home or in the grave?

2. Are you Dalit?

Are you Dalit?
"Yes," I am.

Has your home burned down?
"No, never."

Has a woman from your family
Stood exposed on the street?
"No, why should that be?"

Did someone refuse, To give you water?
"Such things never happened"

Have you felt stares on temple steps,
Filled with fear?
"No, I entered bravely"

If these things haven't touched your life,
How can you be Dalit?
"Yet, if you are Dalit,
Then you are fortunate.

You may not fully grasp
The wounds of Dalits.
Those untouched by trauma
Cannot fathom suffering
Of oppressed Dalits.

3. After a sleep

After a sleep
Along with tangled hair
To unravel yesterday's pain
It takes time.

Open eyelids slowly 
Broken dreams bit by bit 
And stitch them up.
Fix the body. 
Lift the earth with your feet.
Words of glass wings
That hurt the heart
Must be separated from the body.
For survival, 
For living 
A sad string wrapped around the body
Let go like a snake 
Shedding its skin.
After sleep  
Find yourself 
Know your path, destination and walk.

4. As the bird flies

There should be space 
between each word. 
Pause, recite slowly.
Verse on lips
Declares life.

Far away,
Bird flies,
Shadow on earth,
Symbol of freedom.

In yesterday’s vacated space
Weeds grow.
To flatten,
You need to know 
who owns the place.

Side place,
Flower plants
Perfume mockingly.

Take a break, weed slowly,
Flatten ground,
Emend wet letters.
Where emended,
Some flowers, some fruits.

Not only your place,
Even in other places,
Dream green
Destruction, annihilation.

Bio: Johny Takkedasila was born on 08.06.1991 in Pulivendula, Andhra Pradesh, India. His literary journey, which began as a Telugu poet, has seen the publication of 23 books. In addition to writing in Telugu, Hindi, and English, he is also involved in translation.

He has received the Central Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for 2023 (National Award) for "Vivechani," Criticism book in the Telugu language. His other works Tiny Treasures, Puberty, Kattela Poyyi, Siva Reddy Kavitvam Oka Parisheelana and Akademi Aanimutyalu were published by Ukiyoto.


  1. Great literary work

  2. I am a housewife. I did not understand the last stanza of the poem Dalit. Can anyone pls explain?


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