Poetry: Kushal Poddar

Kushal Poddar
The War, Shadow and The Worms

The weather warms, the weather 
cools, and the aid workers worry
about more than just the people.

Worms arrive at the war fields.
The other night one fills 
a shadow orphaned
because its flesh, long gone,
left no dirt for it. No dirt
means a shadow doesn't grow
into a plant and be born
again as love.

The aid to the flesh came late.
One worker regrets.
Worms eat the rest.
A splash of rain washes 
the shadow selves.


Bleeding traverses 
zones, time and lives.
I see the cut on my 
father's green thumb 
but fail to see mine. 
Which day is it anyway? 
His death has blanked 
another anniversary. 
I celebrate with some moonshine. 
Throwing the empty bottles 
against a poster advertising 
some psychic births fireflies. 
The crickets in the nooks 
of my head sing hard, drain me.
A stupor dawns within.
Blood tastes like nothing 
except a scent as if I am iron.

A Rendezvous With Rain

Yes, I shaved, rain. I am 
your scratch-pole this night.
A rickshaw passes us.
The horn asks why I love monochrome.
Who doesn't like black and white?

In thousands rain blooms,
in dark, in light, and if I breathe hard
it bursts, burns the skin of the lane.

Tonight is a mixed media metaphor.
Tonight ceases to care, make any sense.
Gasoline floats on the rain puddles,
and its rainbows. Objects fly inside
the closed houses.

I hear the rain fainting. Will you help me 
to carry it on our shoulders? Let's catch 
the long bus with rectangles, yellow 
and prescient,
buy a ticket to the last stop, and then let's hitchhike 
to the town of water, its home, where no one misses it.
We shall return and the city will belong to the rain.

Shooting A Wish

On the brown and black arc
at its height the road 
stops, stoops and the lights 
trigger its vertigo.

My daughter desires to find
a suitable star, falling, and I 
find her a confusion box
of confiscated effulgence.
I find the dream logs 
and the necessities, ask her,
"What does a shine mean to you?"

We take the next tram, steal
two window seats. We cast 
our popcorns outside.
The white and edible sparks 
may make some wish upon them.
I say, "Wishes always shots upward.”

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