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Sukrita Paul Kumar

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End from the Beginning

 

Ensconced in the leafy heart

of the forest Jahanpanah,

away from the concentric paths,

is an ancient well

dreaming in deep sleep,

hissing with kobras and

vipers

beneath the cover of thorny bushes;

 

unseen and unheard,

still and undisturbed

through several centuries

 

The blind darkness captures

the madness

of Mohammad Tughlaq

the king who first created

and then abandoned all he created 

who returned to Adilabad

the fourth city of Delhi,

where breathed, heaved and

sighed the forest

 

throbbing and blushing

with the break of dawn

 

inviting lovers

to come down the spiral steps

carved on his chest,

to reach the womb of time

and touch the

beginnings of history.

 

~Sukrita Paul Kumar


The Woman with a Baby

 

Lilacs and tulips sprouting

From the slants of her eyes

Her yellow face

shimmering in white sunlight

Her body, a luminescent garden

 

Life within life dancing on

Feather feet

The rising belly, a tight sponge

Puffed into lightness

 

Her hands going in circles

Caressing the baby inside,

On the cozy pathway 

Whispering history in Portuguese,

 

Lingering pasts

In the ruins of the fortress

at Macau,

Pasts hanging with roots

from old branches

of Banyan trees;

 

Whiffs of future blowing

from the citadel of the present,

Singing the song of her body

The woman walked

Through smoke and dust

 

Our eyes met,

Chinese with Indian, 

Entwined in maternity

Not mediated by English;

 

Tiny movements rising

in our bellies,

fish churning in the ocean,

birds flapping wings through the skies

and eyelids, drooping and batting heavy,

to enter

or exit the bliss of sleep.

~ Sukrita Paul Kumar

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