On the threshold of the house
we never built, I waited for you.
In your ever-growing journeys
I was the attendant you never noticed.
My prayer had left its dwelling place
and it followed wherever you flew,
our child in my hands like a bleeding dream.
On the seashore home where waves end
I am one more sea that gushes within
MIDWAY IN MYSELF
I meet myself all again
at village school benches
the old few clothes at pulickal
in my dolls,my books, the love letters
nothing has grown old
drowned in songs, naked in worship
flames,dust under rain
my verse on the sky, for a moment
in a pause
i repeat and repeat
lighter than lust
midway in myself
faithless in faith, towards death
in foolish order
walk within myself
to meet me
am I someone’s dream?
Midway in myself
SELF- PORTRAIT OF A MALAYALEE
I am the train that runs over me
crushing me to death
I am the rope that hangs me
from the ceiling of the ancestral home
I am the poison that whips my blood streams
and gives me a hasty, nasty blue demise
I am the well I jump into
that fills water in all the corners of my heart.
I am the roaming pyre
ready to cremate me all the time.
I am the victory stand too, that projects me proudly
and managing my laughter
says: ‘Get lost, world’
Your resolute steps sharp, proud,
yet blind while walking to me;
timid passion; I tossed the coin,
I will be passionate I decide,
if it rains tonight
over the sleeping garden.
You were sure to reach.
I talked to you about
the closure of time,
to make a silhouette, on the walls
for me to feel.
There is no time; take a shape and tell me
how cradles in your home rocked
and how you loved your beloved.
Let me tend to your laughter alone
and the mirth of your lips after you laughed.
I wish I’d dared to fall in love when
your lips moved against mine.
For the last time, I heard
as I slipped into
the arms of the night that bled the patterns of moonlight.
Beyond, you slept and faded in the unknown laws of living
and was drenched in the rain later.
I wish I’d dared to gather all that I lost.
FEARFULLY YOURS, CHIPPY…
i cross busy streets alone
talk to men and strange women
buy readymade masala powder
and eat animals once alive
sometimes I accept a lift i
have given loans and lost
loved and remained chaste
when angry never lighted the lamp
skipped prayers i
curled up tiny and foetal
thinking of you ,everyday,
in a fresh, air-conditioned room
I felt a faint stench of my flesh
mixed with agarbatti, rose and burned cds. ‘
though unclaimed in countless ways,
found many warm reasons to live.
i am yet again afraid
you’d scold me for all these
and for not wearing my golden anklets
into your light, into your prayer.
proud, now i know why you make garlands
pray and chant throughout,
for a vagrant, mischievous daughter
at war with the world.
i am yet again afraid you’d scold me for all these.
LAKSHMY RAJEEV. Poet and translator. Writes poetry in both English and Malayalam. She is doing a monthly column, ‘Pebbles’ for Deccan Herald Sunday Magazine, on living Indian poets. She also writes features in The Hindu and The Indian Express.