Poems by Asha B

Pic courtesy:Fiona Art



Translated from the Malayalam by Ra Sh (Ravi Shanker)


The Gods in the straw hut

The night I had my first periods,
the Messiah and Krishna in the room
came close to me
in different ways.

I listened to the heartbeats
of the Messaih
who had his hands spread
towards the sky
like a man dear to me.

When Krishna untwined his legs,
grazed my lips with the flute
and glanced at me 
crushing the wasp’s nest between us
with his idle fingers,
sheep came to graze in my
screw pine mat.

Two shepherds accompanied them.
So that sleep should be memory
and forgetfulness,
the moonlight flowed into
all the wounds.

When Krishna laughed
the floor awash with cow dung
smelled of Kayaampoo.
From Christ’s crown of thorns
the smoke from the burning myrrh
spread everywhere.

I no more feared my blood.
At the holy touch,
it had changed into wine.

I submerged in the Kaalindi of ecstacy.
The growth of a girl who was buried
between two men
could be termed virginity.
I have marked the nights
in which the Gods strayed
with the birth of blood.

(Notes: Kayaampoo – In English, Ironwood. Its bluish flowers associated with Krishna, the blue coloured God.
Kaalindi – Another name for river Yamuna. Again associated with Krishna’s adolescent exploits with women on its banks.)


Not yet

Hasn’t happened yet
our marriage
even a meeting.

The distant sky that
does not reflect
trees and buildings
denotes the presence
of the sea.

What you do now
is to fish for the
flapping of my body
like the lowering
and raising of the
Chinese fishing nets
only to let out the water.

I continue to dream
of our children.

Between you and me
they run and play
in our image that
we are unaware of;
no..in our image
that I perceive.

They tear up the Chinese
fishing nets within me and
open up stars in
the barges.

I become a mother
without merging with you.

What distinguishes our babies
from the others born
till now on the earth
is that they are born to
humans that didn’t need
to have been born.


The flow

Raising the laptop
to the table,
he began to delete the river.

Deleted the raindrops
clouds, sky,
the little fish,
the tender grass
the roots and then
the spring.

A little later,
the corpse of a drowned man
washed up on the table.

On the screen appeared
the rippling sea.

The mighty flow
of the river’s memory
opened the door and


About the Author


Asha B is a school teacher. She has a published poetry collection in Malayalam titled ‘Simhavetta’ to her credit.


About the Translator

Ra Sh ( Ravi Shanker.N) is a poet and translator based in Palakkad, Kerala. He has published four collections of poetry, Architecture of Flesh (Poetrywala), Bullet Train and Other Loaded Poems (Hawakal), Kintsugi by Hadni (RLFPA) , Buddha and Biryani (Hawakal) and a chapbook In the Mirror, Our Graves, written jointly with Ritamvara Bhattacharya.  He has also published a play Blind Men Write ( Rubric Publishing.) He is also a translator whose English translations include Mother Forest (Women Unlimited), Waking is Another Dream (Navayana), Don’t Want Caste (Navayana),  Kochiites (Greenex), How to Translate an Earthworm (Dhauli Books) and The Ichi Tree Monkey and new and selected stories of Bama (Speaking Tiger).