Poems by Mini Babu

Pic by Victor Candiani


Open Fists

Of the couple of languages
That I have perfected –
one is – “open fists.”
I go around opening and clenching
my fists –
people seem grateful finding
my fists open.
Once in a while they even attempt
unfolding my clenched fists,
I fend to worsen their rage,
and afterward loosen to allow in air;
however, air mattered little to them.

How, they had made too low an estimate
of open fists and freedom.



At one time, every drop of water
competent to flow, thirst for
a glimpse of an ocean,
having been fed on tales of
ocean ecstasies,
but, not one,
not one in the family line of water,
not even a keen ancestor
have had a vision of an ocean,
their patriarch,
even if,
at one time,
a drop of water is granted
an oceanic view in all
oceanic supremacy,
that will describe the termination
of their clan.

All the same,
every drop of water,
prides itself in its oceanic bloodline
uninformed that a single cell
holds a body in itself.


My Language in Love is “Not Speaking”

My language in love is “not speaking,”
and definitely not spill a word
when in love
detecting to the full that
a spoken word can weaken
the profile of love.

Days are spent non-descript:
sitting across for a cup of tea;
close together lost in thought;
again, at the beach, shedding looks
as far as eyes could grab,
and walk back, hand in hand
“not speaking.”

When in love, a smile is not just
a curve of lips
because my language of love
is “not speaking.”

Years back, my friend’s mother
dropped her heart in words
at her husband’s death :
“so much has been left unsaid.”
I did not return
to disclose that
my language in love is “not speaking.”


I Journey in a Room

I journey in a room
adequate to shape a poet’s breath.
Its walls regulate visions
I desire for,
hazy skies, reticent oceans,
artful forests, extraordinarily
pure deserts, mountain sentries –
they muse at will on my walls.

On specific days I draw the walls
and you see me through,
while I put up,
disgraced by transparency . . .
other days, the walls are drawn
and not a neighbour’s breath
trespass unnoted
and these days you can
foretell strategies connived
behind a shut door.

All the same,
the space is haunted,
you rap an obscure
door for entry . . .
And this demanded, a long long time,
to drive in the truth of having
fashioned my own room and
that I journey in a room.


Be Raw to the Self 

Be raw to the self
while writing poetry,
however, permit the depluming
to be unhurried,
nearly innocent,
with less hurt,
as a bird that pecks gently,
refrain threshing grains from husks,
both are crucial in poetry,
let the depluming be pillow-soft
as Othello to Desdemona.

Nonetheless, poetry is a ringmaster,
it will oblige you to outdo,
and you, the circus monkey,
groom the self to pull off gently,
leaving behind blood for another poem.

I have wasted my beauty
depluming myself in poetry.


About the Author


Dr. Mini Babu was working as an Associate Professor of English at the Dept. of Collegiate Education, Govt. of Kerala and currently is working at BJM Govt. College, Kollam. Her poems have featured in anthologies, journals and magazines. Her collections of poems are Kaleidoscope (2020) and Shorelines (2021). Her co-edited collection of poems is Meraki (2021).