Poems by Sreekala Sivasankaran

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Image by Cottonbro

 

 

Easel

Schizo and Phrenia
Two people in one room
Both like each other
Both hate each other

So when an easel was gifted to Schizo
Phrenia objected
I don’t have enough space

My dirty clothes
My clean clothes
My soaps and powders
My ants-crawling dishes

My long mirror
In front of which
I sit like a painting
Over which your gazes fall for nothing

Easel found no space
Without being unpacked
It lay under the bed
Wanting to stretch its legs
Wanting to stand up
And carry a masterpiece on its bosom

The masterpiece is an embryo inside Schizo
Not knowing all the commotion regarding its cradle outside
That has no room
in the room

Melancholia nestled on
the motionless twigs
Despite the wings
Unable to fly

In the night
Both Schizo and Phrenia
Ate all the medicines
Said all the prayers
And lay on the two beds
That separated them

The easel saw their angelic beauty
From under the bed
And it lay in wait for the cries of the new-born
And they saw together
365 views of the sunset


 

The brick making girl

Some images are like that
They make us silent
All of a sudden

You would want to say,
Look, how skillful her hands are
And the indifferent eyes fall on your earnest praise
Arresting you to her elusive choldhood

Words fail as she bends down
to the heap of mud
As the roughened little hands move quickly ,
Moulding it
Installing a big array of bricks behind her
Amazing you to no end

Yet you’re speechless
The burden of the butterfly
Hangs on your tongue
Crushes your words down


 

At the Durga Pandal

Remember?

You lifted me from the winter ditch
And walked into the night of Durga dancing

We sat in the midst of such evenings
Under the manifold arms of the mother of the universe

You were so proud and happy
Moving around
in the din of festive life

Rose-water smelling women
Murmur of silk saris and dhotis
Children licking rasgollas in their palms

You came back every now and then
Asking if everything was fine

I see your wrinkled body and sagging breasts
Infront of the dance of our youth
Framed inside the portraits on the wall

Your face brightened in the sweet moments shared
Lavishly under the illuminated canopy

The king of dangerous threat removed
The violence of the advancing hatred checked
The clan now returns to the pandal for a fete

Everything is fine my dear
Except the banquette of memory wars
Killing the enemy in every season
Even after a million deaths

Let not our anger guide us through
This saga of the eternal success of the good

Manifest instead your wise words
The cool breeze of our great togetherness

Sprinkle your boundless energy on us
The honey-dipped snacks of wisdom in the mouth

I can see in the thousands of arms spreading out of you,

Rebirth of every single child lost


 

Here I am

You wanted me to be myself
Here I am
A scar on the forehead
Burnt lips
A bundle of hair removed from the head

Eyesight diminished
Eardrums bombarded
I sit at this window
Window into the lost forest

I write a letter to you
every day
In my diary I note down
Every offence on my soul
And soul is your name

Our conversation is blocked
Even before it started
There began our journey
Through the tunnels that connect our hearts

We can see with no spectacles
The lives that live in us
We can touch with our minds
In all these distances
that separate us

Every thought of you
renews me
Every time when there’s nothing
Every moment that passes has you in it


 

Blooming this morning

At the end of a monotonous sleep
You came
Flowers that bloom in the most unexpected time and place
In exuberance of the colours of spring
In the fading of night
You took me by surprise

You were close to me
There was no need of a welcome note
I embraced you without a plan
Without a style
Which you accepted
A long-lasting friendship
Not lost in distances
We connected as we were in the past

Come with me, you said
I will show you a life
Through which all that you can
As you see always
See with the enthusiasm of your quest

I saw nothing but the tranquility of our meeting
Clad in pleasant fragrant chembakam
You walked like you
In the garden
Smiled like a thought just sprouted

The murmur of your breath
The life in your arms that held me
In the last patch of the sleep yesterday

Blooming this morning


 

About the Author

Sreekala Sivasankaran is a poet, author and translator based in Kottayam, Kerala, India. She writes fiction and poetry, in both Malayalam and English. Her poems have been published in Indian Literature magazine, Muse India, Poetria, True Copy Think, Madras Courier and other online forums. Her books of poetry “Samayathinte Manaltharikal” (Malayalam), “You Walk with Me”, “Dream of the Butterflies”, and “Stranded” and her stories, “Pink Mothers and the White Monk”, “Two Stories” and “Amaltas Spring” are available on Amazon.