Three Poems by Aleena

Pic by George Becker


Malayalam Poetry in Translation

Translated by Ra Sh



Some sugar spilled
when making coffee.
Ants with sharp noses
surrounded it.
The adults and the youngsters
carried it as per one’s ability.
Massive crystals of sugar.
Up one side and along the other.
An ant stops, looking at his lover.
Of a sudden,
a broom descends on them.
Some scrambled up the broom.
Others scattered.
Can’t find her.
Where’s she?
Her scent left the room.

Twenty-nine thousand twenty-nine feet above,
a world of sugar crystals.
With oxygen tubes pushed into nostrils
they were climbing towards
the earth’s creases.
In the rainbow valley
numerous cadavers
that will never die.
Slipping and staying up
with her.
A snowstorm is blowing
She is out of breath.
She is cold.

There was a kid
who folded paper and
made birds.
For her funeral,
those birds
perched on the branches
and cried.
People cursed the rain.

The paper birds got soaked
without a nest, a branch
to roost.
News and advertisements
streamed away from them.
We are getting wet,
The birds said and
she heard it
with a hmm
lying in the coffin.



I said to the phone.
The phone said to me.
Hello Hello
Hello Hello
In my own voice.

When I cut the call and
throw it on the sofa
it calls again.
My own voice.

Someone has watered the
jasmine vines in the front yard.
Like someone stood there and
peed on them.
The earth scrambled and
Under the Chamba,
the fruits thrown down by
squirrels sucking on them
lie rotten.

I went out.

“I am unable to call,
I hear what I say into it.”
“Isn’t that how life is?”
The repairman laughs
with yellowed teeth.
In little speakers
within a gap of seconds
the deodars blossomed.


The boy who came to get
the SIM muttered.
Me who talks to me
the phone which talks to me.
I smile.
I gulp down the black coffee.
I blow my nose.
Enter through one ear and
exit through the other.

I am
my tongue and
my phone’s tongue
The me on the other side
gets scared along with me.
To me , voiceless in the mirror,
me who is the voice in the phone.



Forty lashes
with a horsewhip
on the holy back.
The bone shafts
drawn inside with
flesh torn from them
hang loose exposed.
The blood flows.
Body flails.
A crown with
a thousand thorns
is smashed down on the scalp.
The skull splits.
Blood splatters, teeth hang out.
Overcome with pleasure.

A long way to walk
to the Golgotha mount,
to its peak.
Sins of the entire world
and a massive crucifix
to carry.
Each step taken with care.
Though slipping down
here and there,
not tired at all.

Lying supine on the cross
two hands spread.
Two huge nails.
The palms feel ticklish.

Rises to the sky.
“Oh King of Jews
The onlookers kneel down.
Blood streams.
Loses consciousness.
With the query
are you asleep?”
a lance stabs the stomach.
Blood and water
gush out.
“Oh my little sheep
bearing the sins of the world.”


About the Author


Aleena, originally from Pathanamthitta District of Kerala, is a model and singer, though her primary passion is writing poetry. She writes poems and short stories in Malayalam and occasionally attempts articles on gender, sexuality, and caste. For a living, she is keenly interested in fashion and aspires to be a businesswoman.  



About the Translator

Ra Sh (Ravi Shanker N)’s poems in English have been published in many national and international online and print magazines. His poems have been translated into German and French. He has published three collections of poetry – ‘Architecture of Flesh’ (two editions)  ‘The Bullet Train and other loaded poems’  and ‘Kintsugi by Hadni’. Ra Sh also translates literary works from Malayalam and Tamil into English.