The mud road
that snakes through the village
is familiar to me
like the back of my palms.
My feet have measured every inch of it.
“Three in the mind and four in the fingers… ”
sneaks through the pores
of my consciousness,
prickles left side of my brain,
that once put up stiff fight
against numbers and equations
not wanting to become linear,
analytical or strategic,
but later wedded to figure works.
Right side, more passionate,
too much into dreaming
laughter and sensuality,
had an urge to feel everything.
I watch in excitement
clouds rising to betroth the sky,
drench in the first rains,
allow raindrops to fondle my skin,
so that the sand beneath
with its garment of green grass
tickles my feet.
Unable to resolve
which side is more dominant;
the one stuck with figures constant
or the other with its pull persistent.
When winds die down,
air still, tiny they are born
to the chill nights at dawn
singing glories to morn,
dwell on leaves bright,
reflected through light
but eaten away fast
by the sunrays first
and they preach;
Let our life be short
still stay sweet
look forever pleasant
forget the looming threat
and greet all with our smile best.
I pour down my mind
in black and white, condensed,
breath in the present
head reels in distant past
explore future trends,
the ‘where’ in my mind
wanders in the shades of past,
and if they survive in all the three
they live longer than me
Breeze blows music
through the bamboo shoots.
While trees rustle their harps,
the earth starts to sing.
Watching the leaves playful
tufted feathers of thistles
take to dancing.
In the ensemble
I have become
a song in the concert.
The Pipal Tree
“For those who believe, an explanation is unnecessary
For those who do not believe, an explanation is impossible.”
(St. Bernadette of Lourdes)
Dusk starts to swallow
the last drops of daylight.
The pipal tree
to the east of the shrine
unfolds into the sky
as a giant umbrella.
Women circumambulating it
with prayers for offspring,
hang cradles on its branches.
Its heart shaped leaves
napped in the sea breeze
dwell with loads of faith
unaware of the stories behind.
Love And After
She searches herself in him,
he in her, only the two can join.
Thoughts on wings, words mute.
Hearts swing, oneness they feel.
The sea and the desert never meet,
that is when love turns out to be a crime.
Grief entombs dreams
all nine doors of hell shift to the earth
also the trees with swords as leaves,
life ahead difficult.
Soon they become
the accused, judge, executioners.
Sinners turn mourners
raise RIP epitaph
over their mortal remains
long after the invincible souls transcend,
their infinity scoffs at mankind
from higher echelons.
In Paradise Lost, Milton depicts hell as having nine doors.
In ‘Vyasa Mahabharatha’, Yudishtira dreams of hell having trees with swords as leaves.
RIP – Requiescat in pace.
Expect The Unexpected
The promise of a nurse’s job abroad
was a mirage, a trick played on her
a folly to have pawned her jewels
to facilitate the middleman’s deal
only to land as a maid in a callous household;
no escape routes to homeland left
with vital credentials held as collateral
tolling the bell for her freedom
besides starving, whipping and misuse.
Thanks to benign hearts at the embassy
she breathed fresh air on native soil.
Her frayed nerves crumbling
yet, a frail smile hovered over her face
before the live cameras, perhaps
that in the ebb and flow of life
one should expect the unexpected
An illegal route to rapid riches
is a cake not worth the candle
and wisdom, a bitter lesson.
Nature Heals our Wounds
Get wet to the bones in the rains
to get rid of the stains of hurts.
Take a nap in the nomadic winds
to douse the flames of betrayals,
Dance with the murmuring waves
and forget your pains of denials.
Tell a story to the blossoming flowers
and try to ignore your thinning hopes.
Sing a lullaby to the waning moon
to heal the wounds of your heart .
When rains fall on earth in glee and mirth,
only for once, with no second birth,
the nomadic wind in glee wafts and rambles
waves in the sea never upset over shore’s revolts,
flowers with no tomorrows smile and regale,
and the moon willingly accept its waning phase,
is it not wise we take hints from nature, and
with its magical balms our wounds we nurture?
Resolves of footsteps I listen to.
The first step enslaves my fears
Second teaches me to forget my flaws
Upon the third I ignore rejections
The fourth one warns me to give up comparisons
Crushing my anxieties I leave the fifth
And on the sixth I sustain my confidence
Upon which the seventh prompts me
to give my best to beat my own past
They promise to bring me smiles
and my heart leaps in joy.
The Slumbering Beauty
My eyes feast on the live grandeur
of the heavenly abode, so colourful.
The cerulean terrain bedecked wholly
with small pink flowers smiling all over
busy weaving apparels of gossamer silk
to mask the nudity of mother earth;
Too many stars speckled in the azure sky
looks like the nuptial bed for the moon
bestowing serenity to the night atmosphere
gracious in charm and style, which is infectious,
makes my mind too spin its own tales.
The moon seems to be ecstatic to the core
owning the deer tucked to her chest.
The water in the rivulet appears calm
like an austere yogi in his penance deep
wearing a turquoise tender loin cloth
to distract it, vile of Apsaras proves futile.
It seems the earth is in deep slumber
unaware of its own charm, beauty and goodness.
© K Pankajam
Author’s bio : Pankajam retired from BHEL as Deputy Manager/Finance is a bilingual writer, poet and novelist, writing in English and Malayalam with fifteen published works to her credit including eight books of poems. She lived at Toronto, Canada for sometime during 2014 and 2015 and is now settled in Chennai. Her works are published in various journals and anthologies. She has been featured in the book of essays Femininity-Poetic Endeavours by Dr. VV B Rama Rao. She is the recipient of Oriental Poetry Award 2016, 3rd winner in Poetry contest Oh My Sweetest Love–A Timeless Treasure- 2017 by Viswabharathi Research Centre , Bharat Award(5thposition) for short story International 2017 and Rabindranath Tagore Award(9th position) for Poetry- International 2017.