Poems | Sandipan Nath

1. Peripheral 

They came from the water-
Believed the cobra and worshipped the boat.
Their dark daughters
Draped in sarees without pleats
Married to the river and its changing routes.
Blessed with vermillion
And possessed by Goddesses-
To terrify the man of the redness
Of things -more primal than
Rolled tobacco leaves or alcohol.

The first rain of the year
When the cobras mate
And the fisherman is out on the river
Their wives pray for the safety of the boat
To an earthen statue of a serpent Goddess
Their prayers close to the clammy earth like reptiles
Their joys like the glee of the earth
At the slant, saffron sun that beams after the rains.

2. Deconstructing 2 p.m.

Something in between her laugh and the summer heat
Caught his eye.
The clocks struck two in the afternoon;
A cloud in the shape of a pirate hung in the sky.
The crests of her laughter were like the beats in his head,
Panicking to stop and then, starting again.
The clocks struck two and escaped
To a place where the dead record endless seismic waves.

It was the heat, he thought, and the sun on her jade necklace -
Here everything still had a name and place.

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