Three poems | Indu Parvathi

*pic courtesy wikimedia commons  


Beyond the shadows on glass walls, airplanes melt into night.

In the lounge, I read tales of those who flee their lands.

Sleep muffled, jaunty phonemes ease into syllables, entwine

into soulful songs of loss, in a thousand tongues unknown, 

rising in wisps from the depths of cavernous valleys in my book.

In perpetual passing they weep, while I slumber.

Forlorn faces, vacant eyes, lines creeping to treacherous lands,

lugging torn bundles of dreams, bedraggled children and old.

Bearing crosses, wielding chakras, stars and crescents rattling,

they leave arid lands where despots build citadels of smoke.

In their world, home is where the heart is not. In the dead

of night they wander in circuitous transits, evading eyes.

In perpetual passing they weep, while we slumber.

Two questions

(To those loud proclaimers of rectitude)


What worries you?

Do you worry

that your shadow

punctured by

the ragged edges of

all that you hide

would flutter away,

perforated leaf in a gale?

Do you worry

that your soul

bereft of its shadow

naked and nebulous

will be condensed,


its edges trimmed,



to get hoisted

as a flag-

a model soul wafting

In the wind?


What do you hide?

Do you hide

grudges blanching   your soul

to make it unsightly

like the yellowed undersides

of discarded underwear?

Clinging self-doubt about

your actions or inactions

like prickly fungal itches?

Do you hide

The reeking nightsoil of

weathered discontent?

The rank sweat of perceptions?

The flatulence of jealousy?

The halitosis of loneliness?

The blinding migraines

of stinging truth?


What else do you hide?

What you hide

keep you living and dead.


The old place, with its brief comforts

slip off like a night warmed gown

to birth us into another wintry morning

in yet another city, as invisible milkmen

chime their cheery bells in hidden alleys.

We fumble along strange landscapes, hauling

well-worn belongings calcified with regrets.

Our parched eyes map strangers’ faces at

half-closed windows, in pointless pursuit

of smiles and such signs of conviviality.

In our fragmented past, only acquaintances

who know us by our faces, our voices

not by our red hearts. Driftwood, we cease

to exist for our kin. A band of strangers,

we move cities, in search of something.

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