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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