Homing and Other Poems

    By Sukrita Paul Kumar

    1 – Homing

    Tibetan refugees hang their prayer flags
    Red, blue and yellow
    In a string across roof tops
    Fluttering with wafts of breeze
    Blowing from their homeland Tibet

    In the anguish of exile they
    Twist and turn, get knotted
    And entwined in rocky
    Indian soils

    And as in their homes
    Reptiles and worms feed on each other
    The same devils, the same angels

    Buddha with the same benign smile
    The same compassion
    Offering sustenance
    To the dispersing colours

    In the nothingness of vacant skies
    Bits of the Big Bang vibrate
    Lingering as live memories of
    Home before the Black Hole

    2 – The Jingle of the Mute

    Crows fly
    from the tunnel
    of her tongueless mouth,
    aliens in the
    land of the sun

    The girl with the bowl
    staring through masses
    of grey silence,
    her secrets
    lying in the folds
    of her dumbness;
    She is a statue
    with tell-tale eyes
    that hold back
    restive oceans

    Words are
    still-born babies
    empty of sound
    daggers of silence
    twisting in the mouth
    without a tongue

    With the coins
    dropping into her bowl,
    from the mouth
    without a tongue
    white pigeons holding messages
    in their beaks
    fly into the clouds
    to the land of
    the sun.

    Note: The poem was first published in Folds of Silence in 1996. Usawa has made an exception in publishing this piece because the book is now out of print and was published more than twenty six years ago.

    An established poet and critic, Sukrita Paul Kumar (born in Kenya) was an invited poet and Fellow at the prestigious International Writing Programme, Iowa, USA. Former Fellow of IIAS (Shimla), and honorary faculty at Durrell Centre at Corfu, Greece, she has published several collections of poetry, translations, critical works and has held exhibitions of her paintings. She held the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at the University of Delhi. Her latest collection of poems is Vanishing Words (Hawakal).

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