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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