Crossing the Threshold and Other Poems

    By Lina Krishnan

    Crossing the Threshold
    [for Gauri Lankesh]

    Gauri departs
    To Himavan’s
    Cloud realm

    Father’s heir
    In name & courage
    Menai now bereft of both

    Only the grief
    Of this pale visage
    Left to us

    Pink is the New Black
    [Please note; hinsa band hi nahi hui]

    A cash economy is not only black
    It’s the chillar my amma pays her subziwallah for some greens
    It’s the blues a rickshawallah gets without his bidi
    A schoolgirl feeling in the pink about that treat she saved up for
    The yellow of a grandmother’s bit of puja marigold
    It’s the silver of your father’s medicine strip
    The many colours of jhalmuri near the Moidan
    Pink is the new black

    But
    Not everybody does credit cards
    And those with the asli black must’ve got away long ago
    So what was it really about?
    Four Seasons
    As rains lashed the chaturmash
    The Buddha, planning his Sangha
    Said, gaccami
    But His followers
    And Hers too
    Their Lady, flower in hair, serene
    Quite forgot, that bit about sharanam

    Refuge. Asylum. Retreat. Safety
    Those are for Buddhists, no?
    Not for the Rohingya who forsook our faith
    Let them flee; gachami!
    We can express polite regret afters

    Crossing the river of blood
    Leaving homeland, they arrived
    In a distant capital, Delhi
    A mistake
    For there too, Islamophobes reigned

    Fire did what water could not
    Air and earth did their share
    And the boat of hope, capsized all the same.

    Lina Krishnan is a poet and abstract artist in Auroville, India. Her poems, non fiction writing, and paintings are in several collections of poetry, such as Love is So Short, Witness – The Red River Press Book of Poetry of Dissent, and the Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English, volumes one and two. Small Places, Open Spaces is Lina’s chapbook of nature verse, with the Blank Rune Press, Melbourne. Her work on aspects of solitude and change during the pandemic featured in a project of the UK Arts Humanities Research Council & Universities of Plymouth and Nottingham Trent.

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