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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