• Three Poems

    Medha Singh

    March 6, 2018

    Vasudha Thozhur, 'Travelogue : The Aesthetics of Tragedy II'/ Image courtesy: Guftugu

    Altar

    A redolent pall of incense
    crawls through rooms, fed
    by the dead and dying
    at the hospital.

                                             One large altar,
    at the entrance, adorned with tall statues:
    A Lakshmi, A Saraswati, A Durga, A Kali
    A Parvati, some Kamakhya, Bhavani-Bhuvaneshwari.

    All our hopes pile up in a queue
    at their feet, for answers
    that none bring. We're absorbing
    quiet pauses, amid the sounds
    of hurried stretchers, and screaming mothers
    regret and sacrifice and pain and nothing.

    Save for one old man, who fears–
    having slept outside for five years–
    that his daughter's ghost resides at the feet
    of Kali.

              Every morning, a prayer
                    It is, he places a marigold there
                           before swallowing any food.

     

     

    One Eyed Ghost

    One eyed beggar raises his head
    from the depth between his knees
    at the train station, as though
    he wants to sleep a tad more
    comfortably, in my gaze.

    A wraith, I see, he fades 
    out, in the ether.

    I ride the bus alone
    my heart stammering.
    I cannot name the fear

    that says you're losing
    your mind, for real.
    I cannot name it. I,
    I don't look back.
     

     

    The Whale

    By the quay
    we ingurgitate
    an ancient burden:
    language, its whims

    buried in the current,
    of the Mediterranean.

    Between this winter
    and the last
    all that changed

    was the route
    of a primordial undertow.

    The past, now apparent
    finally compos mentis
    upright, blinking, clueless: its body
    fresh, deranged, with the agony
    of leaving the bed, awoken
    abruptly, from a stupor.

    How many lovers has the sea swallowed?
    How many sorrows will it shovel
    down, with a side of secrets,
    before it bubbles up? And

    the whale
     of woe
    in
    her
    belly

    swells
    into a flood?


     

    Medha Singh is a poet from New Delhi. Her first collection of poems Ecdysis (2017) has been published by Poetrywala, Mumbai. Her poems have previously appeared in Nether, Muse India, Beyond Borders, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Journal of the Poetry Society, and several others.

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