• Another Way

    Arundhathi Subramaniam

    November 5, 2016

    To swing yourself
    from moment to moment,
    to weave a clause
    that leaves room
    for reminiscence and surprise,
    that breathes,
    welcomes commas,
    dips and soars
    through air-pockets of vowel,
    lingers over the granularity of consonant,
    never racing to the full-stop,
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    with the question mark,
    even if it’s the oldest one in the book.

    To stand
    in the vast howling, rain-gouged
    openness of a page,
    asking the question
    that has been asked before,
    knowing the gale of a thousand libraries
    will whip it into the dark.

    To leave no footprints
    in the warm alluvium,
    no Dolby echoes
    to reverberate through prayer halls,
    no epitaphs,
    no saffron flags.

    This was also a way
    of keeping the faith.





    Arundhathi Subramaniam is the author of ten books of poetry and prose, most recently When God is a Traveller (published by HarperCollins India and Bloodaxe Books, UK).

    This poem is the third in ICF's unfolding Citizens against War series of literature and art, initiated in the spirit of listening: to our poets, artists, fellow citizens, against war and warmongering, and the hatred contrived by our "leaders" day after day.

    Image © Zarina Hashmi, 'Delhi iii' / ArtIndia ; text © Arundhathi Subramaniam


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