plans by Sukanya
i was going
to go see
at the local park
deposit a cheque
at the bank
the money i saved
buy a monstera plant
i heard they grow
well in the spring
and if the weather
was good i thought
i’d meet a few friends
for some drinks
on my way back
i was going to stop
at the grocery store
theres a recipe
i’ve been meaning
to try that i needed
some ingredients for
after that i was going
to read the last
chapter of my book
and before bed
i was going to make
tomorrow’s list of
things to do
and i slept
and i slept
I know I have lived in the 50s,
In the era of black and white newsreels.
Maybe I was a breaking news that stormed the nation,
Or just a folk song on the radio.
Maybe I was born in Banaras,
A boy in a Brahmin family,
Who loved to roam around the ghats,
Making friends from lower castes.
I was a girl who never got married,
Because the auspicious hour had passed,
And the groom never arrived.
It could well be possible,
That I was just a ragpicker in the slums of Bombay,
Who loved the sound of trains,
And the people traveling in them.
A poor boy whose eyes lit up,
Upon the sight of big dams and vast industrial plants.
I was a character in a Satyajit Ray's film.
Maybe he found me working in a printing shop in Calcutta.
I must have escaped all the Babuworship,
I must have opened my heart to the greeting arms of nature.
I must have had some dreams,
Like sleeping with a bird in its nest.
I must have had some magic tricks,
Like consoling a crying child in a fleeting moment.
I must have felt ill from this long journey,
I must have died.
Maybe I died smiling,
Reading the letter of my lover.
Maybe I slept under a tree and never woke up.
Tamil words: puli, tiger | dhavani, half-saree
We are sad people.
We let tomorrows gather dust
in the small storage rooms
of the gigantic palaces of our hearts,
turning into cartons of old puzzles.
When the present comes and knocks
we linger on till the knocks disappear,
till the footsteps recede,
till the present is gone
like all the songs we never heard.
Yesterdays are here with us,
looking out the window,
reading the newspaper,
loitering in the halls,
wrapped up in the silk sheets
of our beds not made since a hundred years.
Yesterdays- we do not abandon,
we sad people.
I built rooms in people,
no home’s left today.
- a childhood summer forced to return home from a day of ocean frolicking
- a million dollar idea trapped inside a pay cheque
- a Japanese cherry blossom lost between travel bans and a weak passport
- a midsummer dream turning in its sleep as the alarm goes off on early wake up calls
- a stained red lip where blood replaces an expensive shade of Mac
- the infinity of a sun collapsing into the dwarf of a dying star
- a lover born from the ashes of self esteem
- a poem written at 5 am and discarded as a dream
- the hope of a yesterday forgotten in the promise of a tomorrow
what was a cage yesterday
is a home today and
what was a love yesterday
is a shackle today and
what was fear in the deep dark night
is today a sunrise and
when heraclitus said that thing
about men never stepping in the same
i felt it.
how come the words on a page
stay inked unto time
but the person who wrote it
is a ripple upon a lake?
there one second and gone the next -
you see when we were kids,
we had it right
we knew things that were out of sight no longer existed
yesterday i knew your body by
heart and it was a map
i traveled so many times
but my home has never been
a river or a body or the night-time.
i am forgetful and a sinner and i love it
all the same
you see i am a girl - i do not
sink my feet into rivers
because they would break under me
i am a girl
of the high sea breeze
dancing where no one goes
where the blue whales and i
collide and call it a carnival
and so what is a body today
is a dream tomorrow and
what is a wound yesterday
is a wing today and i am
only air filled into a beautiful shell
and while you walk upon the river a million times i will
be the breath of the universe -
all around you and still always