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Poetry Month: YESTERDAY


plans by Sukanya


i was going

to go see

cherry blossoms

at the local park

deposit a cheque

at the bank

then with

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

but instead

i slept

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. ⁣⁣


Or maybe,⁣⁣

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,

sipping tea,

looking out the window,

reading the newspaper,

loitering in the halls,

reciting poetry,

wrapped up in the silk sheets

of our beds not made since a hundred years.

Yesterdays- we do not abandon,

we sad people.


because yesterday

I built rooms in people,

no home’s left today.


i am: ⁣⁣

- 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

river twice,

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 theriver a million times i will

be the breath of the universe -

all around you and still always

my own.

1 Comment

Nicholson Percy
Nicholson Percy
May 03

It was a summer when I was a child and geometry dash breeze I had to go back home after spending the day playing in the water.

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