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Poem Do Pyaza

I have stopped writing poems

Poems when written, are unyielding

Unyielding since they rock paper-chair like an old maid

A maid who sulks, frowns, and sings songs of antiquity

Antiquity with romance, but lack contemporary touch

Touch - right! That’s what my poems need

Need skillful carving on a chopping board not edit table

Table on which it will be marinated by coarse fingers

Fingers which can touch and tell sugar and spices

Spices that add adventure for my eyes

Eyes which are now a wok

Wok where my poem will crackle when tossed

Tossed, or on a steamboat where they will bake slowly

Slowly, slowly will they acquire a crust, golden and crisp

Crisp like the autumn wind which vehemently blows

Blows your mind such a poem I will keep

Keep for your palate to savor

Savor a poem that I have not written

But, cooked

From the Parapet of Lady Hardinge Hospital

20th April 1991, Datia, MP

The town I was born in was 

coughed up in a bout of allergy

by a lesser-known god

Phlegm spit and flushed

Forgotten, a sure reject

orphaned in its infancy

My umbilical cord cut in a hospital ward

named after the wife of an essential saheb

who went about doing chores 100 years ago

- so commonplace, legends know of his

wife’s death, not his life

dust here is the evolving layer

of history ubiquitous in patches

Brown and parched, in this diametrically

challenged town

People here believe red-stained 

wooden doors bring father’s home

and day-on-day in prayers 

spew all things red in true 

hereditary manner

anger, anguish, envy, setting sun

betel juice on the rough edges

of the welcome board which

when new, read‘

'This city welcomes you with open arms’

There is so much neglect in all eyes

that barren land let a peepal

grow unnoticed

Achita Khare, born and brought up in North India, believes she truly grew up in Bangalore. The city she loves for dosa, coffee, and what it made her in that order. She tussles with numbers by the day (a marketer by profession), and words by the night. While trying to make sense of each, sometimes she fails at both. At others emerge a poem or a prose. When not doing either she hides behind books by Gulzar, Tagore, Murakami, or of Harry Potter.

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