01 January 1970

Cake And Other Poems


Cake And Other Poems

Four short poems by Meher Gandhi on the ravages and drudgeries of life, of the short, sharp pains and passive absences.

Four poems
Four poems Getty Images


I remember
Burying the dead twice,
Crawling on their nerves.
So take a slice
Of this mush of my bake
Do the tasteless suffice
For hunger’s sake?
Push the plate to the mice
And they will prefer
The rotten fresh.
So I buried them twice
And slit their skin-mesh
Like rice,
Put them in water
And they taste nice
But does the taste suffice
For the mice
Used to fleshy bites?


Elena drops a coin
Rushes to the hospital
Finds her first step
Guiding a patient's heart
To a bland bright room
"Get the sharpest blade"
But his breath turns red
when they all look away
His hand touches hers
"You go and worship"
Elena's gaze falls on
his open eyes and
Elena skips a tear.
Elena doesn't wear a
cross not a single thread
Elena visits a crack in the
Elena says a good word
She says it each time.
Elena turns to rush
Elena's foot feels a coin
Elena picks it up.
Elena knows it's a job
And one well done.


I wait at the brink of my fall,
Here or there,
Light or lighter,
Found or finder,
I hear magic rise from
A bush of clueless strands,
Where do I look,
What do I stitch,
Constantly not good enough
But of course,
It’s my dilated pupils,
See much through the branches,
A rocking chair I am not sitting on,
Watching from afar,
Reckless in its speed,


Yell at another
And find their weak
Spend your week calling
strangers who know your name
Find a way to sorry-wrong-number
Your way through their hello-you-called
How desperate, they say you have friends
You don't like and foes that have your heart
I know your stories that weren't bestsellers.
Wear your best look. They are strange.
Red and yellow make your Sunday
Take two bags to the store even
If you forget the long list
Call for their help and
Yell for being late.

(Meher Gandhi is a literature student and a core committee member of Kalinga Literary Festival.)