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Poems: Of Disrobed Ganga, Crinkled Space And Pulsating Silence

Excerpted from Vanishing Words: Poems (Hawakal), which outlines the loneliness, sighs, silences, absences and the quests to escape we have experienced during the pandemic.

Poems: Of disrobed Ganga, crinkled space and pulsating silence.
Poems: Of disrobed Ganga, crinkled space and pulsating silence. Hawakal

Shaming Death 

From time immemorial
human ashes are immersed
in the holy waters of Ganga
as phool, petals of divine flowers, 
stripped of bodily apparel 
streaming through unseen and 
unknown water paths
Dissolving with the clay of the urn 
Flowing with no destination 
Entering the mythical and 
Discarding the ordinary 

 

Vanishing Words: Poems (Hawakal)
Vanishing Words: Poems (Hawakal)

Always wrapped in enchanting tales 
of mythology and the sacred, 
Ganga stands deeply shamed today 
Disrobed and violated 
 

Always wrapped in enchanting tales  of mythology and the sacred...
Always wrapped in enchanting tales of mythology and the sacred... Hawakal


Ganga rebels,
her chest heaving, gasping as 
the bug infested human corpses 
float in pristine waters
As unconsecrated bodies
Not sanctified by fire, 
No burial nor cremation
The living abused by maladies 
Death denied of reverence
 
Bodies are carcasses today 
Dehumanized and disgraced 
rolling wild over the waves 
reversing into the world of beasts 
Dispossessed of sacramentals 
Divorced from rituals 
and ceremonies
evolved over centuries 
to respect life,
To lend dignity to death 
as yet another journey 

Untitled 

Where shall I write
the paper twists in pain
all space is in awkward crinkles 
Where shall I paint 
The canvas fills
with sighs and whispers 
As I lift those brushes 

I carry the cross nailed by 

Unborn poems, aborted paintings neither living nor dead...
Unborn poems, aborted paintings neither living nor dead... Hawakal


 

Preface 

Why would the tiger of silence not leave 
any pug marks behind in the forest of words? 
My poems emerge while searching for these 
pug marks amid the cacophony around, 
picking words that cancel all noise in themselves, 
such that pulsate in echoes of meaning and then 
vanish into colourless space — 
past sound beyond meaning. 
                            

Sukrita Paul Kumar, poet and critic, was born and brought up in Kenya. She held the prestigious Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at Delhi University. Her recent collections of poems, amongst others, are Country Drive, Dream Catcher, Untitled, and Poems Come Home. 
 

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