Culture & Society

Poems: Pain And Healing

Pain is a bedside lamp. It blinks like a jackal’s eyes, from the night bushes.

The yellow leaves of pretty quarrels


Disinfectants swell the air  

The plastic blinds shiver  

From the hospice window  

I watch the hours~

Coming home, going away,

A child on a creaking swing

Flying high, giggles, bubbles,  

Hitting hard on her forehead

Eight stitches! All so sudden.  

Pain is a bedside lamp

It blinks like a jackal’s eyes

from the night bushes.

Now that I like rice noodles  

in gluten free soya sauce,

it isn’t easy to sip milk tea,

to forget Amélie Poulain,  

to delete from Prime playlist

that Irish band of the seventies,

The yellow leaves of ‘petty quarrels’

lay strewn on my morphined slumber

With a swipe on our WhatsApp chat,  

why do you (re)collect them  

when nobody’s around?  

Our shadows spoke their own tongue. Getty Images


Not an eye for an eye,  

but, a grove of palm trees

bracing the silver mirage

to recall what happened between us

A speck was it or was it the cricket-calling moon

we viewed from the bivouac of imagined love?

Our shadows spoke their own tongue.

You clicked on the ‘skip’ option.  

The night froze into a macular dot.  

Pain hardened here and there

on the igneous slopes

like clots of blood in the murder spot,

like dewdrops on the rowdy splinters

The winter arrived and departed

the brown crust fell off the wound.

I saw you anew:  

A healed scar you are,    

an indelible white on my dark skin

(Shyamasri Maji teaches English at Durgapur Women’s College in Durgapur, West Bengal. She writes short stories and poems in English, some of which have been published in Muse India, Six Seasons Review, Story Mirror, Setu, Kolkata Fusion, Café Dissensus, Indian Periodical, Borderless, The Chakkar, Teesta Review, Dead Metaphor, Outlook India and Modern Literature. She has read her poems at Anantha-Samyukta Poetry Festival and ‘Humara Mushaira’ of South Asian Literary Association. Her book reviews have been published in Kitaab, Outlook India and Asian Review of Books. )