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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

29 August, 2005



the cool marble floor
feels like heaven.
for i have walked
barefoot in the hot sun,
to be with krishna.

but the velvet curtains
are drawn shut for now.
a stern saffron-clad priest
insists on quiet, “shh!
the gods are resting”.

i hush the rustle
of my dupatta.
don’t allow bangles
to ask any questions.
and silence any answers
my silver anklets
want to give.

but how can i quell
the longing,
saturated in my eyes?

such brazen display!
if anybody should notice
they would not approve.
i lower my lashes,
and wait.
like everybody else.


i’m not like the others.
my god does not rest
but i’m in the temple.
do i know why i’m here?

no prayer beads to turn
no heaviness to unburden.
no divine intervention to ask for.
not even flowers to offer.

temples were for others.
who needed to be rescued
from one trouble or another.
“har-e rama, har-e- krishna!”

i wouldn’t want him
to take away what i’ve found
after such a long wait..
i’m delirious in love.
or is it just jasmine
and sandalwood?


the curtains rise
the collective prayers
of the people waiting
surge past me.
i stand rooted.
i don’t know what to do.

the camphor is lit,
the chanting begins.

i ought to notice
the shiny jewels
in the peacock feather crown,
the jasmine at your wrists,
and roses around your neck,
your golden flute,
that has mesmerized your flock
for thousands of years.

all that i see is your smile.
and the fool that i am,
what do i do?
i close my eyes.

only to hear
a familiar laugh
ringing in my ears.



Blogger bikkuri-bako said...

in part 2 i didn't feel the need for last two lines.
if u needed to, maybe should have added a bit before.
you need to put all these krsna poems together

29 August, 2005 14:48  
Blogger Asmita said...

Beautiful. But then love is always beautiful and Krishna does give a good excuse to express that love

29 August, 2005 15:00  
Blogger The Andaman Diaries said...

well written, especially the first one.

30 August, 2005 17:55  
Anonymous Princess said...

Very Beautifully Expressed :) i loved it !


01 September, 2005 12:42  
Blogger khuto said...

this poem somehow reminds me of
kamala das' epic story - Padmavati, the harlot - in which she goes to the temple, and in the end, finds him
as a lover.

the last stanza - the laughter -
is somehow distracting. it could
have even ended at "i close my eyes"

02 September, 2005 13:15  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

begging to differ with khuto's remark about the laughter line; for me, this line feels lovely & necessary.

By way of comparison -- vis-a-vis the laughter, there's this poem of Tagore's (in Gitanjali, writing from memory, skipping punctuation). In this poem it's merely smiling rather than laughter, but for me the effect feels similar.

(Tagore wrote):
I boasted among men that I had known you
They see your pictures in all works of mine
They come and ask me who is he?
I know not how to answer them I say
"Indeed I cannot tell"
They blame me and go away in utter scorn
and you sit there smiling

I put my tales of you
into lasting songs
the secret gushes from my heart
they come and ask me: tell me all your meanings
I know not how to answer them
I say "ah who knows what they mean!"

They smile and go away in utter scorn
and you sit there smiling

06 September, 2005 03:54  

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