Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 11 . . .

Rashmi Prakash is from India. She runs a travel company called Nomad Travels and has a masters in English Literature. She has been active in theatre, at one time running her own theatre company, and has taught drama.

A number of her travel articles have been published in leading newspapers in India. Some of her poems have been published in Voices From Within, a Delhi publication. Her poems “The Great Train Journey” and “In Lunar Conversation” can be heard at  thejeunessedoree's Podcast  (poems have been rendered by Joe Green).

Life of their own

     by Rashmi Prakash

The poem I had been
dozing with all afternoon
suddenly awoke in the middle
of the night, jumped clean
out of my window
landed on the bald moon –
a black smudge at the centre.

It sneered at my sleeping form:
tonight I reinvent myself.
No longer will I reflect
distorted images for you
to drown in – Narcissus-like.
Pools of blood are not for the faithless.

I am weary of your doubts.
You've riddled my body with holes;
the sun and moon glide through
without healing. Storms rage.
Waves have battered my bones to a heap
you burn them every night
to keep yourself warm.
Every morning you poke dead cinders,
looking for a spark.
Dying embers form a ring of grey
and crumble in your palms.

Jagged mountain-pieces
have entered my veins.
Tattered, brittle, drained
of blood, they trail on the ground.
I am uprooted with every breath of wind.

Tonight I will perch myself
on the top-branch of the ancient tree
and beg the dancing leaves
to reveal their secret.
Tonight the trees will erupt
in flames, hot molten liquid
will fall at my feet.
I will sit with folded knees
Buddha-like, waiting for enlightenment
in a new country.

I will wait for the sky to conceive;
there is still time for its birthing.
The Golden Oriole jumps in yellow
flashes, quickening the senses.
I will live for the seasons alone,
one monsoon to the next.
When the rains arrive
to quench thirsty lips
I will let it break my heart.

Snow-winds have swept the sky clean;
it is alive with stars.
All my life I have plotted against them:
tonight they will adorn my ear-lobes, my throat.
I am happy to note the poems I write
have a life of their own.
It is in the nature of things –
It's the ones that hang on
vampire-like that haunt – monsters all:
ghosts of  Frankenstein
& Hyde.

© 2008 Rashmi Prakash