We are blood blossoming creatures
Fleshed out time and bone bound death
The moment we kickstart ourselves,
Drawing in a gulp of air,
We move closer to expiry dates.
Mother’s lap receives us, soft earthy bed,
Lullabies usher sleep, warm tears crowd lashes.
She recalls dates, meetings, beginnings,
Partings and endings, how her mother’s pale
Face glowed vermilion in the fire’s embrace.
Sweet fragile porcelain doll on ruthless rails
Wheeled in, boarding call done, now
Departing at the final gate.
The shutters fall.
Baby closes dewy eyes; the new mother shuts hers mystic
Pair, squeezed tight,
Hugging her nascent pain.
Life in her arms costs too much by far,
Sentient wind, water clay fired
In a morsel of earth
Death’s maws hang open a smidgeon
Eavesdropping in shadow ceilings.
Burning byres, burning Ghats,
Orange ablaze in the night garden
River Ganges frolics silverine
Teasing our mortal dirt.
Earth, Wind, Fire and Water
Cannot be summoned.
A mother or father.
Kaleidoscope of brilliant crystal motifs,
Embedded ciphers, codes within codes,
Diaphanous moth wings, repeated ephemeral patterns
In Golden ratios of reflexive harmony.
In air and water of human minds,
Uncertainty the only constant
We swear by
The sole Religion
Demanding our fealty.
Unsure of final outcomes
Or safety nets
We play endgames
By the ear
An ear to the ground
To catch the vibes
all the same.
“Play it again Sam”
We request encores,
Catch as catch can,
Live the endgame
All the outcomes
To be taken.
We bleed coal tar and asphalt
Burning miles on worn tyres
Salvation as birth right
And need redemption.
We lead catch -22 lives,
Wall flowers droop despondent
Their dates are not with destiny.
The flashing eyes of Dulcinea or
Desdemona attract moody suitors.
Wall eyed, round bland beads
Teddy’s button eyes do not weep.
They pray to be understood
They are floppy soft toys
Discarded, they fall flat and brood.
The tawny amber teasing gaze
Stony heart of would-be Adonis
Brings life to somnolent gaze.
Pretty eyes belong to pretty misses
With hardest shells and carapaces.
Wall flowers soak in ambience
They gauge the mood and then
Proceed to enhance it.
Mousy Ms. Muffat sits alone on
Her lonely tuffet.
Feeling lousy she still preens
Wary of the tarantulas
But hoping for a Charming.
This is the sad thing.
The wallflower may not
Grow wings, only
Copiously masticating caterpillars
Without an ounce of imagination
May reincarnate as butterflies.
That is the irony.
With the wall flower
Soul like a wound
Toad in the Hole
Frog princess plain and simple,
Though when she smiles
She may dimple.
Will you love her?
Could she be
Your pretty miss?
As is, where is?
Ah! Perhaps therein,
Lies the sordid catch
Better than this.
Amrita Valan is a writer from Bangalore, India and has a master’s degree in English Literature. She has worked in various professions, ranging from the hospitality industry, BPOs and as content creator in deductive logic and reasoning in English. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to her two boys. Her work has been published in over a dozen anthologies and online journals. The anthologies include Poetica II, To Be or Not To Be a Writer, The Poet’s Christmas and Childhood anthologies, Divided: A Poet’s Stance, Poetic: Witch’s Cry, Down the Rabbit Hole, Fire and Ice, Earth Wind Rain and Fire Anthology, The ImpSpired Vol 7& 8 Anthology, The Alien Buddha Wears a Black Bandanna among others. Her poems and stories have been printed in Spillwords, Café Lit, Café Dissensus, Shot Glass Journal, Oddball Magazine, Modern Literature, Indian Periodical, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard, Poetry and Places, and Portland Metrozine among others.