Latest

6/recent/ticker-posts

Mothering Poetry : Mridula Shukla and Shreyasi Shukla


 माँ ऑफिस और छुट्टी

 

सीखते हुए हिंदी वर्णमाला

उसने लाल पेंसिल से क्रॉस के निशान बना दिए थे

, और अक्षरों पर

आँखों की तरल उदासी छिपानी सीखी नहीं है

उसने अब तक

 

और पढ़ते हुए मुस्कुराया था

उन्हें बाँध दिया था गोल घेरों में

ठीक वैसे ही जैसे

मुट्ठी में बाँध कर रखना चाहता है

 माँ के छुट्टी वाले दिन

 

ये छोटे बच्चे

संकेतों में अपना मन लिख कर दे जाते हैं हमें

अपनी उत्तर पुस्तिकाओं में

 

हम उत्कीलन भी वहीँ कर पाते  है

जहाँ हमारा भी टपक  रहा होता है

वैसा ही कुछ

टप्प, टप्प, टप्प, टप्प|

 

 

जब तुम मुझसे कर रहे थे प्रणय निवेदन

 

जब तुम मुझसे कर रहे थे प्रणय निवेदन

तुम्हारी गर्म हथेलियों की बीच

कंपकंपा रहा था मेरा दायाँ हाथ

ठीक उसी वक्त

तुम्हारे कमरे की दीवार पर मेरे ठीक सामने

टगी थी एक तस्वीर

जिसमे एक जवान औरत पीस रही थी चक्की

और बूढी औरत दे रही थी चक्की के बीच दाने,

उसी तस्वीर में एक जवान आदमी दीवार से सिर टिका

गुड़गुड़ा  रहा था  हुक्का

एक बूढ़ा वहीँ बैठा बजा रहा था सारंगी

 

मुझे स्वीकार है तुम्हारा प्रणय निवेदन

बिना किसी फेरे

बिना किसी वचन के

बात बस इतनी सी है कि

जब मेरा बेटा कर रहा हो प्रणय निवेदन अपनी सहचरी से

तब उसके पीछे दीवार पर टंगी तस्वीर में

बूढी औरत बजा रही हो सारंगी

बूढ़ा गुड़गुड़ा रहा हो हुक्का

 

जवान औरत और आदमी

मिल कर चला रहे हो चक्की

क्या तुम मेरे लिए

बदल सकते हो दीवार पर टंगी इस तस्वीर के पात्रों की जगह भर?

 

 

रसोई के एकांत में

 

रसोई के एकांत में

चुपचाप खाना खाती माँ

दीवार की तरफ कर लेती थी अपना मुंह।

 

उतरते ही ससुराल में

सास ने समझाया

लजाना है मुझे भी सबसे

उठाते हुए रसोई

मर्द की निगाह औरत की थाली के लिए अपशकुन है

 

हमारी भूख

शर्मिंदगी है या अपराध

माँ जानती थी सास

 

वे जो कल शर्मिदा थे

स्त्री की भूख से

हँसते रहे

उसके हर भय पर

 

आज भयभीत हैं

उसके खुलकर हंसने भर से

 

स्कूल उदास है

 

अलसुबह से इंतज़ार शुरू होता है उसका।

उसके कान गलियों की तरफ लगे होते हैं

सुनने इंसानी कदमों की आहट

पत्ता भी खड़कता है तो चौंक जाता है स्कूल

 

उसे भले से याद है

ये आठ बजे वाले स्कूल के दिन हैं

 

वह जाग जाता है पौ फटते ही बतियाता है बांग देते मुर्गे से

रात भर भौंक कर थके

अलसाये गली के कुत्तों से

 

आज आएंगे बच्चे

प्रार्थना के स्वर गूंजेंगे

"सुबह सबेरे लेकर तेरा नाम प्रभु"

प्रार्थना रत पंक्तिबद्ध बच्चों में कोई शरारती बच्चा चुपके से सबकी निगाह बचा आंख खोल कर देखेगा इधर उधर

मार कर कुहनी बगल खड़े बच्चे को अभिनय करेगा हाथ जोड़

प्रार्थना में लीन होने का

 

स्कूल यह सब देख मुस्कुराएगा उसके चेहरे पर महीनों से जमी उदासी की परत उतरेगी

आस पास पेड़ों पर बैठे पक्षी लगाएंगे ठहाका

 

आठ से नौ बज जाते हैं

नौ से दस

नही खुलता स्कूल का गेट

चुपचाप बन्द पड़े है

 



Poetry :Shreyasi Shukla

 

Cento for my body

 

(This Cento has been foraged from the works of - Tony Hoagland, Natalie Diaz, Yehuda Amichai, Ghalib, Frank O’Hara, Kay Ryan, EE Cummings, Bernadette Mayer, Mark Wunderlich, Danez Smith, Peter Gizzy, Monica Ferrell, Joyce Sutphen, Lee Herrick, W.H. Auden, Mary Oliver, Amie Whittemore, Kevin Varrone, Roger Reeves, Ocean Vuong, and Sylvia Plath)

 

No one, including me,  

especially anymore believes

you are mine.

 

As far as I'm concerned

I wasn’t meant to love or be loved.

I am just a pile of leaves-

tenderness and rot.

 

Tired of this world tilted on its side- 

you worship too much. 

It is easy now to see

gravity at work in your face.

 

There is nothing beautiful here-

pile of bones and flesh

ballad of wild dreams and coping mechanisms,

labyrinth of desire, playing field of impulse- 

wrote a thousand poems to survive.

 

There is nothing beautiful here.

 

We face each other 

talk about childhood - 

the love which makes us one,

the heart from where it comes.

 

You open always 

petal by petal, myself. 

 

Though this might take me a little time. 

I will not be like you, Carapace.

 

(I will) let the soft animal of your body 

love what it loves. Together, 

we’ll change the sheets. I would fold myself 

(in you) Someday, I’ll love a clean slate 

with your own face on.



Credits for Cento for my body

 

No one including me especially anymore- Tony Hoagland, Windchime

You are mine- Natalie Diaz, These Hands, if not gods

As far as I am concerned - Yehuda Amichai, A pity, we were such a good invention

I wasn't meant to love or be loved - Ghalib (tr. Vijay Seshadri), No I wasn’t meant to love or be loved

I am just a pile of leaves- Frank O’Hara, Meditations in an Emergency

Tenderness and rot - Kay Ryan, Tenderness and Rot

Tired of this world tilted on its side - Mark Wunderlich, Difficult Body

You worship too much - Danez Smith, a note on the body

It is so easy now to see gravity at work in your face - Peter Gizzy, Lines Depicting Simple Happiness

There is nothing beautiful - Monica Ferrell, Poetry

Pile of bones and flesh - Joyce Sutphen, Living in the Body

A ballad of wild dreams and coping mechanisms. - Lee Herrick, How music stays in the body

Labyrinth of desire, playing field of impulse -Allisa Leigh, Body

Wrote one thousand poems to survive - Lee Herrick, How music stays in the body

You open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens- EE Cummings, somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond

We face each other and talk about childhood- Bernadette Mayer, First turn to me….

Though this might take me a little time. - W.H. Auden, The More Loving One

I will not be like you, Carpace - Mark Wunderlich, Difficult Body

Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves - Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Together, we’ll change the sheets - Amie Whittemore, Spell for the end of grief

I would fold myself - Kevin Varrone, poem I wrote sitting across the table from you

Someday, I’ll love - Frank O’Hara, Katy; Roger Reeves, Someday I’ll love Roger Reeves; Ocean Vuong Someday I’ll love Ocean Vuong 

A clean slate with your own face on - Sylvia Plath, You’re

 

a love poem

(subtitle)
I kill my beloveds more than I let them live.

I love you

(subtitle)

I am going to start mourning you now.

 

the tenderness we share   a line in your eulogy

the poems I write to you   to your mental stammer  

to your sunlight crinkles    to your traffic wrinkles

every poem I write to you  this poem   an elegy     

lamenting   the phantom to a limb   I haven’t lost yet.

 

I love you

(subtitle)

 

I have held    

                      our lives in my palm

                                                           weighed it against   

                                                                                         the gavel of death   the depth of grief                          

& realized

even grieving you would be my pleasure.

 


 

The Truth (?) Daily

Today. Everywhere.

You came to me, a curious cat, despite

precedent like a toddler to a hibernating

snake/like my friend returning to the red flag who

keeps chipping at her spirit. You return to me. I

break your heart. Repeat.

Humanity’s gut splayed open displays the rot underneath. This is what being hit by a bus feels like. Shockwaves of pain go rushing to your limbs. Hear howling silence like a thousand bugles calling to you at once. The end has come for us all. RIP.

Ocean regrets supporting evolution. Your grief blinds you. You forget that my world is immortal. You are only one of many invasive species. Your loss need not spill over. Being lonely does not mean you are alone. I too am spread across this space rock. Your land longs to be whole again too. Our sadness nurtures. Why can't yours?

There are no trigger warnings here.  This is an unsafe space. Proceed with caution.

 

Come to me ye who are weary – workplace How much of your self can you compromise? Do you love “dark” jokes? How many values can you give up for the bare minimum?

This could have been you. You hold the same un-manliness. Hug your friends with the same care. You met her in a restroom, perhaps? She asked you for a pad, maybe. You told her how gorgeous her lipstick was. She told you the shade. Lipstick or not. You are the same to them. You owe your safety to chance.

CONSUME

50% off on momentary

happiness –only 50% off  happiness.

Whose side are you on?

Men in the game of unsteady loyalties or the people who question them? What is the value of the official? Who is the other? When democracy was dying, were you cheering?

Who does my language belong to?

(kiski boli?)

Awadhi brought god to the masses.

It cooked Kabir's khichdi

held the fakir next to The Spirit.

 

It honeyed down nawabi tongues

only to hum along sohar in dehaat.

 

(In Awadhi, I am marginal. In Awadhi, I am strange.)

In English, I am familiar. In English, I am the same.

 

Awadhi knows Sita's piety

it knows Padmavati's pyre.

Awadhi says tadna ki adhikaari naari 

has no business having desires.

 

(In Awadhi I am meek. In Awadhi, I am timid.)

In English, I am opinionated. In English, I am carnal.

 

Occupation anointed me with English

with my aspirations anglicised 

Awadhi drained out of me like

its wisdom has from our intellect.

 

(In Awadhi I am ashamed. In Awadhi I am quiet)

In English I am outspoken. In English I am unfazed. 

 

What came first, language or discourse? 

Who will leave first, colonizers or shame? 

 

(In Awadhi, I am lowly. In Awadhi, I am powerless.)

In English, I am heard. In English, I am.

 

I will not write about how the world keeps breaking my heart

 

Writing about is like clawing at a chalkboard with nails. Like sculpting with teeth. Like calling all blood covered bodies ‘newborn’.

 

The memory of it plays cat's cradle with my gut. Puts an orange in my throat. Hides my breath.  

 

When you read it, the orange will crawl down your mouth. You, will call me a compatriot. Christen this a bright side. 

 

There is no bright side. The universe of Grief has only one traveller. 

 

How can I comfort you, when I am always at the edge of my seat? 

 

My pain is not to be paraded in this plague of empathy. I don't want anyone walking in my shoes. 

 

                                                                 aftermath >> moment of impact.

 

Healing is worthy of literature.

 

Nothing Bad Happens in A Poem

Nothing bad happens in a poem... 

I pull myself up in a Surya Namaskar after receiving another we regret to inform you. I dance at Plan B’s promotion party. It is easy to focus on breath in absence of a future. I find an onion rooted in river rapids. I ask if it longs to move? It shrugs This is home. Things will get better with a drought or change of course. I have no other choice. I let us believe that. Every it will get better soon. feels like listening to sad songs to uplift my mood. Each sorry reminds me of the man raking leaves in a storm. Every are you feeling okay sends me farther from it. In how many ways can you say I’m fine? Why does Polite moonlight as Insincere? 

In a dream, I hear heart-breaking news & lions start stalking me. I run & I run & I run. I know I cannot outrun them; I am only looking for a hand to hold. I let the lions consume me before the loneliness does.

...everything bad happens outside a poem. Language only lends itself to life, it cannot construct it. 

how to pack a life 

Make an appointment with who you used to be, keep it. Take her hand and walk to the point your paths dissected. Tell her, "I know you cannot sleep in the new bed right now. Don't despair. You will find rest here."

Start with clothes, the keepers of your growth. Release memories from their weave. Revel in them. Make three piles - joy, lessons, and things I can't control. Now, visit every corner, every cobweb. Cry if you'd like. Try to fit the tree from the backyard in a box. Fail. Call it 'things I can't control' & go to the kitchen. The burnt vessels are lesson, everything else is joy. You can always control nourishment.

Thank your pillow for treasuring your tears, curtains for hiding your shame, and the monster under your bed for the company. Show gratitude to the shower for removing the stench of a bad day. Bow your head to the window for allowing you to witness the storm, to the walls for protecting you.

When everything is boxed, don't despair. This is only a gallery of the museum that will be your life. Label meticulously. Hindsight distorts reality. You want to remember what you have packed.

Ode to My Glasses

                   For Srikari and Lakshana

 

Your shadow lines my eye

Your lens paints my vision

You are the last line of defense 

my tears have against the world.

 

You make my life HD.

 

The difference between-

smudge & a period 

rope & a snake

true love & a red flag.

You are lucidity -

a test of reality  

when my faculties falter.

 

You find beauty everywhere you look.

 

You never look inwards.

Certain that you are 

a mass-manufactured 

piece of glass, you overlook

the clarity you create 

no matter the filth stuck to you. 

 

So what, if glass breaks like our focus?

 

I will break every stumble, every fall  

each neck that poses a threat to you.

You may just be a piece of glass

mass manufactured, even. 

You also have the right power for me.

Like the Rose was one of millions to the world

& one in millions to The Little Prince. 

 

Two truths can coexist.

 

Post a comment

0 Comments