The Banks of the Brahmaputra
Your voice has the lilt Of the Brahmaputra’s blue waves Soft and gentle they flow Over me And drench me with longing. And I lie in stupor As I dream of you. Today you are angry, The river is in flood. Your eyes dark and black, Shiva, you rise From the waters And coil around me Your serpents of desire. Do not tell me that this is right. I will not understand. Your dark side makes me Shrink and withdraw For I cannot withstand The power of your waves Dark with fury. I only want to know the gentle caress of your voice— The call of Krishna’s flute On the banks of the Brahmaputra.
Red Hawk Country
Bacardi and tongue The songs we have sung In the backs of canoes Without our shoes And red hawks have hovered Over waters undiscovered Where coconuts hang heavy in the sun. This love has just begun
I am not the furnace wanting to consume you I am just the bowl of water waiting to be drunk. What gave you the idea that you would lose yourself in me? I am the one that needs to be taken sip by sip Put me to your lips and see whether you burn.
Some good things do come out of ferment, A loaf of bread and a draught of wine. Break bread with me stranger, And drink the wine. Share your thoughts and I’ll share mine. We shall sit in the sun and let ourselves glow. Lift ourselves from the set mould Burst our skin to get the juice to flow. Stranger, there is nothing like Telling your story To someone who does not know. There is nothing like Drinking a wine you did not grow. Break bread with me stranger, It is leavened by my sorrow. Sit with me in the sun, We will speak of a tomorrow.
A Table, Two Poems
What we have is A table. Two poems. And a conversation That neither of us began. But as we speak the lines We say everything in between. We spill Over the distance of the table That separates us. We move our legs back Under and behind our chairs Scared of touching That which lies beneath the lines. Knowing that we will overflow Over and above
Abha Iyengar is an award-winning, internationally published poet, author, editor, and British-Council-certified Creative Writing mentor. She was longlisted for the WE Kamala Das Poetry Award ’20. Abha won the Kota Press Anthology contest (U.S.A., 2003). She was a Featured Poet at Prakriti Foundation’s Poetry Festival 2010. She has eight published books to her credit, and her collection of poems is titled, “Yearnings”. Her poems have been included in various journals and anthologies, most recently Sahitya Akademi’s, “The Lie of the Land” (2020). “Parwaaz” (her poem-film) won the Special Jury Prize in Patras, Greece.