Amita Paul’s poems from #CeWoPoWriMoWE 2022 – Yugen Quest Review, Summer Edition, June 2022

Four poems

If I could paint the world

I’d paint out the Red of Bloodshed
And paint in the Red of Roses

I’d paint out the Green of Envy
And paint in the Green of Nature

I’d paint out the Blue of Depression
And paint in the Blue of Clear Skies

I’d paint out the Yellow of Cowardice
And paint in the Yellow of Buttercups

I’d paint out the Purple of Power and Pain
And paint in the Purple of Prose

I’d paint out the Saffron of Bigotry
And paint in the Saffron of Spice

I’d paint out the the Black and White of Mourning
And paint in the Black and White of old movies

I’d paint out the Gold and Silver of Money
And paint in the Gold and Silver of Sun and Moon

If you could paint the World
What would you do ?


Sashaying down Life’s ramp
I’m a star in my own eyes
My own distinctive stamp
My own weaves, my own dyes

I’m the main designer
Couturier of my style
I’m my own definer
I own my tears, my smile

Oh yes, I do it my way
Why would I imitate ?
Oh yes , I have my say
I state what I must state

I’m the opener of my innings
Sometimes I come a cropper
But I need no help or twinnings
I arise, I’m the Showstopper !

Earth’s daughter

I was not born of a mother
But of Earth
To Earth I shall return
For she’s my mother
Life as a human
And that too a woman
Has nothing in it
No absolutely nothing
That tempts me to stay on
My father
Who owned and tilled the soil
From which I emerged
Is long gone
And I am weary, weary
Let me sink
Into my mother’s lap
Rough and stony
Though it be
It is less so
Than the cruel world
Outside it
And the cruel fate
That has governed my life
Princess or queen
Cottager or recluse
Prisoner or ashramite
Thorns are no less
In any role
Husband ? Sons ?
Do not talk to me
About them
I know they are more than able
To take care of themselves
I owe no one anything
I want nothing from anyone
No ties bind me
No desire animates me
My weariness says this
Not any desire in me
Let me return
To Earth’s womb
Do not build
Any pyre or tomb
For me
Cloven out of Earth
Was I by a plough
And named after it
Now back to Earth I shall go
Ending the separation
Of my human existence
Mother, Earth !
Here I come
Ah, this embrace !
I was lost without it
Now I lose myself in it .
Mother, Earth,
Receive your Sita .

Light and shadows

Rembrandt used Chiaroscuro
Caravaggio used Tenebrism
Art Creators imitate their Creator

God said , Let there be Light
And there was Light
But there were also Shadows

The Darkness of Chaos
Before Order came, and Light
Held no Shadows

For Chaos had no Light
And without Light
There are no Shadows

If there was no Life
There would be no Death
If no Sweetness, nothing Bitter

It was not just Pairs
That entered Noah’s Ark
But gendered Pairs

And it was not just Pairs
Of one species :The Lions
were there with the Lambs

Sitting in my courtyard
Neither within my house
Nor outside it

I reflect on the light
Of the afternoon Sun
And the lengthening shadows

And try to detach
My old Body
From my timeless Soul

But I cannot
Only the Creator
Can uncreate

What God hath joined
Let no Man
Pull asunder

Light unto Light
Shall go : Darkness
Into Darkness

They are Timeless
Infinite. Only Shadows
Remain in Time.

My Essence
Is Eternal. Both as Light
And as Darkness.

Only the Shadow
Of Self depends
On Time, in Space.

There is something
Satisfying about cremation
By a river on a wood pyre

I will it
For the Shadow
That is my Self

For the shadowy substance
That is my body
Which I have cherished

Light shall rise from it
Till the flames fade
Into night’s embrace

Shadows too shall merge
Into the growing darkness
As one whole

Time fades
As I reflect
On Light and Shadows

Dusk falls, and someone
Lights a lamp in the house
And calls me in for prayer.

The evening is wet with dew.

Amita Paul is by profession a retired bureaucrat, but at heart a poet and teacher. She writes, mostly poetry, in English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. Her recent work featured or is forthcoming in several anthologies and journals. It has found a place of honour in many an online poetry writing forum , ranging from GloMag,the Lothlorien Journal, Yugen Quest Review, Spillwords, Setu Bilingual, Fasihi Magazine, and Das Literarisch to Paper Nations/The Great Margin, UK, the Groundswell Blog, Australia, and the Transnational Literature Journal now based in the Bath Spa University, Impressions & Expressions (an anthology edited by Amita Sanghvi), Cocoon Stories (edited by Vineetha Mekkoth, Geetha Nair). She was awarded the NISSIM International Poetry Award (First Prize) for 2019, for Excellence in Writing and her contribution to Indian English Poetry especially through a new genre called Tapestry Poems, by the jury of The Significant League , a Creative Writing group on Facebook. On 22 January 2020 , the TSL Jury announced the award of the First Reuel International Prize for 2020 for non – fiction to her for her experimental prose and multi – media Anthology , ‘ The Saaqi Chronicles’. Destiny Poets, Wakefield, UK declared her Poet of the Year ’20, and also Critic of the Year ’20.