T. Keditsu


There have been poems asking to come,
Settle in my palms, there
Where fingers can curl over and clasp,
Mould, incubate into something worthwhile
I can slip inside my pocket, there
Secure for when I need to clutch
At comfort no one else will offer,
Or proffer to another in thirst for verse.
But mine are palms where poems stifle
In the wounding drudgery of hearth and heart.
Holding out maimed palms
I say to these naive and reckless poems,
‘Come, if you wish to know what it means to be lost.
If you wish to join my pocket of carcasses.’


I showed my verse to a poet today.
A poem I pieced from fragments of heart.
Outlasting the losing is also an art –
Scouring through the aftermath for a way
Out of debris replete with turned other cheeks.
And once these words are on paper, we part
By folding them into origami art –
A bird or perhaps a frog we can keep
In a jar with the lid tightly screwed on
A menagerie of all kinds of starts:
The restart, the fresh start, starting too is an art –
A blank page is a continent at dawn.
New realms where kind words assuage a battered heart.
Seeing past disaster is also an art.
T. Keditsu is the pen name of Theyiesinuo Keditsu, an indigenous feminist, poet, academic, folklorist, writer and educator. She has published two books of poetry, Sopfünuo and Wake as well as Ukepenuopfü, an illustrated children’s storybook. She has contributed to a number of anthologies, journals and books in her creative & academic capacities. 
She advocates for the revival of Indigenous Naga textiles and women's narratives through her popular Instagram avatar @mekhalamama. She campaigns for sustainable fashion practices and is known for promoting locally produced indigenous textiles & crafts as well as local businesses with a focus on those run by women entrepreneurs.
She has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her research focuses on contemporary Naga culture, indigenous knowledge, indigenous feminisms, folklore, oral & written literatures of Nagaland. She is currently an assistant professor in Kohima College, Kohima, Nagaland.