Wednesday 10 September 2014

Poetry 2014 Shortlist, Arka Datta

I, Ashoka: At The End of War

I was born,
And then built
To be ironclad,
Be defiant to temptation
Afterward I melted
Tinny dewdrops
On stony membrane of mine
I slithered then
Twinkling eyes with crinkle 
Careless hair suspended
Wine drenched lips parted
Cheeks where the dimples rest
Carnal neck softly bent   
Hands searching for warmth of fire
Maternal lap embracing one ragged book
Long legs crossed lacking desire    
The flame kisses the flawless face
Bygone memories curve lips
Nose puffs the breath of despair
And then you turn to me and stare
The pride on that lifted chin
Eyebrows raised in querying way
Doubting my purpose
Questioning my desire   
I feel so naked
My skin ridiculously transparent
My secrets out there to gasp
My longings crawling out in light
My greater purposes put into rest
My words crumbling inside
And then you asked
“Who are you, stranger?”
Am I that much of strangeness?
So much in vainness?
The shadows of darkness
Are they stretched on me still?
The old rose fell deep;
You wordlessly pick
And held like you care
My covers all strip.

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