Thursday 24 November 2022

Chandrali Das, Poetry 2022 Shortlist


Her  pace gradually slowed to an amble from brisk, 

As she caught sight of the towering black obelisk. 

Everytime she'd visited the graveyard, it'd served as a landmark, 

For that colossal alabaster pillar was the only identifiable structure in the night's pitch dark. 

The gravestone seemed grayer than she seemed to recall, 

The new moon night exacerbating the graveyard's forbidding, deathly pall. 

Undeterred, she placed her palm over the ice-cold stone, brushing off the dust,

As the winds seemed to billow in a compassionate, rather caressing gust. 

Placing the crimson-red roses she carried on the tomb,

for the thousandth time, she reread the epitaph. 

Her beloved had scripted her own destiny all right, to the grave from the womb, 

Even penning down a eulogy to be read at her own funeral before she killed herself, 

That cruel, cruel girl, she'd left all devastated, choosing to have the last laugh. 

A wistful smile escaped the girl's lips, 

If irony had a patron deity, he must've taken a fascination to her.

Their love had been 'forbidden' in life, 

For they didn't fit into what the world had deemed 'acceptable', 

For all everyone wanted was for love to be defined rigorously, 

For each word to be underlined until the paper gave way beneath. 

Even now, as she grieved the hole in her heart, she had to inconspicuously sneak into the graveyard,

For women weren't allowed entry, the scriptures said. 

Scriptures-words of 'wisdom' told and perpetuated by men alone.  

The prospect of Judgement Day terrified her no more, and never would, 

For men had differentiated, segregated far more than God ever could. 

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