Monday 5 May 2014

3 Poems by Vinita Agrawal

Red Band Swastika
A cross with four arms
The ends of each arm
Bent at ninety degrees
Symbol of the auspicious
All is well.

The Nazis right-faced it
Turned its arms
To forty five degrees
Flagged off hatred,
Violence and death.

The pious symbol sat askew
On red murder banners
On olive army uniforms
On cruel arm bands
On dead hearts.

It wove itself
Into the victim's nightmares
Like a black spider.
Passed on the terror to the
children of their children.

I met some German friends
at the cafe the other day
Some words are taboo
They said
We don't talk about it anymore.

Yes, better to forget
Safer too, I agreed
So long as we remember
How vile a heart can get
How morbid a mind.

As long as history remains
The sun will never shine
On the right-faced swastika
Nor time forgive the earth for moving
When it should have stood very very still.

Evening Commune

The terrace is soft with breeze
Laburnums spill over its parapets
The setting sun languors here awhile
gathering all the day's chills in its arms.

Neighbouring terraces
appear further than they are
What seems intimate is the
origami pattern of skies though so distant.

In the frilly firmament above
A paragon V of birds flies silently,
homeward bound, dissolving into the
contentment of waiting chicks in trees.

Soon the stars arrive
twinkling turn by turn
linking hands to light the sky
like a magic wand.

Even if tomorrow is a harbinger
of anxieties
this peace will not diminish
nor this serenity abate.

Evenings indicate
that all days come to an end.
Even the worst
disappear with the sun

leaving behind the night
for reflections, new resolves, new ways
so that when the sun stops by
next morning, it picks up an unruffled day.


Black as congealed blood
Black as evil intentions
Black as the eyes of white kidney beans
Black as the day of parting.

Black as the bedding of stars
As a cloud carrying thunder
As fear in a hunted doe's eyes
As a garbage bag.

Black as rejection
As the years of exile
As the underside of a bench in a prison cell
As a charred body.

Black as calamity
As bits of ourselves in pain
As the rock bottom of an empty money box
As the danger of nicotine.

Black as the tunnel in a mountain's belly
As war
As incest
As an alley without lights.

Black. And they call it a colour.

Vinita is a Mumbai based writer and poet. Her poems have been published in Asiancha, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Spark, The Taj Mahal Review, CLRI, SAARC Anthologies,, Touch- The Journal of healing, Museindia,, Mahmag World Literature, The Criterion, The Brown Critique,, Sketchbook, Poetry 24, Mandala and others which include several international anthologies. Her poem was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011 by CLRI. She received a prize from MuseIndia in 2010. Her debut collection of poems titled Words Not Spoken is due for release in August 2013. <>

1 comment:

  1. These poems are so visual. They create images in the mind which are so identifiable, so relatable that they stay in the consciousness.....
    the right-faced swastika that must, of needs be forgotten and earth reprimanded for not standing still then.....
    a day ending peacefully with even homeward bound birds, dissolving into the
    contentment of waiting chicks in trees.....only humans must reflect and resolve for the morrow.....
    Vinita's poems resonate with readers at different levels to become memorable

    Kusum Choppra