Five Poems  | Abhay K.'s image
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Five Poems | Abhay K.

KavishalaKavishala June 16, 2020
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Abhay K. is an Indian poet-diplomat and the author of 8 poetry collections and the editor of The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems. He has translated Kalidasa’s Meghaduta into English. His forthcoming poetry collection is The Alphabets of Latin America. His Earth Anthem has been translated into over 50 languages.


After Natasha Trethewey

Mourn the Monday morning, early hours

at the office, papers marked for necessary action,

e-mails piled over the weekend, flurry of phone calls. Drink

cups of strong coffee, read the e-mails, answer the phone calls.

Do all you can, gathering energy, motivation

to go on, filing scattered loose papers, arrange visiting cards

in the folder. Delete spam, drink more coffee,

check facebook stealthily like thieves, watch videos

on you tube. Break for lunch for an hour. Wish it was longer.

In the afternoon, drink more coffee, walk

to other colleagues to share a light moment, back

to the seat, kill the mosquitoes, regulate

the speed of the fan of the air-conditioner, watch

news. Boss calls for a meeting. Rush

to her chamber leaving everything behind. ‘Have you done

this, have you done that?’ There seems to be no end

to work. All day long wait for the clock to strike

five, the hour that turns you into a free man. Take off

the tie.



The house is filled with the smell of basmati

slowly cooking in milk and cardamom seeds

wearing blood red sari

green and golden blouse

and matching necklace, slippers

women sing songs of joy and despair

an aging father climbs the mountains

to fetch his married daughter back home

her mother waits for her princess

her brother is overjoyed

she will be the queen of her parent’s house

she will wear new clothes—elegant red

she will sing and dance with her sakhi-sahelis

and share with them her joy and sorrows

she will listen to the stories of their mothers-in-law

and tell them the adventures of her husband

she will eat sweet dar before the dawn

and ready herself for the fast– the whole day-long.

Sakhi-sahelis friends.

Dar fragrant basmati rice cooked with milk and sugar.


Pashupatinath: The Lord of Beasts

Taking the form of golden deer

I and my consort Parvati

galloped carefree

on the banks of Bagmati

when Kathmandu valley got crowded

with pilgrims and poachers

we retreated to Mount Kailash

I told them they can have my lingam

they kept it behind silver doors

inside a tiered pagoda

made of wood and copper

topped with gold gajur

and revered and worshipped it

as the lord of beasts and gods

as the great gratifier of wishes

as the saviour of the sacred land

we had to desert Mount Kailash

after atheists took over Tibet

and they did not want to keep my lingam

so I turned the whole mountain into one.



An island of pleasure

a sea of adrenaline

grass, girls, gods, whatever you need

just a dip away in my holy well

love blooms in my streets

as exotic roses in the garden of dreams

bronze goddesses metamorphose into apsaras

wine flows in my alleys

my boutiques laden with cashmere

bronze, silver, gold, precious stones and silk

tourists, merchants, sadhus and prostitutes

rub shoulders with each other in my streets

every dusk a new world comes alive in me

every dawn a world ends in mahapralaya.

Apsaras are cosmic dancers.

Mahapralaya means great dissolution.



A forlorn land filled with mud and dust. Streets untouched since Lord

Ram walked here to marry Sita—king Janak’s daughter after breaking

Shiva’s arrow. Parshuram’s wrath still simmers as a thorn in my flesh.

Legend has it that when Ram broke Shiva’s arrow, Parshuram became very angry

as Shiva was his Guru.




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