Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II



'He who seeks light must learn to walk in the dark.' -
                                                      St. John of the Cross.

When I was seventeen
And dreaming of distant lands
And faraway loves,
My grandmother said
'Get her married
before the light
              goes out of her face.'
The light in a woman's face
Should not be so brief.
It's meant to last a long time,
Nourished by the soul.
Well, they got me married,
           put out that light.
But I learned to live in candle-light
When the other lights went out.
One learns by subtle contact to reach
Electricity at most mysterious levels.
Light goes from the face, but
Survival lends one light   
                  that shines most brightly.
She who seeks light,
Must learn to walk in the darkness
On her own road.

A Small Death - A Small Joy

           A small death is
           in my mind.
           A Sufi dervish dancing,   
            wildly beating drums,
            my heart's manic hurricane.
            A small joy came  
             circling into my   
            Seized upon, it soon
                                  took me over.
             Small death, immense birth,
                     life's foetus, perfectly moving
              to its absolution.