Volume 4 Issue 1, April 2020

Kavita Shastri

Green Trails

Bowing in cohesion,
Owing to pressure
We stand, sensing danger
Ready to be martyrs,
Paving way to building bridges.

Nesting birds,
With no packers and movers to move their nests 
Insects, squirrels, rodents…millions,
continue their daily chores
Hoarding their winter coffers.

Mute, we witness 
Infringed spaces, turning 
Deaf, dumb, blind to our
muffled cries,
 humans stabbing deep into our hearts, 
wailing, wreathing we cry.

We witness the mynas 
Putting their last straw to their nests
The crows awaiting just
One more day for their eggs to hatch,
The eaglet awaiting her moment to soar high,
The baby squirrel crossing the threshold 
To pick her first berry,
Friends around celebrating 
their silver and golden anniversaries,
All pensive. await to be gagged, maimed 
Regimented in lines,
To be logged in timber yard.

United we grieve
We wail, sigh ceaselessly
Our death warrants issued to save a 
few minutes of human time:
State sponsored, waiting for the noose
To be publicly hanged, We
Curse as we part:
Lesser rains!
Drier spells!
Hotter climes!

 

 

Caves at Meghalaya

 

A dreamy haze
Envelops the maze
Cavernous path of yore
Ascending, descending
Turning left, right
I tread
The water trickles
Meandering through
Crevices and corners
Casting magical casements
I watch, aghast in awe
Nature’s mystery
Unbound.

Venice Floats

 

Below the sea level
Stands a city,
Floating 
On canals
Bereft of cobbled roads,
I take a gondola ride
Through the olive-green waters
The mossy foundation
Of antiquated structures visible 
A history unfolds
Of Venetian merchants
Trading in spices on the Kerala coast
Growing rich
Shylock, Portia, Bassanio,
Peep through the Shakespearean window
I try deciphering 
The mosaic 
At St. Mark’s Cathedral
Admire the amalgamation
Of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance
And new classical here
The Dodge’s Palace
Thousands throng
To admire the venetian magic
In masks of their choice
Gaping at the dining table of Europe.

 

Survivors

 

Bidding goodbye to
Extant folks, the dugongs
And manatees,
Treading in terrestrial space
The elephant trumpets
Its way, unabashed
Not marginalising the other,
Spared this time by the 
Shots of George Orwell;
Safe out of the imperialist discourse
roaring, musth.
Bizarrely represented as white!
Non indulging in language games
You, emerge as Airavata
Hegemonically controlling: 
The thunder and lightning
Reigning,
As the elephant headed God,
As a dream precursor to Gautama’s ascent,
Emerging sacrosanct in temples, Gothic churches, 
On mosaics, in totems, 
Spearheading battles and processions, 
Trumpeting.
Living in peace, 
Jostling for space
Far from the maddening crowd
In deep, dense forests
Seismically communicating
And bonding with loved ones 
Fighting your vulnerability
Surviving.

 

 

About the Poet

Dr. Kavita Shastri is serving as Associate Professor and Head, Department of English and Media Studies at Vijaya College, Jayanagar, Bangalore. She has been teaching both at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Level. She has presented papers and chaired sessions at several National and International Seminars, Conferences and Workshops. Several of her papers have been published too. She has guided students for both M.Phil. and Ph.D. Programs. She is a budding poet and translator. Some of her poems have appeared in E –Journals.

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Published by The Alternative.