Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Neera Kashyap

Flow Patterns 

(a Haibun)


Dawn glints through the sharp fronds of a palm tree, laden with coconuts. Beneath its shade is her hut of mud and palm thatch. On this dry rocky hill, she sweeps her porch and wets it. Her body bends in half to the ground. Feet apart, only her hand moves as she pinches out white stone powder between thumb and forefinger. Her grid of twelve dots turns into a curvy diamond, expanding into petals. Her powder falls in a continuous line as she shifts her body carefully to create designs she has learned from girlhood. Her neighbour has already welcomed the gods, an empty coconut shell tilting at her pattern's edge. Hers is a bouquet: four petals form a flower, flowing into more flowers, contained by the dots. At the bottom of the low hill, loops of eights, faintly visible have bird and squirrel visitors. She has used rice flour. It is yesterday's pattern. She must be unwell today.


in lotus loops

a goddess dreams of

still green lakes






Her Poems

She wrote her poems for the winds
If you read the winds you can read them.
Sometimes the winds also
bring them to you
as a sort of caress -
to the eyes

to the blood

to the heart







Rain Shelter

His shelter a rock

overhang; river rain wind -

thunder heart’s cloudburst





Bird Whistle

A flycatcher whee-eeps

into a coral dusk -

Light merges into sound





About the poet

Neera Kashyap has worked on health, social and environmental communications. As an author, she has published a book of stories for young adults titled, Daring to Dream and contributed to five prize-winning anthologies for children. As a literary writer of short fiction, poetry, essays and book/theatre reviews, her work has appeared in international journals (Setumag & Virtual Verse from USA; Clarendon Publishing House and The Poet from U.K.); in South Asian journals (Kitaab, Mad in Asia Pacific & Papercuts); in several Indian journals including Usawa, Out of Print, Narrow Road, Erothanatos and in an anthology, Hibiscus on poems that heal and empower.

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Published by The Alternative.