A Search with Words

“His walking stick stands in my cupboard…”

Rajani Radhakrishnan is one of my favorite poets.  This prose poem was published today in The Quiet Letter.  Read more of Rajani’s stunning work on her site ThotPurge.

 

The idiom of childhood seeps into this borrowed lexicon, like the leaky roof drawing patches on the wall smelling of another rain, smelling of grandfather’s only black coat that he wore like a second skin;

When it hung on the nail behind the door, he was shrunken, diminished, swallowed by loud kitchen voices, rambunctious brass and copper pots, their warm bottoms patterned with soot;

His walking stick stands in my cupboard, older than me, than him, head bent in a way his never was, even the night by grandma’s body, preparing her, preparing himself;

I search for him with words in a language he never spoke, that can state he laughed out loud watching cartoons with me that last summer, but cannot translate the way his whole body shook, the way the sea trickled out of one eye, his face contorted into something that I now call joy.

 

Rajani Radhakrishnan is a poet from Bangalore, India.  Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post.

Everything Becomes a Stranger

“. . . a poem is a silent tree in spate . . .”

This morning I read a new poem by Rajani Radhakrishnan that is a perfect description of how a poem is made and who it becomes as we let it go.  Rajani gave me permission to reblog it, so here it is.  Please visit her site, ThotPurge to thank her, and while you’re there check out her second blog Phantom Road  where she converses with Marcus in a series of haibun poems — equally as evocative.  Rajani, I am so grateful to have discovered your poetry.

Everything Becomes A Stranger

even a word in a sentence,
you hold it there, lock it in and
for a while it makes sense
then it begins to work itself loose
wanting to move
wanting to move on
another appears in its place
an unfamiliar voice,
saying something else;

a poem is a silent tree in spate
one by one its green eyes fall
one by one new eyebrows are raised
only you know it is a different tree
the shadows paint another dark
and whatever is flowering
is not caused by your being;

everything becomes a stranger
once it leaves, once it falls
words, worlds,
people,
even you walking away
carrying a poem
carrying a sentence
cast shapes angled into the sun
as if the light is making love to you
in a different language.

– Rajani Radhakrishnan