Tikuli

 

 

(India)

 

 

 

Returning

 

I often visit the
abandoned house
off the beaten track

 

Its yard
no longer tended

 

Here
In the forgotten places
Littered with broken shards,
Rotting leaves, gnarled branches,
Entwined vines and
Dried unruly weeds
I follow the scent
Of unseen blossoms
I trace my fingers
On the ancient walls
Moist with night dew and
On which
Memory has turned mossy green
In places

 

I look through the dusty windows
That reflect nothing
The sadness of which
Speaks to me

 

Then, as the seasons change,
In the midst of decay
The tree of sorrow blooms
Night after night
Romancing the August moon

 

At dawn
I gather the scent of the night jasmine
And with it
The scent of you
Encased between the white
And the vermilion

 

 

 

Yearning

 

The sapling you planted
near the pond in the courtyard
has blossomed

 

The lusty boughs of your mango tree
are laden with pale green; ambrosia
is fragrant on the southern wind

 

The black bees flock to the nectar filled
mango blossom and fill the
pleasure garden with their songs

 

From a high branch a cuckoo
calls his mate, his song piercing
the shadows across my heart

 

Below, the sun flirts with the
water lilies as it warms
the cool waters of the pond

 

The swing, unused now,
moves gently when caressed by
even the lightest breeze

 

The days have lengthened
since the blossoming of our love
and summer is lonelier than ever

 

My hammock sways to music
I cannot hear, as I recall
Those fragrant, leisured days

 

Our joyful laughter and games,
our feet soothed by the
waters of the lotus pond

 

Twigs and flowers in our hair from
guilty afternoon naps in the grass,
books left upturned on our bellies

 

Seasons quickly change,
luscious fruits, long summer
evenings filled with birdsong

 

The blossoming of our love
in the pleasure garden
our first kiss, lying side by side

 

And then came the season for grief,
we parted in silence in the early morning
before the sun had dried the dew

 

Years passed and we were apart, but this year
the lane that leads to our garden
is fragrant with love

 

The lotus pond is brimming with pink buds
the courtyard is carpeted with golden petals
the air is filled with the cuckoo’s call

 

Won’t you come my love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

BIO

 

Brought up in Delhi in a family of liberal educationists Tikuli is a mother of two sons. She is also a blogger and author. Some of her short stories and poems have appeared in print and in online journals and literary magazines including Le Zaparougue, MiCROW 8, Troubadour21, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women’s Web.

Some of her print publications include poems in Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology and much acclaimed Chicken Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul(Westland). Her work has also been featured on websites related to gender issues and child sexual abuse. She blogs at tikulicious.wordpress.com

 

Her Debut poetry book ‘Collection of Chaos’ was published by Leaky Boot Press (Jan, 2014).

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