Outpourings – A collection of poems by Lily Swarn

Outpourings – A collection of poems by Lily Swarn

1. May Day thoughts

Does She Know?

Does she even know about it?

This lady in her cotton sari

Head demurely covered

Glass bangles clanking in her wrists

The baby in a tattered make shift hammock

Tied to two dusty trees

Hammering stones by the pavement

Carrying gravel on her delicate head

Does she even know that some one

Somewhere in the world is ‘Celebrating’ International Workers’ day’?

The majestic buildings gleaming with glass windows

Look down vacantly at her

Her blank eyes drowning in spectre hollows

She gazes towards the smoggy horizon

And sees not a single sign of hope

2. Deeply Loved

Women who are deeply loved

Glisten with an ethereal iridescence

Ensconced in a safe chrysalis

Their butterfly wings unfurl

Confident stride, carefree stance

The tresses devil may care

Women who are sincerely loved

Can wait till the last fiery sunset

Bursting into magenta blooms

That climb the trellis of bliss


3. Magical Magnolia

Magnolia merrily blooming

On a fresh spring bough

Shaped like a tulip with a zest for heights

Catching the eye of walkers and drivers

Arresting them unawares in the rush

For their inevitable daily grind

Powder puff clouds on a turquoise sky

Lending a backdrop for the lilac satin


4. A Brinjal?

The brinjal dangled enticingly on the dwarf plant

Royal purple, shiny and smooth

Waiting to be plucked by the frugal home maker

Willing to be chopped up into a sweet and sour curry

Or roasted and smashed into a succulent bharta

The bed of leaves dark and protective

Flowers yet to ripen, a mauve hue

Related to tomatoes and potatoes, Actually a berry, they say!

From Italian parmigiana to Middle Eastern baba ganoush

To stuffed Turkish delights and sharp Chinese stir fries

The humble aubergine soaks in flavours and oils

Letting itself be called an eggplant too

Long, round, oval, white

Begun bhaja in Bengal and a smoked Chokha in Bihar

If I were a vegetable, maybe I’d be a brinjal?

The round one , of course !


5. Reflections on the Ceiling

A vault of mirages traipsing

Through eons of desert sands

Your voice in distorted guitar strings

Strumming on battered bastions

Quivering quests for random forays

In lost lagoons of aquatic blues

Feathered dreams winging farther

To catch the sunset by its tail

Orphaned desires laid to rest

In satin covered marble graves


6. Pearly Pinks

Baby pink smock frocks with wondrous awe

Pink greed of candy floss clouds of childhood

Rapturous buds of dusty rose pink teenage tumults

Sashaying youth on passionate parades of hot pink streams

Waiting in silver haired halls of grey chiffons with pink lipsticked wisdom

Pink pearls on creasing necks as the end comes closer


7. For Gobind Shahbaaz Singh

Our son who left us bewildered on 1st of  January 2013

Rest In Peace dear one

Was it three long years ago that God decided

That He wanted you back dear Shahbaaz?

Your light was too bright to be snuffed out

By a single stroke of death

Your aura luminous like a billion stars

On a moonlit night

The warm twinkle in your

Deep hazel eyes emerging

Into the greenish grey of

A turbulent sea on some days

The benevolent throbbing of your heart

Ever willing to lend a helping hand

Your friends who come and hold me

In a warm bear hug

Are constant reminders

Of the titanic size

Of your endearing persona

At once humble and regal

A genial smile and a naughty quip hiding the

Tick tock of your blazing brilliance

A boy far beyond his times

An ambition wilder than a stallion’s

You galloped into my life

Hiding safely in my womb

But departed in a zooming jiffy

Without even saying goodbye

I know you look at me

Admonishingly from heaven

Whenever I laugh out of turn

Or even when I speak

Louder than a lady should

It’s too late to say

“If only “and “suppose”

You are an angel now

Or a truly evolved soul

But I walk through your room

Trying to clasp at your soul

Mothers are foolish beings

Who know it more than you?

Lily Swarn, International Beat Poet Laureate for India in 2023-2024 and recipient of Caesar Vallejo Award for literary excellence by UHE, is an internationally acclaimed, multilingual poet, novelist, essayist, columnist, gold medalist, university colour holder, radio show host, and Peace and Humanity ambassador. She and has over 70 international and national awards including the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi award. Her poetry is translated into 21 languages. She can be reached at [email protected]

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