In the stillness of the old house my fingers leave traces on the dust-shrouded sepia of broken lives— their names only half remembered— parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins— in the courtyard of our ancestral home, or surrounded by vast areas of snow that now weigh heavy on my heart as I close my eyes and find a dream in which the mist of old memories veils the far distant hills and bare trees that stand transfixed like bleached skeletons, their summer songs exorcised the grey of sorrow clouds the sky I recall a bright wood fire blazing fragrant with the scent of my homeland making figures like themselves to celebrate the coming of new snow but that was before innocence was lost and the snow turned red with blood as their sculptures gradually died and vanished from sight forever in the years since I last saw snow fall winter has become a grisly metaphor for the loss of life and hope and things that will never be again
First Published In Dissident Voice, a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice. It is also included in her second book of poems ‘Wayfaring'
two a.m. on Delhi’s post-rain Sunday I try to wash away the sleepiness from my insomnia laden eyes pick a fresh sheet of paper spread clean water till its sheen's like fresh snow on a sunny day clean and load the brushes with colours drop and watch in wonderment as the colours bleed and waltz into the white stillness the ripe colours of autumn, a drop of sea, the harvest fields, the washes of sunsets layer after layer and a moon laid on lake waters a tender breath of green a river filled with apparitions, here now – then gone wet roads winding around echoing hills the crisp autumn breeze floating across the valley steam rising from a coffee left at the deck my eyes closed I feel the calm glow of lights at the water edge the silent shadows the peace of the submerged river banks I dip my brush again as the pigeons rise followed by the squirrel and the upstairs neighbour pounding fresh ginger for morning chai the trees rise, the day rises night slowly walks towards summer morning
First published in Cafe Dissensus Everyday,the blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – We Dissent
Tikuli Dogra is a Delhi based internationally published poet, fiction writer, artist and blogger. Her poems have appeared in many renowned print and online literary magazines. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies like Silence is White & Le Zaporogue. Her collections of poetry, Collection of Chaos, Wayfaring and Duets – a book of collaborative poems with James Goddard were published by Leaky Boot Press, England.
She blogs at tikulicious.wordpress.com