Five Poems  | Abhay K.'s image

Five Poems | Abhay K.


Abhay K. is an Indian poet-diplomat and the author of 8 poetry collections and the editor of The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems. He has translated Kalidasa’s Meghaduta into English. His forthcoming poetry collection is The Alphabets of Latin America. His Earth Anthem has been translated into over 50 languages.


After Natasha Trethewey

Mourn the Monday morning, early hours

at the office, papers marked for necessary action,

e-mails piled over the weekend, flurry of phone calls. Drink

cups of strong coffee, read the e-mails, answer the phone calls.

Do all you can, gathering energy, motivation

to go on, filing scattered loose papers, arrange visiting cards

in the folder. Delete spam, drink more coffee,

check facebook stealthily like thieves, watch videos

on you tube. Break for lunch for an hour. Wish it was longer.

In the afternoon, drink more coffee, walk

to other colleagues to share a light moment, back

to the seat, kill the mosquitoes, regulate

the speed of the fan of the air-conditioner, watch

news. Boss calls for a meeting. Rush

to her chamber leaving everything behind. ‘Have you done

this, have you done that?’ There seems to be no end

to work. All day long wait for the clock to strike

five, the hour that turns you into a free man. Take off

the tie.



The house is filled with the smell of basmati

slowly cooking in milk and cardamom seeds

wearing blood red sari

green and golden blouse

and matching necklace, slippers

women sing songs of joy and despair

an aging father climbs the mountains

to fetch his married daughter back home

her mother waits for her princess

her brother is overjoyed

she will be the queen of her parent’s house

she will wear new clothes—elegant red

she will sing and dance with her sakhi-sahelis

and share with them her joy and sorrows

she will listen to the stories of their mothers-in-law

and tell them the adventures of her husband

she will eat sweet dar before the dawn

and ready herself for the fast– the whole day-long.

Sakhi-sahelis friends.

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