Poems by Sukrita Paul Kumar



Not five thousand years ago

But yesterday


In a flight of freedom from

the silky sheaves

of affluent slumber

folded in


A coffee table book

in a Hong Kong household


Our great ancestor

Grandfather Fu Hsi

the Chinese seer


Leapt out of chronology

Freed from the tentacles of calendars


and exhaled

into the

landscape of my soul


splitting the mountain ranges

of my existence

all into sixty four hexagrams


each one a tell tale oracle

he said


the geometry of my being

aligned with

wind earth heaven

fire rain moon

mountain and thunder too –


With the call of lineage


I stood like a heron

in contemplation

still and steady


Ready for the cries of birth.

The woman with a baby-Sukrita

The Woman with a Baby

Lilacs and tulips sprouting

from the slants of her eyes

Her yellow face

shimmering in white sunlight

Her body, a luminescent garden


Life within life dancing on

Feather feet

The rising belly, a tight sponge

Puffed into lightness


Lingering pasts

In the ruins of the fortress

at Macau,


Her hands going in circles

Caressing the baby inside,

On the cozy pathway

Whispering history in Portuguese,


Old times hanging with roots

from the tired branches

of Banyan trees;


Whiffs of future blowing

from the citadel of the present,

Singing the song of her body

The woman walked

Through smoke and dust


Our eyes met,

Chinese with Indian,

Entwined in maternity

Not mediated by English;


Tiny movements rising

in our bellies,

fish churning in the ocean,

birds flapping wings through the skies

 drooping eyelids, batting heavy

ready to enter light

and exit the bliss of sleep.

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