Ripped

Rimli

Get well soon, the apple of my eyes! Love–Mamma.

I bite my lips and the salty waters drain down
a labyrinth of pain.
Even if it did hurt from the moment
You were formed,
I embraced its melodies in a wellspring of love,
Wanting the pain glowing
In my body and spirit,
And then it hid away in
Unsung nooks and crevices
In absorbed moments, when
your little hands and feet
Imprinted themselves on me.
I didn’t know when your incessant splash of words and your hushed sleep became my lullaby.
The river crawled back,
Twitching haphazard my indolent face.
Each night, I wrap you up
Your tender mouth and face,
Give you the softest, warmest blanketed sleep,
Each new day, you slip from the tinkle bell of my womb’s sheltered dark.
The day unwraps you in splinters, tainted brown flesh.
I know the river will now pull you downstream.
There waits your world in light, wind, mayhem and danger.
Note: I wrote this little poem today for my younger daughter Sharanya (Rimli) in a bewildered mental state after she met with her first accident in her school and had a big cut in her lower chin. The doctor stitched the area today and she is at home now, taking some rest in her bed.

The Stillborn

In a crumpled bed of blood and free-flowing love
My child is borne. Let me hold him close,
Let me behold him in his fairy-winged sleep,
Let me bathe him with my milk and unshed tears
That had awaited his first cry, sprouting open,
Unfurling the soft petals of his sleep.

His tiny fingers folded, resolute,
His curled up limbs, his body like a sonnet
Unfolding before eternity, do let me
Hold him close until his cry merges
In whirlwind, in spirals, in harmony
With my never-ending lullaby.

What is this tingling wave
Of pain in the folds of my muscles?
This soreness, swelling of my nerves,
My bones crackle, the monitor and the machinery
The bubbles of conspiracy lull me to sleep.
I won’t succumb to the call of sleep till I hold
My crying baby, till I don’t feed him,
Look into the verse, the melody of his face
The valley of my body gleaming with
The first ray of my newborn’s smile.

I am not a part of this vicious silence, this numbness around.
The room stinks with your hushed conversations,
Your measured intrusions and the smell of sedation.
Whose demon hands plunged into the room
And plucked my cherub?
Can’t you see my body bursting open in pain
And surrender, to see him cry?
To settle him in the soiree of my bosom?

The silence of the room, numinous, resounding,
Calls you, my baby. I hum, in voiceless notes,
Your unsung lullabies.

Footnotes: My humble dedication to the mothers in all parts of the world who have lost their little angels during childbirth. This poem is written in the voice of a delusional woman who believes her stillborn child is alive. All my sincere thanks to The Woman Inc Poetry Project for this writing prompt and for all your wonderful poems in response to it.

Lullabies and Birth Pangs: Journey of the Womb

 

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This piece happens to be the first full-length personal essay/narrative that I had written, in the form of a diary or journal entry during my first pregnancy. Today, five years after my elder daughter Srobona (Mithi) is there in our lives, I continue to revel in the countless joys, glories, the small milestones of victory and failure of our lives together, holding on to this precious bond called ‘Motherhood’.

This piece marks the beginning of my journey as a mother, and is also the stepping stone to other longer/shorter personal narratives in which I have celebrated this journey marked with awe, admiration and self-exploration. This piece is my humble tribute to God’s amazing gift—motherhood. 

It is my pleasure to include this personal essay in my recently completed memoir, where it resides along with other long-form, mid-range and short narrative nonfiction pieces in the section/volume ‘On Being A Mother’. 

It is also a pleasure to share this personal journey of mine recently published at B’Khush.com. To read the full essay, please go to:

http://www.bkhush.com/dev/content/scattered-pearls-journey-womb

Life Ahead: an Ode to Mothers, Babies and Mother Earth

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Notes for the readers: An experimental poem in four distinct segments, this poem has won the title of the ‘most creative’ piece in a writing contest hosted by Writerscafe.org. I started writing this piece in November 2009 as a sweet, feel-good gift for my daughter’s first birthday. But as the poem started unfolding in my mind, it didn’t remain a piece exclusively for me and my baby. Now, I dedicate this piece to all mothers and babies of the world, to unwanted motherhood, to starved orphans and to the throbbing life that resurrects in our Mother Earth amidst the suffocating agony of hunger, decay and the debilitating pain of humanity.

(1)

Child of delight, offspring of love

In this coarse life amidst stone, sand and soil,

I behold the softness of your misty sleep.

You float on the dreams of a silvery stream in Wonderland,

I kiss the beauty of your liquid sounds, your lifting smiles.

In whispers and living lullabies, I drink your life,

Carry your warm breath, fragrance and melodies

Show your tranquil light.

(2)

Mother of darkness, mother in gorging flames

Within you, I seek no flame of rebellion, no reformation;

I’ve walked my life on tattered soil and blackened streets,

Crumbling, decaying and scattered in dust.

Grinding and groaning in the curling smoke of memory,

I’ve sensed the skeleton of your growth,

Floating around quivering shadows of dirt and lies.

A petal bloom in glory, lust and greed of shivering nights

My heart pumps blood for you to wrap you around me,

To grow inside me, cold, parched, starving orphan.

I’ve held you in the wintry chill of thousand midnights

Endlessly waiting for a thousand splendid sunshines.

In whispered worlds of crimson blood, gore, sobs and sighs,

I seek the scarlet bliss of your blood,

A flickering flame of your shrieks awakens me.

(3)

Innocence screams, pain dances in a hungry earth

A wispy wind uttering secrets at night,

Soft murmurs hovering over a silent earth,

Howling voices of haunted longings and despair,

Scars deep in the soul, muttering and whispering

Rumors and pain.

The red rose wounds of battered infants dying

And living, breathing pain on streets of cold….

I stand alone among heaps of discarded dirt,

In a wasteland of screaming silence and barren shadows

And listen to the lullabies of a soft baby skin,

Straining through the solemn frost of a stony earth,

I follow the voice of an angel carrying divine autumn whispers;

Crossing lonely, dark streets, a sob breaks from my chest

To see a fallen tear, the want of an embrace,

The warmth of tiny fingers in soft caresses

Crushed in brittle dust.

(4)

Life ahead: calling the golden girl, calling the hapless kid.

Blessed be the breast that cuddles, milks and aches,

Blessed be the darkness of empty chests and frozen pain.

Blessed be the crimson blood of the cherubic babe

Seizing its way through dark corners of the heaving womb.

Blessed be the smile of the little boy that dances in the rain

In rasping joys, in the city streets of scarlet pain.

Blessed be the flickering flames of innocent lives

Crushed and battered by bullets under azure skies.

Mothers giving nectar and tender beds of care

Mothers giving the softest music and rhythm of life

To sleepy eyes, fragile bodies and rosy red cheeks

Dissolve in shadowed rooms in a stormy deluge.

In a different deluge, endless mothers breathe and live

In streets of cold, with cracked lips and despaired tears.

Blessed be their feet that walk through sand and freezing ice.

The life that lies ahead in a soiree of blossoms for the golden girl,

Calls out the hapless kids hidden in dust and tears.

Calls out in hunger, eagerness and pain.