Bio Note: I have worked in India in health and social communications for long years. I now spend my time reading copiously and doing some creative writing when the inspiration strikes. There is an overall discipline to this, though I write only when I feel prompted to, as each piece or form takes up considerable research in order so I ‘get it’! I do short fiction, poetry and literary reviews. My work has appeared in Mad in Asia Pacific, Kitaab, and Erothanatos.
There is work to be done on this hill. Animals roam free and wild within: To watch not punish, to be tranquil. The rabbit runs, paws tremble, thoughts mill; Stumbles and falls, sorrows break in. There is work to be done on this hill. The hawk, stock-still sees both good and ill; Gaze sharp and soaring, all thoughts cave in. To watch not punish, to be tranquil. The snake caged, bars curb a speech overspill; Tongue waits to hiss, sting, release toxin. There is work to be done on this hill. The lion roars, proud power claiming its fill; Hungry, beaten ruler turns driven. To watch not punish, to be tranquil. Our beasts come with tamings to fulfill. Why note and punish others for their sins? There is work to be done on this hill. To watch not punish, to be tranquil.
This thought of dying I either ignore or give in to, feel its shroud tight as vice, disabling breath. Or like a capsized raft with waves breaking over me. Calmly enclosing or fiercely breaking? Fiercely breaking. Glints of tranquil sun in the water turn my screams into mute bubbles of spit and foam. Fear feels like concentrated energy Irresistible. Great grey waves suck me up and bounce me back to the seabed again and again till I am battered and winded. A great pain shoots up from the top of my chest. My lungs or heart must have dislocated. Someone, somewhere have mercy. This is not the surrender I had heard bandied about.(Originally appeared in Kitaab, October 28, 2019)
©2020 Neera Kashyap
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