Blesok no. 70, January-February, 2010

Last Night A Poet Saved My Life

Raman Mundair

The True Bear Tale
(Stockholm, 2001)

The Bear came
from the North
looking for a mate.
We were all sentimental
watching the TV
reading the paper,
willing it to settle,
find love.
For weeks it trekked;
we followed.
He traveled all the way down
South, almost crossed
the bridge.
And then, some trouble
with sheep, he had to be
shot. I cried. Dreamt
about him for weeks.

Stories from the Shoormal

Here. Hear the ice crack.
Be still. We are constantly
on the move. This road
goes nowhere, this road
goes everywhere. The only
thing that truly flows is the sea.

The sea lonely, the sea,
the sea seduces, the sea,
the sea screams, the sea,
the sea senses, the sea,
the sea, the sea. In my dreams

there is a road that continues on
long, long – forever. Unlit,
un-shadowed, I cannot see
myself but I am there. Un-alone,
awash of me, awash of midnight
blue. The skies wash over me.

The ice cracks, the Artic tundra
shivers, readjusts its spines,
sends secret messages in dialect
to its nerve-endings in Shetland.
There are ley lines here
vibrating, cracking – electric.

{*Shoormal (Shetland dialect) – The place where the sea meets the shore}

The Last Waltz


A heavy stringed intro,
a dress laced with a melancholic trim,
faltering steps in ill-fitting shoes.
I am not used to dancing backwards:
you lead, I follow, not
matching your surefootedness.

Let me be the one to say it:
Un-break the charm,
recant the spell,
un-drink the potion,
claw back the days.
We are out of time.


We come into life
reeling towards the last waltz
and with each revolution
I come closer, a whirling dervish:
ecstatic and blissful
in the not knowing.

The Weight

Ours was not an overwhelming passion, like the tidal waves
I was used to.

Ours was an awakening. A sunrise
and sunset.

A steady unfolding,
like a flower; a tulip,

which bows,
                     by  beauty,

Blood Season (4)

Today the children
left their desks,
and asked questions

outside, in the streets
their mouths open,
their voices strong

Last Night A Poet Saved My Life

Gave me mouth-to-mouth
licked away the kiss of death
breathed into me a new voice
that whispered sweet nothings
until all bitterness evaporated away

Last night a poet saved my life
fed me a feast of sound, tantalizing lyrics,
draped me in song
lulled me into soporific dreams
that awakened me

Last night a poet saved my life
gave me the beat
that my faithless heart had skipped
stoked dying fires
quenched my endless thirst

Last night a poet saved my life
shouted secrets in riddles
illuminated beauty in darkness
wove infinite shadows
out of light

Last night a poet saved my life
Made love flirting with ears
Sound arousing my sense of taste
I mouth words
My fingertips caressing the page

Smoke Wings

In your dreams you had wings,
butterfly wings, wet whispers
emerging from a cocoon.
In your nightmares you fell,
wings aflame like the painting
you saw made in memory

of Hiroshima. In my life, you
blazed. The smoke of your wings
brought water to my eyes.

In Between Days

In between the days
I am waiting
for the rain to stop,
the fruit in my kitchen ripens,
then rots. While the clothes
in my wardrobe
wait for me to lose
weight. The novel
inside me waits, while I
try to unblock
my fear. The womb
waits to be filled.
My insomniac self waits
for sleep to come.
In between days
buses arrive,
planes take off;
summer comes and fades.

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