Paracetamol legends I know
For rising fevers, as pain-relievers—
Of my people—father’s father’s mother’s
Mother, dark lush hair caressing her ankles
Sometimes, sweeping earth, deep-honey skin,
Amber eyes—not beauty alone they say—she
Married a man who murdered thirteen men and one
Lonely summer afternoon her rice-white teeth tore
Through layers of khaki, and golden white skin to spill
The bloodied guts of a British soldier who tried to colonize her. . .
Of my land—uniform blue open skies,
Mad-artist palettes of green lands and lily-filled lakes that
Mirror all—not peace or tranquil alone, he shudders—some
Young woman near my father’s home, with a drunken husband
Who never changed; she bore his beatings everyday until on one
Stormy night, in fury, she killed him by stomping his seedbags. . .
We: their daughters.
We: the daughters of their soil.
We, mostly, write.
(First published in Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore)
Posted in Poetry, women
Tagged beauty, bravery, culture, identity, inheritance, land, legacy, power, retaliation, Tamil, violence, womanhood, women
(Inspired by ‘We Real Cool’ by Gwendolyn Brooks)
We real hot. We
Ne’er rot. We
Know knack. We
Beat back. We
Shock stars. We
Win wars. We
Ne’er late. We
I fancy myself being a witch.
Broomstick borne and black as pitch.
Thin, stark-naked and with fire for eyes.
Killing men whom I despise.
Bewailing the woeful life I led.
Casting dark spells, makin’ them dead.
Thronging ghettos, to unbend bent backs.
Handing them knives, ’least an axe.
Lot later I fly to temple streets.
Our men firm, I show my feats.
Haunting oppressors to shave their heads.
Cutting all their holy threads.
Experiencing joy as they bleed.
Dance, rejoice my black black deed.
Leave one farewell note, an obscene cue:
‘Judgment day is long since due.’
Ultimately, I’ll lie in the ditch—
Ne’er give a damn, when called ‘Bitch’.
Posted in Caste, Poetry, violence
Tagged black magic, caste oppression, counter-violence, hag, power, retaliation, violence, witchcraft, women