Prathibha Nandakumar

Rookie - 42 Points (Bangalore, India)

Jogathi - Poem by Prathibha Nandakumar

I walked out, leaving behind
the broken bangles
empty bindi and koel box
comb with fallen teeth

The pleats hindering the brisk steps
peacock in the pallu cackling
fragrant jasmine in the hair
tear dropp hanging at the edge of an eye lash
running down the smooth cheek
the cracking sound of leather footwear
here goes the fluttering bird of the cage

On the old familiar well
flipped aside
the tight hugging embroidered blouse
a tear in the drape, caught in the
shoulder ornament
the checkered scarf
with the intoxicating sweat scent
of the wet body

The dice playing mother
under a pearl lined umbrella
called out to come, drink a glass of cool milk.
After chocking on it, I stepped out,
leaving behind the
lullaby, the cradle
the silver feeding spoon

Unmindful of what I was leaving behind,
searched for something else.
Roaming nomadic covering the distances
going, in and out, through the
moon light and scorching sun.

Finally standing atop the steep cliff
answering the last final call
Jogathi, wearing the
solitary flower and a lone stud,
consumed by the poison
dances the death dance
and from her neck
there tumbles down
the rudraksh.
Jogathi - a nomadic sanyasin
Translated from Kannada by the poet

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 29, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 29, 2006

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