SPOTLIGHT: The Falling in & The Falling Out by Akshaya Pawaskar

Of bees and lovers

The bee is drunk on absinthe of your eye.
It alights on the speckled petals of your iris.
It wants to mine out the ore of nectar,
suck out the brown of your orbit.

But your eyes snap shut.
The bee falls down dead.
The honeyed dreams
float away into the golden sunset.

When you open your eyes again,
a floater buzzes into your vision,
like a ghost of that overfed bee,
the toxic sting of an old lover.

Rest in peace

Imagine, dotage as second childhood
That helplessness, that vulnerability
That blankness of slate
Now, imagine death as a kind of rebirth.
As one stepped with
his right foot into the tomb, he would be
led by his left foot
into the retreat of the womb.
and float in fetal position.
Caul in lieu of shroud.
A fertile uterus in lieu of fowler bed.
Now doesn’t it sound less gory?
Much more safer than
living itself.
Can we reunite with the dead star
in the constellation that we picked out
as our late mother?
Can we make it land on earth, a crystal
Falling to ground,
Can we call her over a board of Ouija
to shower us with signs
talk in alphabets,
yes, no.
Can she possess us like Ibbur,
until the process is complete
and then leave us
and just hold us cradled in her lap like
Jesus in the Pieta.
Isn’t that the peace they talk about?

Ars longa, vita brevis

What survives? What endures?
For centuries they talk in
Familiar tongue
Through different mouths
The cave man with their parietal
To Dali with his surreal
To Vincent with his yellowed palette
Artists gather in one frame
Talk back, talk forth
Like a melting pot of evolution
They touch, they move
X marks the bottle from
Which they drink to
live forever
But they disintegrate
Like a necklace
Bead by bead
Until an empty string
Remains like
a gazelle looking only
at a ghost of itself
Unsmiling, mortal.
Except for
The etchings,
Black birds and wolves
from another lifetime.

Impostor poet

Today the sun has ceased
to be an orange cyclops eye,
the moon no longer an octopus
with silvery eight arms.
Neither metaphors of solstice
nor similes of equinox spring
as the gods have been
drugged with the soma of
the brave new beings.
I try to wake them up sprinkling
the fountain of hippocrene
but it too has run dry.
Yet, with their third eye open
they spot the impostor,
omniscient as they are.
I am waiting to be arraigned,
manacled, pleading not
guilty of murdering in
cold blood, my love child.
I have an airtight alibi.
As when it was wasting away
I was busy with the chores
The bills, the mop, the meals.
The shop needed running
The crisp green papers from
my pocket book were fleeing.
My muse hid in my passport that
lay buried in chest of drawers
for I was no Emily from Amherst
who in her four walled room
stitched her dreams and
thoughts into forty poetic,
well fed, twitching fascicles.
Here I sat alone like her but
with wine and fancy pens,
listening to Rimbaud in sleep,
hypnopaedic, hardly waiting for
the hatchling, let alone for
the bird to fledge

Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in India and poetry is her passion. Her poems have been published in Tipton Poetry journal, the punch magazine, Shards, The blue nib, North of oxford, Indian rumination, Rock and sling among many others. She had been chosen as the winner of ekphrastic poetry competition 2020 by Craven arts council , third place winner of poetry matters project contest 2020 and second place winner of blue nib chapbook contest 2018.


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