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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Two Poems by Meenakshi Jauhari Chawla

Two Poems by Meenakshi Jauhari Chawla

School Day
Daylight was born in this room–
among ordered rows of school desks
and satchels hanging on wooden backs–
a warm sunny morning took birth
right here, on this stony window-sill.

An empty room it is not–
nor a room devoid of freckled faces with spectacles,
smiles and frowned foreheads–
it is a forest glade waiting
to hastily awaken
to chattering feet, new-found voices
and future-gazing eyes with wings–
later, the afternoon slant will steal
the ardour from hearts and minds–
and a tepid day will recline on
this spent window-sill.

But right now, in this instant–
the room dressed in new shining day–
has a clear, eager soul–
and eyes burning with the desire
to turn the world into a giant football–
and kick up at the upstart sun.

Anyway the Other Guy Always Dies
Long after the director has the last scene canned,
long after the music has strayed from the band,
after the perfect set has folded and been put away
and the cardboard city run over by layers of sand–
the other guy turns in his sleep and dies,
far from the bestial sounds and lights.

Cut! Lights out!

Take 2

Long after the director has the last scene canned,
long after the music has strayed from the band,
after the perfect set has folded and been put away
and the cardboard city run over by layers of sand–
another guy turns in his sleep and dies,
far from the flippant sounds and lights.

The other guy always dies. Anyway.
The other guy always dies. Anyway.
This guy, that guy, most guys die.
All guys die. Anyway.

Cut! Lights out!

Take 3

This guy died. That guy too.
The other guy dies. Always.

I watch them–
living in their gleaming traps,
fairy-land evenings that end
in harsh white dawns;
stiletto-words traipsing on
others’ green lawns;
a pale shrinking man
lost in life and poof!
then gone.

These other guys die. Anyway.
But anyway, they never lived.

Cut! The End!

Author’s Bio: Meenakshi Jauhari Chawla, a computer engineer, works for an independent publishing house in New Delhi. Poetry is soul food for her and she pieces together fragments of thought and stray images as she goes about her daily tasks.

Her fiction has been published in The Little Magazine and Indian Literature a journal brought out by Sahitya Akademi, and her poems appeared in the anthology I, Me, Myself (Unisun, Bangalore, 2010), and the Journal (2010) brought out by The Poetry Society (India). Some poems are also part of forthcoming anthologies.

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