Poetry at Sangam



UNTITLED by Naveen Kishore


There are times when a particular word or a set of seemingly random words take on the presence of armed soldiers in one’s head. Handcuffed as it were. Hands behind my back. Wrists swollen. I am this very moment a prisoner of some of these words. Menace is one. Landscape another. Charred. Crosses. Snow. Fire. Somewhere behind fire lurks inferno. Smoke. And the blurred outlines of a barbwire fence. And I can sense the birth of another word. Remains. Just north of landscape. Slowly joining ranks with charred and snow.

The word I fear most.



I come up for air only to find I have shifted dreams.

This one has urns. With wooden crosses stuck into them. Instead of lids. There is smoke all around. The kind that hurts the eyes. Wiping the tears. I go closer. Only to find that the stumps of the crosses are burning. Being reduced to ashes. Filling the urns. The ash overflows. Slowly. And then swiftly. Threatening to flood the land.

The charred remains from an earlier dream. The one that had snow. And a barbwire fence. The one in which the landscape was menacing. And fire. And smoke. The one which had a set of seemingly random words. In Italics. Like armed soldiers in one’s head. The one that ended in devastation.

I wake up from one nightmare.

To slip into another.