Poems by Lily Swarn


Poems by Lily Swarn
She sat in her palanquin
Like a queen on her throne
A world festooned with delirious dreams
Buzzed around her red rimmed eyes
Heavy with the kaajal her mother had put in them
In a fervent bid to make her more desirable
The pudgy nose sparkling with a cheap imitation diamond
Her hair bleached in the harsh Indian summer sun
Oiled with a heavy sandalwood smelling concoction
Rani sat demurely with eyes downcast
Excited at this new adventure she was embarking upon
Her sparkling glass bangles tinkled in her spindly arms
The silver anklets hurt her bony ankles
as she squirmed beneath her heavy odhni
Hot and sweaty in the relentless inferno
The desert winked at her with a conspiratorial stance
For she was bewitching in her crimson red dress
Adorned with her father’s greed
Embellished with her mother’s helplessness
She was gloriously oblivious to her wedding vows
Or what the sing- song sound of the Sanskrit shlokas meant
Her knight in shining armour was a drunkard of sixty seven
His yellowing tobacco stained teeth revolting
His narrow eyes mean slits in his debauched visage
She a delicate twelve year old
Tender as an unopened lotus bud
An unsuspecting child bride
Sold by penury stricken parents
With four more hungry mouths to feed
Life lay in ambush thirsting to throttle little Rani
Lying in wait in an inconspicuous Indian village
While her cloth rag doll wilted in a dark corner of the
Mud hut which used to be her home
Please note: Kaajal is Kohl Odhni which is a broad scarf almost a veil.
© 2017. Lily Swarn. All rights reserved.
Midnight ramblings
Midnight holds magic in its
Satin fingers
Dark and dramatic
shimmering with the diffused
Light of Star Wars
Peeling the layers of hypocrisy
Opening up raw wounds to scrutiny
The secret rendezvous with life
Looking it in the face
Sans eye liner or mascara
No pouting needed for this selfie
It’s the light in your own bushel
That will make you glow now
The stark bewitching backdrop
Of pitch black Chantilly lace
Will bring into sharp focus
The blood red of your seductive lips
Voicing inanities and untruths through the gills in the day time
Beseeching for mercy when the last curtain drops
Maroon velvet drapery displayed for stage effect
Melodrama in vivisection mode
Flapping and floundering in traumatic teasers
As midnight gulps and belches after digesting the mince meat it made
Out of your vainglorious sense of pomposity
The birds are asleep in their painstakingly made nests
Who would not sleep well after a day’s hard work
It’s only humans that stay awake pondering on matters that matter the most
Having ruined the day in striving to be what they think is best!
The shroud of night is soothing
It engulfs you in its healing arms
No midnight blues here
It’s nirvana set on instant settings
While the Buddha on the mantelpiece
Smiles beatifically in his wisdom
Copyright Lily Swarn 10.2.2017

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