Poems by Lily Swarn
O Delhi !
Driving through avenues lined with massive Jamun trees
Shady sun umbrellas of leafy wonderment abuzz with bird call
Patiently waiting for traffic to ebb and flow into the heaving sea of humanity
Beggar women in tatters , hair burnt copper under the unforgiving sun
Runny noses tear streaked babies precariously perched on bony hips
The city where decisions are made in air conditioned splendour
Wide foreheads wise and powerful deciding the fate of the thirsting multitudes
Pigeons flying off from minarets or domes white green saffron gold
In search of Daana paani the daily grind
Teenage carefree in look alike attire as if from a Xerox machine
carbon copies of each other
straightened hair streaked fashionably
Jeans in shreds like threadbare reputations
Handloom saris in complicated weaves carrying the flag of tradition far and few
Ladies who do social work in nauseating slums with homeless kids
The seething underbelly of Delhi
Lying on railway platforms at the mercy of pedophiles galore
Lazing families around the India Gate lawns licking ice creams in Royal repose
Crumbling heritage buildings perfumed with the glamour of a bygone era when a walk through Chandni Chowk meant beams of moon colouring the Yamuna silver
It’s a jungle of naked electrical wires if you dare into the narrow streets
The paan splattered walls defy all rules
As I wait to salute at the Sis Ganj Gurdwara sahib
O Delhi I miss my childish eyes when I saw only the manicured lanes of Lutyens Delhi with embassies lined in magnificent glory
It’s cab drivers discussing politics with sniggers now
And no ghazal or Thumri reaches my ears
Copyright Lily Swarn 26.7.2017
Glimmers of hope poised on tender soft green banana leaves
Leaping across rainbows of multi hued auras
Conspiring to lift me on Bubka’s resilient pole vault
Floating on rafts through Himalayan river rapids
Gleaning wild ox-eye daisies from brimming meadows
Hope in pretty pink hats with huge satin bows
Smiling with dimpled cheeks on mischievous eyed toddlers
Hope that repeats the Chaupai Sahib prayer
Hope that walks along with me through slushy squelchy puddles
Hope that waltzes a slow waltz to romantic music in flower bedecked halls
Hope that winks at my freshly made up eyes ,mascaraed and lined
Hope that is my Ma’s voice softly crooning an old folk song
Hope that lights up the inner portals of my still trembling heart
Hope that sits on a speeding motor boat on a placid lake in California
Hope that looks at the naughty video clip of my little grandchild
Hope that claps along with baby Sukhnaaz in her bouncy seat
Glimmers of hope twinkling on the dew drops rolling off the glistening pine needles
And beckoning from atop the Mount Kailash piled high with virgin snow
Copyright Lily Swarn 25.7.2017
Is it ?
Is it possible that one day memory will recede into a crevice and lie there curled up under wraps ?
Is it possible that I walk on that road where the willows wept and nonchalantly stride past that bench which we called ours ?
Is it possible that the sounds of your favourite song strain through the morning mist and leave me unperturbed?
Is it possible that the man with the silver hair turns around to look at the blossoming cosmos and he is not you ?
Is it possible that dreams pile on in sloppy heaps all over the corners of my heart and not one of them has you ?
Is it possible that the ball of flaming fire dives into the blinding darkness of night and never comes back next dawn ?
Is it possible that the maple shed its weary leaves last fall and forgot to sprout new ones this spring ?
Is it possible that you promised me a world where no one sleeps hungry and you were simply telling a lie ?
Is it possible that no child was sitting on looms or weaving carpets with slim hands while missing school ?
Is it possible that men really were not selfish beings but only pretending to be so ?
Is it possible that I willed the motia creeper to get green once again and that it suddenly burst into flower ?
Copyright Lily Swarn 24.7.2017