Poems by Lily Swarn

Poems by Lily Swarn
(My Mother)
Your perfume dripping love
As you tucked me into bed
With the holy mantras of the Sikh night prayer
The “ Sohila”
Rumbling sonorously in my ears
The Arithmetic tables you made me repeat
In the bath
As you scrubbed the grime of fear and doubts from my baby hands
The filth under my nails coagulated into pretty dreams
Of the pancakes you waffled up on your primitive griddle
How goggle eyed I gaped at your impressive line up of footwear
The steel spikes , the pumps with a criss cross world woven into them
Tottering surreptitiously when you were not looking
The gleeful thrill of knotting up your veils into mini saris and preening before the mirror
The almost gourmet effect of your lovingly made
French toast on a wintry afternoon
The aroma of your cauliflower fritters
Wafting to the heavens in the relentless
North Indian Monsoons
Your oceanic eyes watching like a hawk
Over my home work
Your selfless maternal affection coursing in my arteries
Like a shot of adrenaline
Your constant reassurances when I grumbled about
My longish nose and petite frame
“ You’re the prettiest of all my dear girl .
It suits you !”
Your intuitive umbilical chords pricked up their ears
At the slightest hint of misfortune
that might befall me
Frantic phone calls to check on my well being as I traipsed all over India
The uncanny forewarning of danger
The doting eyes that rotated like a
Buddhist prayer wheel around my aura perpetually
The work withered hands that raised in prayer for my tiniest wants
A rosary she was
Of the purest Tulsi beads
How can God not be a woman ?
He simply has to be my mother .
Mama’s Bougainville
Laden with love
This Bougainville
Planted by my late mother
Blooms each year
With rare abundance
It ripples forth it’s bounty
It bursts forth its dam
It gushes like the mountain spring
Pinked by her love
Suffused with sacrifices
Tender with her fingers
Oiling my tresses
She brims from these branches
Blossomed with her care
My mother now in heaven
Is the magenta in these petals
Blessing till eternity
The child that she bore …
She drizzles like a gentle rain
From realms of soft cuddles
Bangled arms rock me to sleep
Cooing songs of valiant beings
Protective folds of fragrant fabric
Clothing me in satin splendour
Hands toil to feed me goodies
Suffusing me with divine ardour
Durga to protect me
Saraswati to instruct
Veena Pustak Dharini
Or Chandi to destruct
She is my Kali
Goddess I adore
She my power divine
My Shakti incarnate
Born of her I am her shadow
They say I sound like her
Some say I smile her smile
And even scold like her
She lives in me each breath
This life is also a gift
So lovingly wrapped by her !
Copyright Lily Swarn

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