Rinzu Rajan

Newspaper

Tissue thin tilling of tidings
bought for a few rupees
with the morning tea
dead bodies embalmed in sugar
tingle our tongues,

anger stirred with a steel spoon
cremates to smoke so sober,
when we point our fingers
for the culprits sparing
the victim’s vowels

and after a few days
it palls the carcass
of a baby diaper or napkin
disposing it into the corner dustbin
one that reposes
in the backyard of the house.

 

Parvati

She fills carcasses of coal
in a casket of copper,
and picks the bulky bully
with ease, scratches the surface
of red, pink and black
to line out lapels
wringing a wrinkle
from a green sari she cannot wear.

She is a bony elfin
to carry those cargo of clothes
clutched in her ailing arms
sometimes, cradling her crop
she never frets or fumes
nor does she lament
for this hand
feeds her misfortune
on a tottery table.

I’ve seen her cling
to the old shawl
mom gave her last winter,
in a sourish soft she loved
perched atop the
crippling three legged chair,
weeding on the tea
those neighbours made
in a careless act of charity
wallowing on the crumbs of celebration
of sharing two measly rotis
ushered by a gullible
greenness of chilli
with her husband of forty years.

Another Child Bride

The twenty six alphabets
are voiceless vowels
and the table of two
a chart of codes
most like the mantras
she will be coerced to chant,
her dreams were dandified daisies
she had plucked
with the departing dawn
when her doll was
given away in marriage,
a red riding hood
with frills of fallow.

When waken at four
she couldn’t read
through the riddle
that this day
would consummate her
in the holy fire
and she will be confined
in the seven cycles
of mutiny and not matrimony
she never went to school
after that day,
and started wearing a noose spun
of black beads
vermilion was the scarlet sorrow
confined in a chest of confessions,
since then her head stays covered
and tongue prisoned behind
her milk teeth, wisdom in waiting
the first night was a red sea
that would ebb till the time
she becomes a bride again
on the ashes
of her resting pyre.

________________________________________________________________

Rinzu Rajan writes in an attempt to sear away from the boudaries of cliche. Research in the field of biology and feminist activism occupy the rest of her time and devotion. Despite the lack of formal training, Rinzu has written poetry in over 30 forms. Her work has featured in Bicycle Review, Houston Literary Review, Barnwood Review, Red River Review, Muse India, Green Silk Review, and Asia Writes amongst others. She has
an anthology Gestures to her credit with four other poets. Her upcoming features include “A Spinster Act” in Penwood Review, “Cursed Daughter of Eve” and “An Ode to a Woman’s veil” in Melusine and “Child Bride” and “Grandmother” in Message in a Bottle poetry magazine.

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