Amit Parmessur

1
463

Grandmother

Drawing circles like a schoolgirl on the
blanket with her finger, she soon detects
black ants along the wall, and becomes a
traffic cop mad at disobedient
vehicles. With her white hair tangled in

neglect, she soon turns into a smiling
tyrant who tosses swear words like macro*
and bobok** at us all. She watches the
same soap opera thrice a day at the
expense of her medicine. At night, she

harangues her daughters, forgetting they
are abroad; she opens the window for
fresh air and forgets to close. Talking to
me on the phone while I’m on the campus,
she asks when I’ll be back by her side. If

I ask to talk to my mother she lays
down the receiver discreetly to look
for her but I’m left waiting. I’ve lost love
and respect for her. I think the robe of
death has bundled her brave skull up. The once

great soul’s gone; this one has reinvented
the people around and I’m among the
strangers she does not trust. Now, the pregnant
past dwells in a fully-bent spoon, and an
oily comb with her muddy fingerprints.

Notes: macro indicates dumbass | bobok indicates cheated man

The Way Things Are

All words are made for tongues, but not all tongues
in this town are made for words. Some mouths are

mistaken for plastic bottles and have
cheap corks. And the way things are in this town

your head’s going to break like an egg squeezed
between a child’s fingers. The way things are

in this town your tears will get stuck into
your barbaric beard, a young inverted

pyramid of dead dreams. As a flower,
you sacrifice your stem for the nectar

only to find that the pregnant moon you’ve
always wanted has miscarried and you’re

left with skies exaggerating what you
want to unveil. And then your voice commits

suicide down your throat and people part
their lips before opening their eyes. The

way things are in this town, it’s going to
be an eternity waiting for blunt

rays from the sun to wither and cascade
down to cut the crazy cows telling calm

lies all over the meadow. The way things
are, every bud is but a helpless fist.

Music of Moksha

Born of beautiful souls, of African
souls trapped in beauty, the sega is full
of sensuousness. With cliffs on three sides,
not unlike a Viking’s domeless helmet,
slaves could defend the egg of their mountain

family. Soon the Banyan tree became
a meeting point where these flightless bees could
taste the honey they deserved. Imagine
a moonlit beach, fire glowing over the
faces and the shacks, the husky dancers

waiting and watching as the big bonfire
heated the ravanne until it rang tight
and true. Those bringing rum caskets dying
to hear the singers praise them in Creole,
twigs of raucous French marinated and

casseroled with African leaves. During
slavery, the sega whined, condemned, freed
with a cry that sucked the cyclone in the
slaves; the harder they were whipped, the softer
the sega their bowels brewed. How partners

faced each other with their waist-and-shoulder
grasp. How their joy hatched into erotic
improvisation. The women wiggling,
hip-balancing, their black breasts swaying to
the rhythm of the frantic claps, the double

entendres, maravanne, ravanne, triangle.
And today the sega clings to its lack
of mortality, the women’s wide and
colourfully patterned outfit paying
homage to the slaves’ freedom, the men’s shirt

so like a maroon slave’s modern rag. Come
and visit sometime, the Tarzan tree at
the foot of the rugged Le Morne Brabant.
He knows a secret or two about slaves
which can only be whispered, not spoken.

SHARE
Previous articleVinita Agarwal – Interview
Next articleAnanya S Guha
is a poet and teacher, published in several magazines, print and online. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web nominee, he lives in Mauritius, from where he edits The Pangolin Review.

1 COMMENT

  1. Oh, Amit, what beautiful poetry you write. Sadly, I am no expert, but my ears and eyes are still sharp, and my heart is ever ready to
    swell and beat a little faster. I particularly enjoyed the first two lines of “The Ways Things Are.” And the piece about buds being helpless fists. Also, re “Grandmother” – so poignant a poem – having to end ones life that way! Thank you.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here