Friday, February 23, 2018

New Poetry by Rajnish Mishra










Deliverance

How can I ever return to my city now? I’ll need a time back,
and me back from that time. I’ll need them back too, men and 
                                                                                         women,

children and plants, and a cow, yes the cow that would come
to the door for me to rub its back, then leave, every day.

That time and place, this time and place, complete my city of the
                                                                                          old.
Too many deaths in twenty three days have hit me hard,

kept me shaken for minutes at length. Death
is not to be trifled with, and flash: images

of a street, they sell fish and vegetables for some length
on it and then there’s a bend, the end of the street,

and then I return. Early this morning an aunt passed away,
yes, that’s what we called her. We’d been neighbors

my whole life and that of our families for as long
as we have lived in our houses. I am far removed in place,

in grief too. Or else, how do I explain my not rushing
back where I’m needed? I have changed. I have come a long way

from my home, from myself. I think I understand
Tithonus’ wish* a little. It becomes difficult to live

once all have gone, and those around are not your people,
the time and place also not yours. Then a shadow walks,

a ghost in a shell, and waits for
deliverance. 


- Rajnish Mishra 2018


* Tithonus, lover of Eos, Goddess of the Dawn, also the subject of a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson in which he despairs of his immortal state and expresses a longing to die.

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. His work has now started appearing in journals and websites.




1 comment:

Rajnish Mishra said...

Thanks for the Foot note on Tithonus. It makes the poem more approachable.