Poetry from Sandeep Kumar Mishra

 My Father
  
 My father never wasted time in taking
 his kids in his lap or playing with them,
 he was busy in breaking mirrors, hitting the doors
 or his head against a wall or slapping his children
 or abusing everyone when helplessness trapped him in
 the web of poverty, illness and unfulfilled desires
  
 Orthodox and religionist in him
 taught us all superstitions,
 and made him a sage devoid of social life,
 and me, almost an atheist, 
 He taught us good values without
 letting us in his room
  
 We had seen him write poems, 
 We were not part of his universe,
 The world may be familiar with his work,
 but we haven't read his books as 
 we have developed immunity to it,
  
 As a good teacher, he changed
 many schools and as an honest person,
 he rarely attended any social gatherings 
  
 He didn't tell us our history or geography,
 Oblivious of siblings, 
 locked in a closed family circle,
 ignorant of our community, 
 we live at the borders of our social circle now
  
 When I see any kid, I wish to be with my father,
 Talk, learn and serve him but still I lack a bond,
 I haven't seen him for long time
 and never feel a need or pain of it
  
 He is counting his time, 
 his legacy some published books
 and unpublished manuscripts
 lying in a store almirah,
 The long gap between us stops me
 to take those few steps, 
 It seems a long journey 
  
 Upbringing and luck shapes our life,
 my father was child of his misfortune
 and I am the child of my father  
  
  
 Do I Belong Here?      
  
 I hold the soil from my roots in my hand
 I have carried with me here in this country every day,
 As I lay my impregnable longing against room's wall,
 I hear my helplessness like weeping at dawn,
 As my soul wrinkles with the motherland,
 I parted with my parents, wife and kids in the country of skin 
  
 No one leaves home unless your home
 is a floating nest on the river Nile of industrial waste,
 You find yourself among the mining crocs or drought alligators,
 When you swim across the seven seas of population 
 put yourself in a boat of hope thinking the strange salty
 water is safer than the familiar sweet land,
 You have a shadow of blood in your veins but an empty
 belly and the anthem under your breath,
 the miles travelled means something more than a journey
 
 My heart is full of stories of my streets,
 I carry black scars from wars of white greed, 
 Dust of my family carbonized in dry mushroom clouds,
 I carry parental house along the vertebra, pink dreams in my eyes
  
 When the night liquidates the day as a sinful cloud
 plasters its sun, everything seems shiny for me-
 Migraine flash in my left brain-
 Shiny open eyes when I fail to sleep-
 The shine of stones in my kidneys-
 Two shiny pearls on the cheeks-
 The word “motherland” over the galaxy of stars
 and the Moon behind the clouds called “migration”
  
 I don't know if I am an Australian or not?
 May be just a rudiment who is deposited
 in this area by a migratory trade river and thus
 left open in the “unwaged sun” and the “taxed rain”
 Australia welcomes hundreds of faith’s manacles,
 with closed eyes to what is happening in Germany and UK
  
 I live in the Sahara or floating on the Dead sea
 an expanse of concrete cities, a sea of neo-brotherhood
 without any emotions, a forbidding area lost in a desert of doubt,
 I was not allowed to attend the funeral of my mother last year 
 They call it humanitarian visa processing based on fixed values
 Farewell my motherland, Farewell my ancestors,
 Farewell my dream of new life!                                                                                                                 
 I’ve transcribed all my dreams into poems, not into realities
 that reconcile my exile from home, stretched them into poetic lines,
 The streets where I grew up is punctuated with electric poles, 
 I have imagined myself surviving by transforming                                                                             2
 flowers into the bread I have never eaten,
 I am a brown floret spring out of your mind 
 from the womb of a black history birthed from white memory
 This is how it feels to live and move in two worlds at once.
  
 I came here to outlive the ghosts of martyrs,
 beyond the hatreds of nationalism,
 How the basic joys of being give us the kinder face of humanity
 But I am marginalized to the point of disappearance
 Barred as a shade of skin, a tone of speech, 
 
 Kicked by the mighty, detested by the commoner
 Now I know humanity is Janus faced-
 Half devil-half human, White faced black truth
 I will not recommend it even to political foes or religious friends
  

 We Are Third World 
  
 Self acclaimed first world labelled us as
 third world in their so called socioeconomic indexes and
 other “modernity is the real development” indices,
 because we don't do dinner parties but dream of a well fed day
  
 Our children study on the floor of old public school,
 Know the other world only by the greenery
 and figures hung on its pale walls, 
 Wishing to run on the velvet grass instead of
 rag picking every morning, as children leave
 old toys, you have abandoned us                                                                                            Here a teenager recognises outline of a dark futuristic structure 
 in a pattern of present dots of daily burdens, 
 In the tragic repetitions of a homeland song,
 he dreams of a young entrepreneurship 
 but a termite death hollows out his roots of endeavour                                                                
 You say to our men “Keep It In Your Pants!" 
 and women, "Lock Your Knees!"            
 but here sex is the only amusement,
 For a three minutes of relief we are ready
 to embrace this immorality, 
 Although some taxable souls fashion to run charity, the poor wears tattered clothes,
 Rich wear them to look different,   
 There is an agreement between the people
 sitting in the car and poor begging for some help
  
 Devalued lives full of shadows of slaves,
 as poverty live without evacuation,
 Caught in web of the foreign aid spiders,
 we prop up this capitalising protuberance 
 and force feed the bourgeois class,
 Our propaganda has become
 just to see, sigh and cry
  
 Blindfolded by civil war, a source
 of political life and death,  
 We fail to understand the kind of battlefield we are in and our weapons to deal withzzz                                                                                   always shouting for freedom of expression,
 Never tried to know the difference between 
 our skin and our lips
  
 A divided country that sighs and cries for debt relief,
 Brainwashed by anti-propaganda,
 As leaders becoming millionaires every second and the people poorer every minute,
 The land filled with milk and honey, still cries "no money"                                                         
 Self styled media with fake morality, 
 Aiming for PR and controversy
 interview a petty thought repeatedly 
 to make it a philosophy,
 Their voice spreads pure venom in gentle dress,
 in the name of so called minority,
 Every news is labelled with religious stamp, 
 They highlight the immoral as a face of nation,
 belittle the good-intentions
  
 Sex and violence is a new form of entertainment, 
 Here big lawyers and corporations openly
 influence in the demo-crazy capitals to gain huge profits,
 Is this injustice with poverty and suffering
 not a clear indication of false thoughts that argue over a third world at this juncture? 

-  
  
 Ashes of a Suicide
  
 As we played curse of tongues so long, 
 I go alone on worn out routes
 with lonely societal road 
 after so many accidents in
 pathways of daily burdens
  
 They injected “delusion of negation”
 in my identity veins,
 I although never had 
 “flash flood of emotions”,
 I want to live even by eating
 char-grilled inner self
  
 Now a black hole, 
 I decided to be one with
 this constellation of 
 migraine, tablets, syringe,
 backache and insomnia
 that had emerged around 
  
 I tied my wife's red “sari” 
 around my disconnected neck, 
 a reflection of my smiling daughter
 was in the mirrored almirah
 Devil instinct drown into the 
 deep vastness of human frailty against
 earthly emotions, an inner tide
 hit me down unconscious
  
 How angry I was for not
 being among the dead?
 That kind of energy I needed 
 to stay alive and I understood that
  
 An ocean emerges from
 the death of the river

Sandeep Kumar Mishra is a Bestseller author of poetry Collection “One Heart- Many Breaks-2020”, An outsider artist, a poet and a lecturer ,he is guest poetry editor at Indian Poetry Review .He has received “Indian Achievers Award-21”,IPR Annual Poetry Award-2020 and Literary Titan Book Award-2020.He was shortlisted for “2021 International Book Awards”, “Indies Today Book of the Year Award 2020” and “Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize 2021” and “Oprelle Rise up Poetry Prize 2021”.He was also “The Story Mirror Author of the Year” nominee-2019.
www.sandeepkumarmishra.com

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