3 poems by Leela Soma

Memory


it was dark, neither day nor night

a time between two worlds, 

two countries, borders, strange

like a road that does not exist, but

the memory so acute that it is like 

a knife wound neither bleeding nor 

healed, scarred for life.

Memory waxes and wanes clear today

triggered by a smell, sandalwood, ghee,

familiar, like the feel of fabric, then that image

floods back, stark, almost real, memory of that 

walk to the cemetery, the anguish

as he lit the funeral pyre of his mother.


White heat


Dazzling, blinding, sweat-encrusted bodies, humid


a veil of tropical rays draining into nocturnal depths


the aroma of stillness.


Stillness


Silence


Scarce water,


Crops wither


The empty earthenware pot


on the dying firewood stove


the cries of hunger


deep into the brown fissures


as they await


the first drop


of the monsoons.


Power/ Ardhanarishvara


Androgynous, half male half female, split down the middle

synthesis of the Purusha and Prakriti male, female energies

its union the root of all creation, where opposites merge

inseparable, as instilled in our consciousness.


Or is it the progress of civilisation that subtly transforms

that synergy to inequality? The might over right

the female reduced imperceptibly

smaller, weaker

marginalised.



Note: Ardhanarishvara is a composite androgynous form of Lord Shiva and Goddess

Parvati.


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Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies, publications. She has published two novels and two collections of poetry. She has served on the Scottish Writer's Centre Committee and is now in East Dunbartonshire Arts & Culture Committee.  Some of her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland.