Ra Sh’s Poems

Ra Sh

Puffing on my grief

One day,
Like a giant tree
In a silent movie
Uprooting itself from nowhere,
A Grand Grief falls on you crushing you.

You lie under it

Smothered, benumbed, cast in a spell.

It could be your Universal Grief
Or the stab of a local un-acclaimed one
Drawing its substance from histories immemorial
Or from a pin prick puncturing your carcinogenic soul.


You lie there caressing the tree
While the tree makes love to you
With rootless abandonment, orgasmic leaves,
Soggy nests and depopulated hollows.

Then, as you watch,
Lumberjacks come and slice up the tree
Into discs and wheels and palatable cones,
Transport them to distant workshops
Where lathes and carpenters turn your grief
Into tables and chairs and library shelves.


Some day, some old woman comes trudging
Gathering firewood and fruits,
Offering a weed to you to smoke,
Calmly laying you on top of the pyre
And burning you and your grief into a puff of smoke
That curls its way to your Umbilical Grief.

As you, in a pyrotechnic display, disintegrate into
Soot, sap and sparks.


Summer snow

Under water
The sea is purple
With the blood of sperm whales
Just born.

The bone marrow sticks to the gums
Plasters the mouth
Froth emerging from
Snorkeling gullets.

A shoal of sardines are waiting.


A poignant moment. Suspended between
High noon and standstill sea
Under water.


Two bodies in death throes.
Two octopus arms groping.
Two strands of swaying sea weeds.


Slow motion is the mother of Newton
As the mouth erupts with a gush of paraffin.

Clouds, rings, marsh vapours
Smoking gums
Magnesium flares under water
Rising to the flotilla of mermaids
Caught in the sky gills
Spouting like the harpooned whales
Singing in the horizons
seeking the elusive fallopian fish.


The first snow falls
In her summer mouth.


Ocean birds

uncertain birds are dark broodings
that  roar past you tearing away the wings
and stripping the borders of flags and olive leaves
and gunships and  shells booming like hell.


they traverse a madhouse sky
from which is born a thick soupy wasteland
chopping and grating the earth into
splinters of fear, oracles and doom.


till the moon hurtles through the sky with its entourage
of fallen angels and
stills the sea to a poisonous blue, a dangerous brew,
that freezes into a prophetic mirror
which holds up to you a still life
of motion as in travel,
of direction as in a pathway,
of you as in propagation,
of the bird as in crossing,
of love as in a drop of ocean without borders.


Ra Sh ( N.Ravi Shanker) is from Kerala, India.  His poems in English have been published in various national and international online and print mags like Kindle Magazine, Journal of Literature & Aesthetics, White crow Art Daily, The Thumb Print Magazine, Glomag, Duanes Poetree, Art for Society journal etc.  Fifteen poems appear in an anthology ‘A Strange Place Other than Earlobes’ published in March 2015. His poems have been translated into German for the journal Strassenstimmen (Street Voice Vol 6.) His translations in English have been published by Women Unlimited and Navayana, Delhi, and found place in anthologies by Oxford University Press and Penguin. His translation of tamil poems by Leena Manimekalai has been published as `Koothachikalude Rani’ by DC Books in 2014. Collaborated with RædLeafPoetry-India in translating and publishing English translations of thirty seven young Malayalam poets in 2015. Published his collection of poems Architecture of Flesh in Dec 2015 through Poetrywala, Mumbai.


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