Hero (n)From here on, walk like a heron, long slow measure of who and hue, undue late calligraphy against a debt of blue a gait as liquid letterhead to head with fate of hapless grub down elongate curve and narrow strait, what tides like death come from the sway, hypnotize as the best storytellers do say can you see the way the white flag unfolds and folds, in vest meant a surrender perfect as a nestled heart ***
Wish Fulfilling TreeI dreamed a tree at river’s edge, evergreen, sweet shade, refuge leafing through analog skin Sueño, subtle pollen’s kiss, entwined on limb fragrant thigh, & I, my lover’s creeper, yet reverie succumbs, unable to become, wish-fulfilling swelling tree the fruit of labor pains Too much, death by paper cuts close to bone I lean on stuff of monsoon swings and songs memory, a tree, unrolling stone, lost heart- beats on a vinyl grove Mother tree, mango breasts father tree, stern sandal- wooden fore, head underhand & snake to climb booty, tree, god framing knee, uncapped vault tree as everything that’s me drinking routes, watering place, the crux, body bursting into bud What of these trampled flowers? What of the fist sized rose made blood? Tree at crossroads, loggerheads, rushing rapids, no arbol adentro safe, harbor or embankment sharks on the cards, default falling seasons sound, dominoes murmur, weigh Lay the Wish Fulfilling Tree, alone, denuded of drapes like Draupadi would be, were she not wrapped in smug paternal, *Azadirachta Indica, what a sham(e). Since when has a tree been free? Stripped down to teeth a skeletal sentinel keeps vigil beckoning butterflies, summoning immovable doves.
- Latin name of the neem tree, derived from the Farsi, Azad darakht-é-Hind
Out of Camera1 Torn as a blue jay who pecks at the sky to replenish A lost feather I captured the angel of memory, he of clear glass wings in which a vein of wind would whistle and mornings come unmoored as doves on the eaves of dreams 2 No one sleeps now on the roof Where moonlight once cured a rose Petal jam placed at the center of India, triangular as folded betel leaf in the mouth and you will find her Blackened gum and all the stations Of the moon’s midnight express A desolate landscape, the bones Of a lush, language picked clean. ***
MarriagesI swallowed a marriage of fog and sunlight. A teardrop flowered I rained a marriage of wind and plum blossom; kissed the ground beneath my feet I heard a marriage of mourning dove and morning and became an anthology of exile I sensed a marriage of night and silence. Solitude blind as an earthworm burrowed in my veins I sank a marriage of stone and water and became a syllable in the ocean’s throat ***
Sophia Naz is a bilingual poet, essayist, author, editor and translator. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, 2016 for creative nonfiction, 2018 for poetry. Her work features in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry collections are Peripheries (2015), Pointillism (2017) and Date Palms (2017). Shehnaz, her biography of her mother published from Penguin Random House in November 2019.
Read more poetry on Bengaluru Review: “You must be proud of the scars”: Four poems by Cat Dixon “I remember my brother’s sudden screams”: Three poems by Yvonne Morris “Bones are not love-handles”: Four poems by Kuhu Joshi