Do You See?

>Summer Shock, Prize Money, Poem in Pirene’s Fountain Journal

>Suddenly it is summer, at least in India where I am. Not much happened except for a nasty burglary at my parents’ home in Guwahati, Assam, where I arrived to spend a month of my Indian vacation. Before the mangoes and jackfruits came tumbling sickeningly sweet on our palate, before the monsoon sprinkles cooled our cheeks, and before I started wearing my blue eye shadow to reflect the hills bordering Japorigog, someone or some people made away with things that I considered to be more in worth than they might be.

Anyway, my cash award for a 2nd prize awarded by the Open Space-HarperCollins-India Poetry Contest 2008 arrived. Some silver lining. Or is it?


Pirene’s Fountain – A Journal of Poetry has published my work in their summer edition. You can read the journal online at Current Issue. My poem is titled “A Soothsayer’s Dilemma” and can be read at Nabina Das. My favorites Mark Doty, Linda Pastan, Pume Perl among others are published in PF.

Here’s the poem in case you just can’t visit the strikingly beautiful website (

A Soothsayer’s Dilemma

When she said prophecies make the sky spin like a roulette table, she meant while taking chances, they reach the end of palpability, each courting a few unexplored desires

She said prophecies would let their winding hands circle my fleshy roots, digging amply inside Apollo’s oracles, welcoming a change in spring’s sparkled honeyed light

I asked if future is a scene, a fête where men and women bestow abhaya; laugh. Because they’re shown grand, animated, in prints of red and Sepia tones in books of prophecies

She said because we can’t read future we melt inside our tacky floors hopelessly shelled with sleep’s call, but they still come the prophecies, like soft footfalls and infantile taps

My mother’s disbelief, when I said prophecies invade my bark before turning it into the ark when new rivers depths unknown are created, seemed like a verse. Prophetic overtures.

PF reproduced Gustave Klimt’s MEDICINE with my poem, much to my surprise and liking. I copy it here.

4 comments on “>Summer Shock, Prize Money, Poem in Pirene’s Fountain Journal

  1. anu
    June 4, 2009

    >Loss and gain balanced -more than a silver lining i'd say 🙂 its still raining of and on here -what i'll not give for a return to monsoon, mangoes, jackfruit and blue hills!

  2. Misiula
    June 5, 2009

    >Congratulations on the prize! Hooray!I hope they catch the nasty burglars.Lots of love

  3. fleuve-souterrain
    June 5, 2009

    >Anulife moves on I guess… 🙂 Come for the fruits surely!Misihope u had success at Buffalo. Thanks for the nice words… I hope those theives go sad one day:)

  4. Tim Buck
    July 25, 2009

    >What an intriguing theme, Nabina! And as always, a deft handling of image, rhythm, and evocation. What a mesmerizing image: "spring’s sparkled honeyed light"I keep coming back to the first two lines, which I think form the heart of the poem…the following ones grow out of them like arterial branches. I could never in a million years come up with a phrase like this:"they reach the end of palpability, each courting a few unexplored desires"This is so subtle as to be almost a subconscious fume become words. I am marveling at this. Riddling over how you not only "saw" the concept, but then were able to render it so well. Some poetry, I do believe, has the residue of real magic on it.

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