Do You See?

>Two Poems in MANORBORN collection–"Shuddhi" and "lotuses"

>Recently I had 2 poems published in Manorborn 09 Collection (Harford Poetry Society) on the theme of “Water”. “Shuddhi From Every Living Thing” and “and I saw lotuses out of season” were my contributions.

“Shuddhi From Every Living Thing”

My faith gave me shuddhi
My ritual of being awash
In ideas that cowered on
Some porches scared to be told
Don’t touch that, don’t sit there
Be a shadow of no one ever

My faith gave me shuddhi from
Thermal springs sprung from myths
Full moon dips in ammonia streams
Avoidance from our liquid beliefs
Of impurity and the five elements

I won’t drown like Ophelia for sure
For my faith poured clear shuddhi
The water from every living thing
As they lay dying in heavens’ corners
Wishing for a stream of reasons to
Reverse course, enter them unsullied.

“and I saw lotuses out of season”

with the rain that collected like eyes
over city roads of many vigils and wrangles
with long lines of handholding kids and adults
the line punctuated with buckets, pots, jerry cans
with monsoon’s bloom of festering holes that deceived
a splash or a sip and diluted rivers of freshness to flow clogged

I saw lotuses out of season ready to take on the clouds.

Manorborn is an annual print journal published by the Harford Poetry and Literary Society (MD). The anthology features poetry, fiction, memoir, essay, and black and white art and photography. See the table of contents (theirs is print-only journal) here and you can order the copy here. Nice thing that my work appears in the same book with poems by former Tompkins County (where Ithaca, NY, is) Poet Laureate Katharyn Howd Machan! What a feeling :).

Image: Manorborn 09 cover


7 comments on “>Two Poems in MANORBORN collection–"Shuddhi" and "lotuses"

  1. Violetwrites
    October 8, 2009

    >being awash in ideas and lotuses out of season ready to take on the cloudsthat's life for you, eh?

  2. Anuradha
    October 8, 2009

    >Liked these poems, Nabina…especially because I could feel the seamless cadence of flowing water in most of the lines.As they lie dying in heavens corners…we are all, aren't we? Lovely line.Shudhi is such an exquisite word to pick!Annu

  3. Tim Buck
    October 8, 2009

    >Nabina, I've read these two poems many times. On one level — that of prosodic flow and rich image — the impact is immediate. It's a pleasure to read them over for that reason. There's another level that also causes me to read the first one over and over: trying to understand the inner meaning.I'm pretty sure this has to do with IQ. If mine were higher, I think the meanings would be apparent. But being me, I need some help to break things down.In "Shuddhi From Every Living Thing", the first stanza tells me of a fierce independence either instilled or innate. The second stanza tells me of an ethos etched with the acid of fiery myths, myths of paradox and double-meanings. Symbolism conveying hard truths about reality. But I need help with these two lines:Avoidance from our liquid beliefsOf impurity and the five elementsIn context, I read "Avoidance" as a worthy thing, inherited from "liquid beliefs." But also in the overall context, I'm not sure what a fearless, independent person would be avoiding. Are you ironically avoiding purity, because you (or the poet) has been steeped in, thus sensitive to, the senseless avoidance of impurity? Or should the word be "of" instead of "from"?And I assume you won't drown like Ophelia because you are awash in the will of life to push ahead into the mystery, no matter the misery?Well, at least I spend quality time with poems, even if I'm not the most astute reader. :)"and I saw lotuses out of season"This is a little masterpiece! And I do hope I'm reading it right. As a image of the beauty of perseverance…as a paean to the ordinary, to the basic real, to its dappling the world with a stubborn, beautiful life force…even as the clouds of higher castes blithely course through their insipid days.

  4. priti aisola
    October 8, 2009

    >Packed with social comment and observation,the first one is a very challenging poem to read. When you say 'my faith', is it a very personal faith which is free from any reference and attachment to any dogma, doctrine or institutionalized religion? Your faith frees you from ritual 'purity and danger', from ritual impurity and cleansing?The way you divert and shape your water imagery to convey meaning and commentary and express your confidence and freedom of spirit is interesting and clever.The last part of the poem is moving and memorable. The second poem is so much more accessible for me and a great piece. Your poetic eye has transformed a typical post- rain city scene into something joltingly interesting. '…with monsoon's bloom of festering holes…'- what a startling juxtaposition of contraries.

  5. anu
    October 9, 2009

    >Ah! i like short poems and out of season dares.

  6. tikulicious
    October 10, 2009

    >It feels so good to be back and reading some of the finest verses … Love you for writing such fine challenging poetry. Shuddhi .. the word says it all. and the second poem is a gem to treasure.

  7. abha
    October 12, 2009

    >I loved the imagery of your second poem, "I saw lotuses out of season ready to take on the clouds." And lotuses do bloom in muck.Beutifully rendered.The first poem is deep. The use of the word 'shuddi'is so strong, a word that is so traditional and in your poem it is used as a word to denote your faith in yourself and a freedom from all that is ritual.I like this poem a lot, though one has to read it more often to fathom its depth.

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