Vinita Agrawal

Bare of Shade

They said I’d reach home if I reached your heart.

So I took the odd path
went left
followed blood trails
rabbit burrows
wizened grass, dry wells.

Until I reached un mended fences
barbed wires, geographical chalk lines,
morbid like skeletal grins.

Then I went right
walked through eyes that shone
like sweat in the hollow of the collar bone
followed the scratch of the twig in the mud –
followed wilted tuberoses
strewn on the road like tortured, white, fairy brooms.

Until I reached alphabets, vernacular kick starters
poetry and the rustling-bamboo flutter of turning pages
jaundiced by sun’s mania.

And then I knew
Not reaching
Not settling
Not winning
Not being

I knew that homes are bare of shade.
They hang like dead birds from wires of distance.
Claw at air to send litanies that make even seasoned Gods kneel.

Homes are in those pining gazes we exchange
when we pretend not to look at each other,
aware of the galaxies that so easily keep us apart.

Land’s End

The souls of pavements
and the silence of footsteps
that have nowhere to go

slope down into the sea
here, at Land’s End.
Salt licks air.

Something unfinished
lies in the net of the night
like fallen stars

and the railings
mating perpetually
with the sea’s spray,

beckon to leap
into the mess of my past
hoping to become food for fish.

So many sandbags of me
heavy with touch
are lined against the shore’s crags.

Vastness floats to me
seeps inside my jute.
I look like the earth’s lips:


Dry, as all the nothingness
that pants like a tired, broken leaf
seeking Land’s End

and then, the endless burn of seas.


Vinita is a Mumbai based, award winning writer and poet. Her poems have appeared in Asiancha, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Pea River Journal, Open Road Review, Mandala among others. She was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011 and awarded a prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2013 and the 2014 Hour of Writes Contest. She is the author of Words Not Spoken. She has a Masters in Political Science with a gold medal and is a full time writer, working freelance.

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