Author Archives: VijayNair

About VijayNair

I retired as Associate Professor, Department of English, Government Victoria College Palakkad, Kerala. I taught English Language and Literature in various colleges for 31 years. My Ph.D. thesis was on the plays of Wole Soyinka. My collections of verse include "The City and the Hermitage" (1988), "Doors Swing Open" (2008), "Eyes" (2010) and "Whispers of Light in Darkness" (2013). My poems have also appeared in the International Anthologies "I am a Poet" (2013), "With Love" (2013), "Synthesis" (2014) "Poetic Symphonies" (2015) and "Heavenly Hymns" (2015).

Nights and Days

You speak,my love,through furrowed thoughts and I
Hear barbed prayers on a crowded beach:
Wide-eyed at twilight,your searchlight gaze

Brushes aside an edgy fate and falls
Upon a homing bird’s discordant cries–
Moments pass like shadows across your face:

In love brewed through time between old friends
Forgiveness is not a drunken forgotten word
Awake but still asleep on faithless nights and days.

Aftermath

The shutters of our eyes have been opened–
Death unveils mourning friends and neighbours
With waterlogged memories of last year

And the fading light on the faces we forgot–
Some are consoled by a bulging bag of promises
And an awkward ritual handshake at the end–

Nothing is heard when hoarse voices shout
At the same time,staring at the mud and silt:
Your language wears thin like your patience–

Touched by sunlight,the landscape comes alive
But those who have travelled far and wide know:
Our lives become the lies we hide behind.

WhatsApp?

Summer and WhatsApp brought us together:
You forwarded some wise bloke’s well-lit thoughts
And misunderstood my silence as consent
For more quotes,videos,emojis, and what not–
I felt a homelessness the homeless never felt.

You blessed and cursed in many tongues
But I could embrace you only in one–
The howling rain gave us no respite
While my fingers stroked your favourite song to sleep
Beyond the blurred landscape of deceit that night.

How could I have possibly known
You hated slender and shameless adjectives
But adored bruised and battered verbs and nouns:
A bunch of fragrant promises
Flung into the bylanes of forgetten towns–

Arguing with your angry gods,did you
Ever wonder if it was worth the wait
Holding on to hope? You said:
”Love will message us back to life,or be
Another borrowed, dust-blurbed book left unread.”

”96”(The Film)

Everything becomes eternal this night–
The hiss we heard when words were trapped between the teeth
Disappears in the warmth of awakened delight

As we walk through corridors,and someone sings,
Trying to deny ourselves the touch we crave
Or sit in a room,exchanging memories,but not rings–

We know there is a space within the heart
Filled with one face even in the darkest times
Where shadows don’t leave us to ourselves or live apart–

When what was lost,is found,and lost again
We learn that young love never lies or dies
As we get drenched in the midnight rain–

Arrivals and departures map your flight
And the final parting is more painful than the first:
If only we could see beyond our sight…

Another Homecoming

Your homecoming reminds you of questions
She raised at every milestone
Which kept her writing and waiting – –

Licking fingertips before turning the pages
Of her gifted diary, and reading
Between the sculpted lines, you discover

That on every tenth page, your name appears
Like a friendly, familiar ghost
While, humming, she paints you with fine strokes

In black and white, and sombre gray:
You see yourself as she once saw you
And you stare

At some stranger’s silent silhouette,
Listening to the music of her anklets
On a distant windy shore

Photographed blowing wet kisses thirty years ago.

Intermission

The silent scream that takes your breath away
Is not drawn from the exhausted painting
On the priceless wall, beyond your reach,

Waiting to be stolen, like the kisses
Of an unforgettable pastel spring in Paris–
It is what we all hear, day after day

When our fallen idols choke on pretence
And burn new bridges after every blast
While prayers are lost somewhere in the clouds–

Does the ringing of bells mean anything
Anymore? The demons are within
Offering wreaths with smiles, as our thoughts

Wander through the crowded corridors of history–
Our hunchbacked selves observe the testimony
And the screaming eloquence of ancient flames.

Jacinda

“They are us.” The unshed fears in the gaze,
A black headscarf filled with hope
And the space in which she is what she says.

Eyes shut, and then the warm embrace
Eloquent and lighting up
The tallest building in the universe.

It is all written on her pensive face – –
Some lead through pointless promises
Others stretch out to touch, with grace

The sadness of the stunned survivors:
“Speak the names of those who were lost rather than
The name of the man who took them.” After the prayers,

Fifty worshippers become their past, but their presence
Is felt, at this place, in the words of this
Beautiful voice of a country’s conscience.

The Line of Our Control

Returning refreshed by their native air
They burst into flames of martyrdom
Ambushed by minds darkened by hate

In a land where the sky embraces every grief
And mothers die many times in one lifetime–
Our arguments shall follow us

To our well-maintained graves
Along with the stilled laughter in their young eyes–
Eavesdropping on history,old and new,

We shall hear the applause
For sentences across the floor–
But we shall only see

The baleful glance
Of a patient vulture
Across the line of our control.

Here and Now

A toothless smile brings you to this place:
Forever young,
Her wrinkles are filled with fables

Of fine warriors, and love stories
Brought to their final rest
In the reckless drone-drawn dawn – –

Her eyes glow through the rubble
Of memories and the grief of forgetting – –
One of a kind, she grasps

The sense of what you mumble.
Her weathered words and flailing arms
Urge you to nod in agreement

Or keep a profound silence – –
This is no time for shallow repartees:
History is here and now.

Name a name

It doesn’t really matter if you can’t remember

If it happened yesterday

Or the day before:

Sitting on the fence, you sense

You are not to blame.

Name a name – –

In the blink of a bloodshot eye

Who knows what lurks beneath

The breathless skin? Who can smell

The scent of senseless flesh?

I am not to blame.

Name a name – –

In the awakened sky’s blessed fields

Under a streetlamp’s haloed light

Or in the muffled shadows of a dream

A young girl screams. Another name.

We are all to blame.