Author Archives: Vineetha

About Vineetha

Poet, writer, translator, editor Based in India. Has published poems in various anthologies. Is on the translators panel of the Kerala Sahitya Academy. Her poems have been included in the Brian Wrixon anthologies 'Words on the Winds of Change' and 'Women of One World'. She has also coauthored a poem with Gaurangi Patel which has been included in the 'Duet Anthology' brought out by XpressPublications. She has been selected for the ICOP Critics Award for March 2015 and her poem 'Reflections' is on the list of Highly Commended poems for the month selected by Destiny Poets, UK. In April 2015 her poem was published on the blog 'Incredible Women of India'. In the same month, April 2015, her poem 'Ashtavakra' was chosen as the Poem of the Month by Destiny Poets' International Community of Poets. In July 2015 her poem 'Nightscape' was one of the Highly recommended poems by Destiny Poets. So too in October 2015 her poem, 'Peace Always' was in the list of Highly Recommended poems by ICOP. Has been co-editor of 'Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered'. Her debut poetry collection, 'Ashtavakra and Other Poems' was published in August 2017 by Authorspress, New Delhi

The Walk

The Walk
——————
There is this street
It is cobbled with grey stones
You could miss a step
Twist an ankle
It is ancient
Dry leaves cover it
As the trees lining the path shed
You can walk up the path
It leads to the top
The sky opens up as you climb
The memories waft in
The aroma is a mixture
Spicy, tangy, sweet
And sometimes pungent
Once there you wish to remain
The bell jar blue is mesmerising
Enveloping
There’s nothing else to trade in.

©Vineetha Mekkoth
25-03-2018

Serendipity

Serendipity
——————–
Words
Are at times just that
Meaningless
They cannot fill
That aching darkness
That vortex in your middle
All the light gets drawn in
And you stand
Bereft
There’s nothing
You know that
You are as alone
As when you entered
Yet dragging on is
The order of the day
And little comfort it is
To see others creep crawl walk run
Existence is
Pretty boring
At times
And yet you live
For those moments
When the sun breaks through
Awed by the beauty of the sight
Moments of serendipity
When the world and you
Work together in unison
And you realise the speck that you are
Have that place in the sands
Which continue
To sift, move
And at that moment
Nothing else matters.

30.12.2017
©Vineetha Mekkoth

Ah! Life!

Ah! Life!
———–

Life is a slug
Pausing
Surveying
You get the idea
Of its slowness
As it crawls up the wall
Its eyes on top of those ridiculous antennae
Taking everything in
Cautiously
And just as you settle in
Suddenly without any warning
Life starts galloping
Helter-skelter
First in this direction
Then in that
And like a rabid dog
It runs straight at you
A bite
There you go then
Flying at breakneck speed
To save yourself
Where are the injections?
Where is the salve?

©Vineetha Mekkoth
12-11-2017

Stillness

Stillness
—————–
Words seem to have left me

Orphaned

I crave nothing

The stillness within

Scares me

I watch it

Lying curled in my core

Like a foetus

Will it grow, I wonder

I watch it with trepidation

I’m not used to this

This quietude

Should I tease it

With a scalpel

To see if it will respond?

Or let it lie

Till it grows and envelopes

The world?

A being of quiet

Devouring

Words

 

 

©Vineetha Mekkoth

Voices…

Voices..
—————–
I speak in one voice
I speak in many voices
You hear me and cry
There is discord but no
There is but One Voice
That seems like many voices
And I laugh and cry
To hear of your follies
When will you learn
Oh! When will you I wonder
There is but One and only one voice
The tower that crumbled yesterday
It’s stones were gathered
You fled with them far away
Near and far they lie clattering
Too many tongues chattering
Your lessons you still have to learn
Your pride and arrogance unlearn
I wait for the day when you’ll see
When ocean and sky will be free
When no more towers will be raised or razed
For the day when you hear my voice

©Vineetha Mekkoth
01.08.2016

Phreatic murmurs

I will not be drawn into
your vortex of love and dreams
for they are to me distant mists
I hear what you say
I feel the sadness
I want to comfort you
So I say what I say
But that isn’t love
I know

For love is all-consuming fire
That eats you up as you gape
at the beauty of the flames
For the fire lit in me then
sometimes rises
sometimes subsides
to a pinpoint glow
but it is there
lit by the flame

from a volcano
that lies dormant
before spewing
molten rock
spitting at the sky
At the unfairness
of being rooted
At the sky that darkens
and the clouds that flood

without warning washing away
in arrogance the mites
teeming the earth
Of being bound
by the river that flows across
its chest unable to flow as one
As the lava bubbles and
bursts forth in fiery splendour
on the nights and days when

the earth bares
herself to the moon

Vineetha Mekkoth
All rights reserved

Percolation

Percolation
—————

Lying here on the cool earth
I listen to the rain falling
On me around me
The drops fall as if on toes
Gently
Through the ferns
Drip dripping from leaf to leaf
The water is alive
Running on tip toes
It is the night that falls
Slipping into the warmth of the earth
Soaking into her being
And I know my love sleeps
With her who has won the day
While the earth soaks me in
Drawing me into her darkness
I who want to hide forever
For the masquerade is
Wearying me
The sky is blind tonight
And unaware of the dying.

31.05.2016
Vineetha Mekkoth
All rights reserved

Of Womanhood

Of Womanhood
—————–

You first rape me
Then you plunge
A rod of iron
Through my vagina
Tearing out my womb
My intestines plop out
Blood gushes like a warm river
In which you bathe
Rejoicing that you have
Destroyed
What you perceive
To be my womanhood.

You stride out victor
As a shroud
Of silence,
Of secrecy
Is spread out
Over my torn body
Covering up
What is believed by them
To be my womanhood

My remains are
Hurriedly consigned to the flames
In the name of rituals
And religion
Which had made me an outcast
Labelled me a lesser being
Destroying evidence
Of all that is believed
To be my womanhood

This body
that you lust for
And abhor
At the same instant
That you plunder
and destroy
And wish to possess
Is what you believe
To be my womanhood.

This you may take
May tear open
May cut to bits
But the mind that resists you
Even as the soul leaves
This shell
That which you
Cannot ever possess
Cannot ever destroy
Cannot ever conquer
Cannot ever chain
That is your feared womanhood.

That has survived
That is the consciousness that
Has spread among
Those that remain
Those who too
Have vaginas and wombs
And hips and breasts
And know their end too
Might come with an iron rod
Between their thighs
For that is death’s latest style
For those of the womanhood.

Footnote: Brutal rapes and killings on the rise in the country. Only deep seated hatred for women can cause such crimes. Womanhood or manhood for that matter is not a question of choice. But being human is.

18.05.2016
Vineetha Mekkoth
All rights reserved

An anti- story

An anti- story
————–

I would like to tell you the story
Of the demon king Mahabali
The ‘Other’ whom the devas
Feared and hated so lustily.

A land by the sea,
Rich and verdant, ruled he.
Beloved of the people
Just and fearless was he.
No cheating, no thieving
Existed in his country.
Good thoughts, good deeds
Always here in plenty.
The king was good
His people were happy.

To please the gods and give thanks
He decided to conduct a yagnya.
An offering, some sacrifices
To the brahmins decided he.
Invites were sent far and wide
All over the country.

The devas watched in alarm
As he gave away alms
And acquired punya in plenty.
His power and reach
Among the gods
Dismay caused.
An asura who was good!
By his people loved!
“No, no this must not be.”

Approached they Vishnu
And his help beseeched.
“If this asura king grows more powerful
He will dethrone me,” moaned Indra,
Lord of the devas
“And devas being good
Are the ones who should rule
Defeat Mahabali, help me.”
Moaned he.

Thus Vishnu donned the avatar
Of Vaman, a brahmin boy
And joined the crowd thronging for alms
Outside Mahabali’s city.

All sacrifices for the day were done
Nothing was left to be given
The king was in a mood benign
When into his presence strode
A brahmin boy resplendent.

“Where is my share?
Where are my alms?”
Loudly demanded he.
Smiling inwardly
at this boy so puny
Replied Mahabali
“What is it you want, little boy?
I’ll give you anything you ask of me.”

“Three steps of land is all I want
Which I shall measure with my own feet
And make mine.”
Said Vaman.

“Only so much!
That you shall have, ” said Mahabali
As he poured the sacrificial waters
Into his palm.
The spout of the vessel was blocked
No water came out!
It was Shukracharya, the demon guru
Who sat inside blocking the spout!
He had grown suspicious
And realised the devas trickery.

But alas! The king unaware
Poked the spout with an eerkili
Shukracharya lost an eye
And exited hastily.
He warned the king then
But in no mood to listen was he.
Swelling with pride and
Magnanimity he spoke.
“Take your three steps.
The world is mine to give away.”

As the crowd watched in open-mouthed wonder
Vaman grew till he touched the sky.
With one foot he measured all earth
With the second all heaven
With nowhere left to place the third step
He turned to Mahabali.
The asura king knew
His pride was humbled.
(Or was it?
Here before him
Begging for alms
Was the Almighty)

With folded palms
Head bowed low
The devout king replied
“With your third step do measure
This humble devotee
Place your foot on my head here
O, Vishnu, the Almighty.”

With that Vaman placed
His third step on the king’s head
Pushing him down
To the netherworld forever.
Before doing so asked he,
“What do you wish
O, mighty king?
You shall be known over the world
For your magnanimity.
About your goodness and just rule
Songs there shall be.”

“O Lord, all I ask
Is that once a year
I may be allowed
To visit my people dear.
Do permit me.”
Thus spoke Mahabali.
His wish was granted
For all eternity.

And so we Malayalis
Have state declared holidays
Every year to celebrate
this benevolent one.
So even today
Flower carpets we lay
To welcome him home
Who stood for all things anti-

That’s what is ingrained
Since time immemorial
In the Malayali psyche
Irrespective of our present
Caste, creed, religion, gender.
Basically, we are all anti-

Notes:
Devas – gods
Asuras – demons
Yagnya – a ritualistic sacrifice
Punya – the goodness you accumulate
Vishnu – the chief of the Trinity
Eerkili – the midrib of the leaflet of a palm leaf. (Often used in making brooms)

Vineetha Mekkoth
All rights reserved.