Three Poems by Sukrita



Your shriveled

Winter bark

Is a mere mask over

Those chirpy moments, tunnels of

Dense exchanges, breezy quarrels


Those hours of snow meditations


We soared through the skies

To the sounds of

The universe


The autumnal fall

cannot shed them all



I am not the summer green of your

Leaves that comes, teasing you

Again and yet again


On this wakeful

winter morning

I see it all

You are in fact

Empty of your ghost…

I see it all


Today too

Wrapped in that same

green shawl

That ageless spirit

Emerges from the nowhere

Of tall keekers of


Gently stepping


through rows of shadowy trees


as on other mornings



in search for another form

an oak, a chinar or

perhaps a peepal


The birds twitter

on my branches

As the mountains slide

into the jungles

on the plains.




The monkeys of Summerhill

as if



No longer any chestnuts

For them

from this tree


This tree, the chosen one

Struck by lightning


The soul

as if

pulled out


One monsoon evening

The skies conspired

and fell on it


Life stilled

as if

In moments slithering


Brutal silence


Into twisted arms,

Embracing the tilting

seductive trunk


Roots in knots

The tree barren


Its silhouette in moonlight

Has monkeys on it


With chestnuts

as if

between their teeth.



Sulibhajan Temple



At dusk each day

At  Sulibhajan

When the temple bells ring

And the aarti fills

the fine dark spaces


Cracks and crevices shiver

in the belly of this hillock


All the dogs

with their pups

come together,

crane their necks

and sing in unison


Their half-closed lotus eyes

Reaching into the skies;

the purohit

Playing music on the shila

Sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa

Tails wagging in harmony


Sulibhajan is

The sacred gift of

Tapasvi Aiknath,


Between the wrinkled past

lying crouched

in the caves of Ellora

And the loud galloping present

of the city of Aurangabad,


Here, in complete isolation,

Outside time,

Dogs and stones create

Fellowship in suffering and joy…


Sukrita Paul Kumar

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