Poems by Yasmin Sawhney

Maqbool Fida Husain

a poem by Yasmin Sawhney

M – Metaphor Man
Marvelous thinker
Master of the bristle tool
Maverick
Magician
Movie-maker and
Above all a
Misread
Monk.

F – Fertile mind,
Febrile too.
Willful child… of a Greater God
Fabled
Flush with Funds.
Famed,
Sometimes
Framed.
Fountainhead of line and lore.
Making
Forms dance
To his personal score.

H – High priest of
Harmony and
Hue.
High-flying sage
Of the snow-white locks, Lolita lips
Spindly-hands, unshod feet
And figure of stacked sticks.
Unruffled, writing-
Writing a fresh
History
Of ‘new-age’ Indian Art.

Where is God

a poem by Yasmin Sawhney

Where is God

Chants hum.
Their drone lulls the boy spirit
and conceals it in structures of stone
where it lives
but
sterile and un-thumbed.
Ah, how the gatherers of wool lie!
They sell a Shangri-la
of trussed bodies and levitating minds.
God is not there.

The sound of the temple-bell swirls around
the naked lust of the pundit’s paunch.
With every chuckle the blubber jerks.
Just outside, the hapless and humble stand;
skin hugging bones; entreating eyes in line
with pleading palms but the temple-gate rasps
“Stay! Touch me not”
God is not there.

Under the cleric’s watchful eyes,
knees bend; minds too;
the smell of sweat mingles;
foreheads kiss the floor of the ancient mosque
and a sign yells “Only for men”.
The patriarchal plot
has found the most potent park.
God is not there.

The false hush
and greater falseness in the church pews;
even before the hollowness of the sermon lulls
they have flown out of the front door
into the labyrinths of the sinner self.
Penitence shows but two empty hands
and one bloodied nose.
God is not there.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The older the creed
the more gangrenous it grows;
down, down it goes
to the door of the waiting fascist

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But in nature
where birth is natural, no needless array,
no bayoneted potion for pain.
Raindrops kiss the leaf above
then surge to touch one below.
Like the Cheshire cat, a rainbow smiles
ephemerally on a sky-ledge.
A wave wiggles in, slaps the rock,
then waddles back with a smirk.
In barbaric bickering
Life lives by the death of Life.
Equilibrium maintained.
God is there.

Where ears heed the Creator’s voice
which says, “this woman-soul and man-soul
are both part of me. Handle with equal care.”
God is there.

Where the wonder of the innocent
and the gaze of the old skeptic
are mothered;
mothered with the same belief
“This is life”.
God is there.

Where dins doused;
scabbards with their devil-charges
laid in tombs;
clasped hands nurse fractured minds
and frightened nerves.
Where every parish priest,
every muslim cleric, every pundit
has fathomed the others belief
and none transgress.
God is there.