THREE POEMS by Astha Khanduri

“Under the Callistemon” by Astha Kanduri


Flickering light
In a lonely night
Scarlets rustle
Raindrops patter

Under the Callistemon
Unleashes her demon
She picks a leaf,
And pens her deeds
While ink scatters,
It soaks the letters

For facing her sins,
Is like killing a lump of her
For if not today,
She’ll be tamed forever

Havoc of evil and green
Inflates the vascular veins

As the beast masters
Her head sinks
And tears burn
The hexed green

She kneels down
In dampened clothes
With shoulders free
As her cursed pride burns in flames

Deep breath, now she takes
Decorates ink on a crisp leaf
With virtue, scarlets,
And twigs


Making way through
Dry leaves on the pavement
A lone feather
Drops near my feet
Soft bend to pick her up, when
The pigeon whispers, “A part of me

                                  A share of nature

                                  A slice of labor

                                  An excerpt of freedom

                                  Can she be a part of your wisdom?

                                  Take her home, take her home!”

Pages smell of daisy
Lines untangle like silk
Feather yearns for the ink
To write more, to write more

The feather scribbles pages with
Tales of nest and dawn
Tyranny of snakes and thunderstorms
When the pigeon whispers, “She is now at peace, at peace!”


Lily in lungs
Pansy in blood
Daffodil in vessels
Marigold in muscles

Last breath,
as I draw

The spirits ornament
An iris in cerebrum
A clove between valves

Whilst everything in place
Retouch still remains
They leave it for my kins
To decorate the lanes

Curtains raised
Kins prepared

As I lie down, they cover me with maples
As I go down, they feed me some apples

Curtains lowered
Cadaver greets, and
The dead retreat

Astha Khanduri is a young graduate in Bioinformatics from India and has an experience of working with Augmedix for 2 years. She is an emerging writer and photographer who conceives art as the most surreal form of expression. She tries bringing thoughts to life with fluidity on reel and paper. Recently, three of the photographs from her collection got published in the journal Jalmurra. She can be found on Twitter at @AsthaKhanduri.

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