The ritual is done.
The harvest of tears proudly stored.
Pristine they look, with no taint of reason.
Now I let go, as I have done before.
Just this once,
let me walk with you an extra mile.
Let me brush my fingertips lightly
against your affection for the calf.
Let me sport a little
with ripples that tell you stories
in hushed tones.
Let me be windswept. I want to
taste the storms
that make your nib bleed.
Go. Sail your boat. Journey.
Just this once,
let me take a tear drop from you
and add it to my harvest.
If ever you touch these shores again,
I will be here with a flower for you:
a flower that grows once in many years,
if buried tears tempt the moon and stars
to spend a day with them,
beneath the earth.
The Shades of Grace
A sunless crack in a mossy wall
brings peepul shoots into the world.
Elegant, tapering shadow-leaves
tossed on the rough concrete below
nod playfully at stony, somber eyes
that spot hope coming from the beyond.
Somewhere an elephant awaits death
in a river and forgives the nimrod.
Heavy sighs soothe her unborn baby.
Dipping the bloody trunk in water,
she tastes the divine in the ripples
that restore peace unto eternity.
Shatarupa Mishra is an Assistant Professor of English at Govt. Women’s College, Bhawanipatna, Odisha (affiliated to Kalahandi University, Odisha), India. She has an MA in English from the University of Hyderabad and she was awarded the Sarojini Naidu Memorial Trust Gold Medal by the university in 2010 for academic excellence. Her research interests include postcolonial ecocriticism, posthumanism and chaos theory. Her short story titled ‘Creation’ is published as part of an e-book: Esmeralda’s Hair and Other Stories. Her poems have been published by Erothanatos, a peer-reviewed quarterly journal on literature, Vol 4, Issue 3, September 2020.