Nandini Sahu

Dreams, these days

Dreams, these days, are of the moon and moon-manufacturer!
The gripe translucent skies in the night
the mood swings of solitude, the cognizance of the air, purer,
the memories of missing moon motif, a vanished delight.

Dreams, these days, are of the sea and the seafarer.
The uncluttered, sweeping ocean epitomizes much more
than an unbiassed body of water; it embodies a malicious elegance
that never hesitates to induce the narrator.

Dreams, these days, are of some make-believe love and some eternal lover.
Ahh! Genuine love is measured by how deep you tumble
and adjudicated; mediated by how trivial you are,how willing to scuttle
just to save it and make it linger.

Dreams, these days, are of a comrade and about some paramour.
It is resolute by how keen you are to unclutter.
Offer your conviction. It is generous, incredible
and apparently very kind. It is, of course, often biased, it is colour blind.

Dreams, these days, are of travel and the traveler.
The wanderer and the wanderlust, the reminiscence and rumination.
Do not foldaway lost travel stories to the hermit’s harbor
there is a great lot you aught to see post contagion.

Dreams, these days are of many lands, many homes and the homemaker.
There is boundless share your passion daily does sought to travel.
You needn't unpack right away, keep your luggage at bay.
You are not parting, your authority shall you take back, oh seafarer!

Dreams these days are of a long life-- glorious, happier, healthier, better.
Still, if you succumb, the show goes on even minus you, so don't despair.
Dream anyway, love anyway; you shall soon find your ‘home’ awfully closer!
The marvels of the mourned sound colossal; they may, as well, entice and lure.

From Dust to Dust: A Voyage


In the Air’s dirge and in its uncanny speech
In the symbolic inscape, towards an anonymous acreage to reach.
In the muted melancholy, winding round and round
In the deep scars of ages, sheltering words from their sound.
The ‘anatomy of love’ just glossed over the bracelet of the heart
The ruthless self-probing did create a mayhem and then an amendment.
In the cosmic plane and in the evolutionary destiny of man
On the sanctified invocation to the Muse, in an interminable fusion.
Oh virgin air!! Please tell me, what is sacred and what is profane?
Death levels all, from dust to dust—to the five elements we are prone.


And then the Air went on wandering upon blue Water.
Blue was the motif, pure blue, unguarded and blessed.
Why did their guilty tongues stagger without a purpose?
Was a thirsty yearning woman denied water amid all abundance?
Yes water is virtuous in myriad ways, not evil even when not good.
Water is reverie to nurture beyond all achievement and disappointment.
Like Sophocles’, water soothed the bereaved soul of my fiery being,
Like Everest, water stood tall amid sledgehammer and lute.
Of course my daily life is my temple, my faith and conviction.
With watermark I ascend earthly heights, towards a quivering sun.


I had been cohesive with the woodlands, I being the Earth.
I blossomed on the blooms, and then flourished watery fresh.
In the avocado sprouts, the vines were my attitudes.
My senses flowered on every bush, and in my vulnerable arms.
Whitecaps in the soaring pointed grassland, and in the silvery murkiness
And the sea side respired with me, and the looping waves.
Trembled through the stomata of my own membrane
I had been cohesive with the woodlands, I being the Earth.
Our paradise was occupied with celebration of light to rejoice the fusion
The green Earth was adorned with buds for the invocation.


I said let there be Fire and Fire there was !
The wandering soul ascended naked and with pride unabashed.
I earned love, I deserved to drink to the lees, filling life’s cups numerous.
I have been just a giver, an instrument of giving,conquering all fire.
Life! You owe me a debt, you made me the eternal Socrates.
In the jeopardy of the abysmal, you have unsettled my winged feet.
I fear no fire now, all fire engulfed in me with time implicit
No fear of time-eternal,death or even any dainty unknotted route.
Love is the intermittent flux, a fiery ‘me’ enters its mode of being
I powder a single essence into myriad forms, the blue firmament is watching.


Oh! The sky is ablaze with gulmohur this sepia noon,
With champak and jasminecomposed from the mellowing dawn.
New leaves sprouting on the banyan stems, yearning skyward
Honey-bees conduit, piping the budding figs; blooms call the bees homeward.
Coral and ivory lilies reveal their fragile gold
The insects and kingfishers perturb the plumy sedge.
Round the gloom of my lonesome nightfall, ululates a carnival of lights,
Like Plato, I trust justice is loftier than injustice, they deliberate it or not!!
Today’s Air is my god-self, to persist forever unblemished.
Much in it is my not-yet being, still today’s ether is bright-winged.

These days I do only what the heart says

These days I do only what the heart says.
These days I swim in the deep waters within,
this is the vanaprastha, emotive of the jungle inside;
no, it’s not leaving living-life, it’s delving
deeper into the verve,
gloriously singing Gloria’s romantic number
“You are too good to be true…”

These days I do only what my heart says.
I warm up my hands with brewing coffee
and the soul with the kaleidoscopic changes around.
Brooding over my own fascination, happily
parting with the ever-nourished austere Puritan gravity,
these days I listen to my spirit.
Marveling, perhaps there is someone at the other end ---
too willing to read, waiting eagerly
for my outpourings
to show on the
screen .

These days I just let time get inundated
in the racy and energetic madness of a
These mornings I have the leisure to
argue over the daily breaking news,
I have the occasion to wear a confident smile
and the wish to read messages
from friends and strangers as well.
These days I am reaching a stage
when I can dictate terms and life doesn’t
have much of a choice.
Talking only blissful things
surrounded all the time by
frolicking flowers and cool
tender moonlight and foam on a sea of frenzy.
Being quietly impatient, engaged in an eternal monologue
smiling at the innuendo and paradox of it
living in the moments impassioned, uninhibited,
a little flirtatious, a little mischievous perhaps,
marveling at the flash of
buzzing, inexplicable joy.

These evenings I have the time to water the plants
without worrying much about the
daily homework of my child
or about the evening menu.
I have the rider of leaving the kitchen
to the cook, the worrying jiffy to time,
and the wind to blow whichever direction it pleases--
without my approval.
These evenings
I can reach home late, after a solitary long drive
following the tinkling wind chime
and the singing birds.
Afternoons I can spend with friends
planning home for the homeless and
pouring life-giving manna to the bowl of the lifeless.

My friends say, these days I do nothing much
nothing worthwhile
these days I do only what my heart says.

Smiling glorious like the Shakespearean heroine,
sparkling wit, sharp mind, quick repartee and awesome energy
and of course governing the scene.
Living life
of sensuous abundance
under a star-spangled sky, on the apex of the blue-green waves
with their vast vastness all around,
breathing an elating air of sovereignty and bondage.

These days I understand that no one can
affront my spirit. Can the cuckoo slur the
tranquility of the night, or the firefly dishonor the sun?
Just because they sing or smolder!!
Disallowing myself the bliss of life
I have but piled up wishes galore
in the alcoves of my being.These days my body
understands its heritage and its equitable wishes.
I know, it will no more be swindled.
these days I do only what my heart says.
My body is the judgment of my spirit;
and it is me to bring forth engaging melody
from the bemused chaotic sounds to it.

These days I do only what my heart says.
Because the heart may weary, but it would never die.

These days, I do not try not to sound romantic
as earlier
becausemy efforts to do so
prove futile as at some unguarded moment,
some word, expression shows
my true inner-self and I stand revealed.
Only the heart speaks. No carrot-and-stick story, this.
No rewards and punishment theory
to induce behavior.

I am like a bird on the wing, soaring into the clouds,
seized with a sublime feeling of ecstasy,
in the first flush of love
and looking down at the earth below
treating everything there as apparently insignificant
compared to what my heart bids
me do.
Silence does not hurt me anymore,
though I realize words have their own worth
and necessity; sometimes they don't have
substitutes and they have to be there
in some form---oral or written.
These days I speak and listen
the pursuit of silence is over.

In this game of hide-and-seek,I am the
prime mover, enjoying
my occasional wild wandering spirits
(a poet's prerogative I suppose).
These days I do only what my heart says.

These days I live
in uninhibited wishes and irresistible charm
and unabashed confiding
while enjoying the occasional mood swings.
Not distinguishing between
their quality and quantity
drinking words, mouth agape,
these days I speak and listen to life.
These days I do only what my heart says.

Lord Jagannath, the God with half-done Limbs

When my words are overcooked
in the double-tongued obscurity
of the opaque heart
I wonder
what’s the need for grief or alarm,
independence or the lack of sovereignty,
the heavy golden jewelry, the saving accounts,
the artificial hair of my neighboring beauty,
the moon, the calendar on the table, my
Omega-3 tablets, love, lust
or even poetry?

Mother! Why doesn’t He have complete limbs?
Who left Him like this--half-done?
Why is he cavernous black?
Why are his eyes always swollen and unblinking??

I search for answers in my
intrepid, unfazed heart,
nonchalant at the naked rooms;
I think of children whom the world
has deserted
because they have derelict or half-done limbs.
The dark-skinned who have a
a frozen-time. I ponder over their providence.
Their ancient limbs and face
spinning into a papyrus.

It’s convergence my son! It’s His way of
humanizing the mechanics of tolerance.
The Lord of the Universe, Lord Jagannath,
sans complete limbs, with an ugly face,
ogling, unblinking eyes and a dark skin, is
the charming, absorbing of all, the pious of all.
The most accomplished, the most adorable, most alluring.

Then I know it’s the first light of
creative contemplation.
It’s daybreak for ingenuity
breaking the parapets of opaque.
without orders from above.

Memory: Haiku Poems

I never step my feet in the same
river, in the flowing water, twice. After all,
it’spoignantfor eternity. Watershed memories are the best.


Well, of late I realized, kitchen is the best place of memories.
To rid sunusunia spinach of soil
a natural pragmatism unmarred by mature abridgment.


The episodic configuration of life conceals
what lies ahead. Yet
I dream,I am at the seaside, all revealed.


Standing waist-deep in the blue water in theinnumerabletwilight
of green, sapphire, jade, emerald turquoise blue--soothingly
caressing my limbs, I felt the ocean were my own private aquarium.


Thememory is tender and cluttered
like a soft ache behind my breastbone--the raw deal.
The world, of course, is a fundamentally inequitable place.


I wish I were a magician, a trickster
with the pen substituting a baton
connecting postponed kinships with people vanished.


All I can do with memory is wield a quiet, private smile
while clenching something in the chest.
Twisted by a legitimate selfhood toconfront its monopoly.


Directing of the centrifugal and centripetal forces of change
I am a direct challengeto all that you hold dear
arriving at a new frontier; it’s a one-person revolution.


Against all the gender rules, I am turning incoherent.
I am converting oddments of memory into
a cohesive narrative. I am like that jumbo, up in the sky.


Quietly marking it’s trajectory, with a long, single vapor trail
Our memories are coterminous, with the same boundaries
To the route of space, time and denotation.


Life can be elusive, yes.
To trace memories back and forth a temporal span of
time and love who are but natural opponents.


Clandestine rendezvous, a de facto if not a de jure code for
melodramatic scandalous and histrionic bouts
came in the form of poems. Oh memory!!


Biobrief: Prof.Nandini Sahu, Professor of English, and Ditector, School of Foreign Languages, IGNOU, New Delhi, India, is an established Indian English poet,creative writer,theorist and folklorist. She is the author/editor of fourteen books ;has been widely published in India, U.S.A., U.K.,Africa and Pakistan.Dr.Sahu is a triple gold medalist in English Studies,the award winner of All India Poetry Contest and Shiksha Rattan Purashkar. She is the Chief Editor and Founder Editor of two bi-annual refereed journals, Interdisciplinary Journal of Literature and Language(IJLL) and Panorama Literaria. Her areas of research interest cover New Literatures, Critical Theory, Folklore and Culture Studies, Children’s Literature, American Literature and ELT.


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