Table of Contents
  About the Poetess
  My Father's Country
  Azadi: 1989-1995
  The Yellow River
  Summer Rain
  Mother's Day USA
  Bride in Red
  My Dream
  The City of Dread
  Kashmir Today
  Sukeshi has a Dream
  Autumn Rain
  The Story of Ganesha
  Washer Woman
  The Ever New Poet
  The Yogi
  The Rishi
  My Death
  Self Spectre
  Autumn Song
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



My Dream

I shall never see his face.
Only hear a voice like
fine music, chanting of mantras

in ancient forest retreats.
My father's old country,
lost to me forever, and ever,

amid the mid west bounty 
of summer, becomes my dream.
I hear a footstep near

the red rosebush; the shadows
it casts on moonlit nights
are a bride's downcast eyes.

The pale white robed
Pundarika, the ascetic hero
of an old, old story is
so chaste, pure like a waterfall

that roars sonorous amid
wooded hills, majestic boulders
of Himalaya. Magical pathways
bring me to it: unawares.

Sheltered by leaves
of an ashoka tree, my dream
wakes and sleeps 
with the sun and the moon.

Falls on its face
like a toddler of legend,
wearing gold anklets.

Lotus petals are his
shapely lips, morning breezes
stir them slightly, holding
back a wave, a storm, a torrent.

What might be said
gets tangled
in half finished thoughts.

My deep sleep enchants
light step of the bluejay,
red throated squeak
of a cardinal in midsummer.

Egrets step on white sand,
five fathoms of the Atlantic.
Do they still turn bones
into coral, eyes into pearls?

Does my father's country
have a dream, a plan,
a safety net, a strategy
to retrieve the banished native. 

He lives in a refugee camp in Udhampur, 
becomes a mid summer guest 
where he should be a host. 

After three days, he boards 
a dark blue van; it will take him 
back to the camp. 

His face is blackened 
by a sorrow that has no name.
No legitimacy; it is so like him. 

Can someone tell this man:
"stay, don't go." Pull out your keys
open jammed locks of your house 
in Vanpooh, the river town in the south.

See if the squirrel 
your twelve year old used to feed 
has her nest where it used to be. 

If the burnt down temple near your 
house can be mended enough 
to let a deity return in gentle peace? 

My dream is maya, and this man's 
refugee camp, his no-home, 
his comings and goings are too. 
Perhaps a sorrow will pass.

[© Lalita Pandit, July 4, 1998].



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