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



Summer Rain

Rain in Wisconsin reminds
me of rain in Kashmir,
when my mother was young.
She made a special kind of rice cake.

July rain was good for crops, 
for fruit, and the wild grasses
that grew behind our house
in an abandoned yard.
There were three weeping willows.

Their fingery leaves brushed against
amber waters at dawn, 
at dusk my mother lit an oil lamp.

Set it on a ledge near 
the west window, praying
to the setting sun.
It is repentance, she said,
not prayer. To brighten his path.

Perhaps it will lead someone's
wandering step away from error,
to home, to his wife.
The tiny cotton wick
was too small, weakly flickering
in the wind. What good would
it do? I thought.

When it was dark,
she removed the lamp.
Put it in front of an icon.
The light lit up eyes
of a goddess, blue black.
The bloodied skulls 
she wore for a necklace, 
her flame red tongue.
Thin hands with long fingers.

July rain still falls in Kashmir
gently like tears of a mother
whose daughters turned against her.
Whose sons forgot her

[© Lalita Pandit, July 18, 1997].



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