SELECTED POETRY

 

 
RE-CLAIM BY NEHA MISRA 


From the barren fields of 

heavy hate and hollow ignorance,

I re-claim the republic of imagination

where stubborn hope is the queen 
and action her flying minister.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM ? BY NEHA MISRA 


[ The lady behind the restaurant counter asks me, without a comma: "You look lovely this afternoon where are you from?"

As always, I fumble for a response to these four words: Where are you from?

And then there is loveliness: Is loveliness and where I am from related?

I fumble for the first geographical wave that comes to mind, which it does depending on the season, time of the day, and my mood.

For,"Where am I from?"]

 

I am from this ground I am standing on.
I am here now. I am from here.
I am from my blue bedroom
I am from my white kitchen
I am from the green study
I am from the lemon bathroom
I am from the white living room
I am from the side street
I am from the progressive county
I am from the green city
I am from the legendary state
I am from this greatest country on earth

But wait. This is my adopted home
I must belong where I came from.

So, let's try again - ask me again where I am from?

 

I am from that ancient country
I am from that mythical state
I am from that dusty city
I am from that revolutionary county
I am from that main road

I am from the plot where my parent’s house stands
I am from that tall building I called home before I grew my wings
I am from my parent’s house on the sixth floor
I am from the house number 64


I am from that brown living room
I am from that sea green bathroom
I am from that blue study
I am from my mother's grey kitchen
I am from my pink bedroom where my stuffed toys are still lined up
I am from that ground I stood on
I was there then. I was from there then.

But I am standing here now.
Here in a very precise space
Square footage taken by my red shoes

So, ask me again where I am from?

I am from where my parents spent their childhood
Where my mother, as a little girl, played on a banyan tree swing
I am from the house from whose roof my father fell
as a three year old kid. Unharmed. From what the eyes can see at least.

So, ask me again where I am from? 


I am from where I am right now
Like a magical tree that
grows new roots wherever you may uproot and place it
I am from here. 

I am from everywhere I have been
From everywhere I will go
From the human ocean
The mammal ocean
The living ocean
The non-living ocean
The star dust we all share

Yes. I am from the stars.
 

SPELL CHECK BY NEHA MISRA 

You can spell check me

all you want,

And paint my body red with

your corrections.

 

You can paint the body of

my work and work of my body

red all over with

your corrections.

 

But that does not make me incorrect.

It means - my language is not

in the limits of your dictionary,

 

And that it is 'you' for whom

the time has come to speak

in tongues you don't understand yet:
the tongues of my mother and grandmothers.

RETURN BY NEHA MISRA
 

That you have to return 

To yourself 

 Again and again -

Every day 

For the world will 

Try to snatch you 

 Again and again -

Every day

Return, then, is not 

a moment 

It is a movement. 

HER TRIUMPH BY NEHA MISRA 

In my mother tongue, 

Haar means loss 

Haar means necklace 

 

So I make 

necklace 

of 

all 

my

losses 

and proudly 

wear it 

along with 

my bindi and flower

: this 

being here 

an everyday triumph