Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Jan 2017

Five Poems of Rajiv Khandelwal

Rajiv Khandelwal (1957) has published three volumes of Poetry – ‘Conch Shells and Cowries’ (1998), ‘Love is a Lot of Work’ and ‘A Monument to Pigeons’ (2013). He has co-produced a documentary film titled ‘Visit India, Discover Agra.’ He resides at 22\3- Pandit Motilal Nehru Road, Agra - 282 004; and can also be contacted through email:

1. Wondering Now



so innocent

so untouched

where nothing mattered

the goal was 

just to have fun


95% of my thoughts were of you

50% of your time was spent with me

we were all over in each others 8 year old lives

having fun 


For years 

you were in my mind


Years later

you would sometimes 


like the ‘night bloomers’

opening around dusk

as the cap opens the brandy bottle

and spreads its fragrance

while blooming

throughout the night


For years  

you were in my mind

and i sometimes wonder

was I ever In yours?


2. Presence


That day

when we sat at the lily pond

in silence

gazing raptly

at your super-model features

and you 

occupied with your thoughts 


Your signature scent


as ferociously

as the California wild fires

minutes burned


we sat unawares



Years have passed


when i pass the lily pond


those silences 

behave like 

undisciplined, spoilt, unruly children

running amok

deserving immediate attention


That’s when

the lily pond beckons

with an as-if-we –have –met-before-expression.


3. Dreams – With Eyes Open 


All night they were there

creating a stir

of the type

most middle aged men

crave and dream all their lives

playing naughty games


to extremes


Creating a funny pain


Not like the birth giving pain

or wisdom tooth removal


But the comfortable, relaxing pain

experienced by the concrete drill


wet and tight terrain


All night they were there 

making me feel

on top of the world

please! drop in today!

so i can feel

on top of the world

with eyes open.


4. Thresholds


The absent-minded finger

slammed the car door

on its self

then winced 

with throbbing pain


Eyes brimmed with tears

as they caught sight of you


I remember

I felt

an indefinable happiness

when you trapped

the purple nail finger

with your lips

and sucked

the swelling


These days

doors beckon

again and again

with promise loaded 

 “now come over here” commands


Knowing you

I expect nothing

so I do nothing


The swellings

and memories

of your smile

that hot wet suction

takes so less space

yet traps

like thresholds. 


5. Anything Can Happen 


If ‘Vienna Vegetable Orchestra’ with ease

can play an ensemble with fresh veggies


And young couples kiss

while the farmers sniff


Anything can arrive

during joyous and celebratory moments 


Inspired by bundle tied letters and postcards

on any normal day I can be the bard


Write an ode for romantic lyrics now in tears

praise in support to separation frightened fears 


Many summers have lived their lives

while your photographs lie in peaceful rest

like coffee-table-books

working as life-saving blood transfusions


When the farmer sniffs

and couples kiss

that’s when the pain tugs.