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: rajivk92@gmail.com.



1. Wondering Now

 

Childhood

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 

sprout

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

consumed

as ferociously

as the California wild fires

minutes burned

yet,

we sat unawares

unimpressed

 

Years have passed

yet,

when i pass the lily pond

invariably

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

almost 

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

entering

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.