Three poems | by Rajnish Mishra

Poetry speaks best

Let’s talk about dissection in poetry.

The form is easy to dissect, fix and copy.

Fixed on dissection trays with pins,
or kept in formaldehyde filled jars for future dissections, it’s dead.

Heart does not beat
in there; blood does not run in those veins.

That’s not the poetry I talk about.

Mine is poetry alive,
heart beating, and blood pumping.

Simple, stupid, simply
stupid or stupidly simple?


Let’s talk about deception in poetry.

The theme is easy to wear like a coat.

Wear the right theme at the right time,
and place, be politically correct, send it
to the right places, meet the right people.

Yes, it’s deception
through poetry or
poetry as deception.

Let’s talk about imagination in poetry,
Yes, let’s talk about poetry that’s
honest, spirit fresh, soul clean.

Should there be any need to call
Any other thing poetry?

Why talk about poetry at all.
Poetry speaks best for itself.
Let it speak.


Gods have grown small nowadays
Gods have become brands nowadays:
Saleable, buyable, marketable,
They live amongst us nowadays.
Like us they die too nowadays.

Tricks language plays

My daughter, eight, looked at me
with eyes: half-enquiring, half-afraid,
eyes with faith, half, at least,
and asked suddenly: Are we born again after death?

I looked at my wife. Our eyes met.
She smiled: that corners of the eyes,
so-it-did-happen smile, and I knew
it was not she who dropped
a hint to the child
of death or birth, or both.


I did not, I know. We don’t discuss death
at home, especially with children
awake or around: never with them around.

No, not death, the old enemy, no talks
in the recent past with anyone.
Death horrifies me.


So, I sat back,
took a pause,
filled my eyes with light and strength,
that fills the eyes of those
with half-faith, at least,
and told her boldly that half-lie:

‘No, you don’t have to die if you say no to death’.

I knew I was half-true.
Tricks language plays!



Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. His work has now started appearing in journals and websites


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