The Lighthouse Under the Sea
I built a cardboard lighthouse for my son,
like the one I had dreamt of when I was a child.
In my hand is the duplicate; a play set.
He asked- what kind of a creation is this?
Undeniable, it is. A hologram of burnt sugar.
The lighthouse is a floating fragment of my memory.
For I built its fragile walls, and the sullen cracks within them.
Reconstructed precisely like the one near my childhood home.
Inspired from the old photographs that found in the attic,
I fashion the playset, like my father had before he went to war.
I had blinked out love- flashing torch signals; from its top,
The young boy believed they’d reach him far and wide.
An old friend proclaimed that the lighthouse,
after many a year now rests under the cold ocean bed.
Broken nostalgia; a sun-dried tulip,
the ghastly blinking light follows you wherever you go.
In the Midst of Loneliness
The fish seek for air,
the blood gushing through, his scales palpitating.
I throw it back into the river,
I tread into the dense part of the jungle,
the fishes look at me,
I don’t find peace,
my violent desires should be relinquished.
The auburn tail and rainbow scales stop flapping,
I stand very still,
for a moment it is very serene.
Who shall transpire first?
They destroyed every record of your voice,
Falsified every narrative you wrote,
They repainted your art and brushed it with dark glue,
The sleeve of your coat used to hide the brush strokes.
Shadowy foothold; the statues rampaged apart and,
History devoured by reassessed dates and edited scars.
But when were the hopes of humanity fulfilled?
The time I reached the end of the day,
The present curated with the constant scrutiny of
Their watch, with fuller red pinnacles and desolation mirror.
And, then we did, aghast from the seat of abomination,
For the sonorous tones of the voice from the shadows, were
Not the tones of any one essentia but of multitude of beings.
They fell duskily upon our ears, the chants: of the brother,
Shuddering voices of the ones which remained,
uttering a New Testament -syllable by syllable.
Aishwarya Khale has studied English writing at Exeter College- University of Oxford. She has worked at UNDP India and SWA India. She has completed her Masters in Postcolonial writing from the University of Mumbai. She has had her poetry and fiction published in the Mississippi magazine, Lipi magazine, Tripoto India, Barnes and Nobel digital press, The Elpis Pages (USA), Muse India, Mausoleum Press (UK), IMDB critics review with: MQAM, The Divine Magazine, The Flickside. The Royal Society of Literature, Indian Rumination, The Chakkar, The Criterion International Journal, Melbourne Culture Corner, The Wokingham Today, The London Reader, Hillingdon’s Women’s archives, BBC Radio, CIUT Radio, Provenance Journal, Round Table Literary Journal (USA), ALMA magazine, The Indian review, Creative Ireland, Studio Appalachia, Cork Festival Poetry Initiative 2022 and Staffordshire History Festival 2021. She has had her work and interview broadcasted by The Telescope podcast on Apple podcasts. Her performance poetry and works have been performed at The Golden Goose Theatre in London. She has delivered National and International conferences.