The River Returns – A Collection of Tanka poems


His message to meet

at moon rise among the flowers

sparkles a secret

on her smiling face passion

glows with charming fervor


She is no moon yet

she drifts like the moon, takes care

of him from the sky–

meets him for short, waxing

leaves him for a long, waning


Before going to bed

she looks too sad to have

any sweet dream:

the lonely lamp glints no love

and no star peeks through the curtains


Yearning to meet him

she turns a silk-worm spinning

love-silk in cold night–

stands in a shade melting tears

like a candle, drop by drop


Stains of dried dewy

tears on the eyelids tell of

the load on her mind:

clothed in spring the willow twigs

reveal the changed relation


Locked in the shadows

of unrolled curtains her love

in the lone boudoir:

she plays tunes on the guitar

flowers fade at the windows


She senses all things

changing as she passes through

the city again:

should I leave the old house or

lie in the grave before death


Twisting tassels

round her finger fears coming

of night in bed:

octopus grips the body

and buckles into disgrace


At the river

she folds her arms and legs

resting her head

upon the knees and sits

as an island


Is it her quietus

that she roars in herself

like a sea

waves upon waves

leaps upon herself?


Gods couldn’t change the rhythm

of the body and its needs:

erotic scars stick–

after three decades love waves

tense the flesh and rock the night


When the sun is erotic

and the moon lyric

the winds turn tempestuous

in the orbit of love

legs slide by calls of nature


Before the foamy

water could sting her vulva

a jelly fish passed

through the crotch making her shy–

the sea whispered a new song


Swirling spiral

of her skirt spills tides of dream

and memory:

I breathe fire in the dance

forgetting bends and twists


When I wanted to change

seats my friend said she can

only if the door’s locked

the light out and her mom

in another city


When I inhale in

your mouth and exhale stroking

hair or caressing

I ride you into joy and

make you hail morning like earth


Life limits between

whence the sun rises and where

it goes to relax:

joys of a fleeting moment

I see Aditi in your eyes baby jeeter

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