Durlabh Singh: Bitter Lemon and Other Poems

the scream

Bitter Lemon

I want to cut my teeth

On the rind of a bitter lemon

And feel the veins of wintry night

Caught in eddies on the frozen lips.


To follow the paths of the sea

Or to the creatures of sultry nights

Places where agonies kept vigils

In tear stained cheeks after saline.


In the love I embraced

Within my arms some pallid form

But strident heart betrayed its strain

Catching breaths for some ancient storm.


Graces of dead leaves in splits

Half remembered tales of ancient bliss

Some strivings for hankerings of heart

Looking for solace in a venomed start.


OBTAKA- The Magician

Moon goddess came to visit the forest last night

Riding on chariots driven by the velvet monkeys

Guarded by hornets and the armies of wasps

Beleaguered in obscurities by Obtaka the magician.


A maker of charms for the thieves and the lovers

Talisman of skies from paled skins of foreheads

Nail maker hooved webs of the antelopes

Shifter of the sharp swords for the reddish ants.

Striding solid at the hour of the midnight

Giving way to doorways to enter the corridors

Illuminated by the translucent light of the moon.


Tender are the dreams under the wider skies

Where buffalos roam in mud staked stripes

Conversing with mirrored spirits of golden ghosts

Witches, wizards, nymphs or other watery sports.


The chameleon on converse with the blizzards

Obeying the command to put spur on the lizards

The crocodiles, hippopotamus, ibis and the lion

Drinking at water holes under direction of wizard

Rocked white, stone turned hatches for the rabbits

Skin rigged, log wooded dug outs for the jackals

The eel of the deep laughing on its trailed dance

And Obtaka the magician roams in rugged stance. 

flower seller

To Vincent

You did not love the sceptred sunshine

You loved the summerís undiluted sun

Which in the end took its bitter revenge

In depriving you of your saline serenity

Into the depths of crazed pivoted symphony.


Rest assured in your diverted quickened steps

That nobody loved the soul within your crest

The crazed straw hat topping your yellow hair

Your red beard drenched in the crowds, a fear

It was enough to drive the crazy sickened mob

For a revenge on your enflamed tortured throb.


Children will mock you

Citizen will lock you

Women will scorn you

People will disown you.


Dawning clouds and rustling winds

Broken strokes of the lemon rinds

Vermillioned lamps amid ochred yellows

Cobalt blues of the sulphured mellows

Embittered flowers in the wasted vase

Vibratory landscapes in twisted grass

Pavement cafes under the starry skies

Purpled deeds in hallucinatory nights.


With colour and the light

And amid a creative start

An explosion within your soul

And a bullet in your heart.

E-mail Durlabh

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