7 Poems of Love

Madness

The world is mad with fear,
but I am mad with love.

Possessed by Corona,
the terror of dying,
the world ceases to live.

Possessed by you,
my only fear is losing you,
my only pain is missing you.

Obsessed with Corona,
the world panics,
loses its mind,
destroys itself.

Obsessed with you,
I create,
ceaselessly I create,
with words,
with images
that never stop flowing.

You have infected me
with a strange disease, Nameri.

If this should be fatal,
and if I should leave
the world
so full of love,
so full of dreams,
then thanks be to you:
it has been a privilege.

 

***

Temple

Deep inside a pine forest,
we sought the mountain.

Between Sohpet Bneng, our holy mountain,
the afternoon rays filtering through the trees,
and the rufescent pine floor,
we had our temple.

I worshipped you again and again.
I made myself humble before you again and again.
I surprised you again and again.

Birds called from everywhere.
Their variety astonished me;
their calls filled me with sadness.
Trees were laid low everywhere.

How long have they got before they go?

And how long have we got, Nameri?
Like them,
people like us,
always live on borrowed time.

Everything else was silent.
We spoke in hushed tones.

You inspired me into a range of emotions.
When I bowed down before you—veneration.
When I cleaned your feet—fulfilment.
When I held you in my arms—enchantment.

When our bodies touched,
I expected the tremors of the flesh.

How would I know you would fill me with stillness?
Happiness stunned me.
I felt drugged and drowsy.
I closed my eyes, and I saw
all were dreams; all were visions.
Not once did I tremble with desires.

Such a one as you, I have never come across.

We spoke of the dangers facing us,
our bleak and hopeless world.
I thought of Trump and Bolsonaro
and all the enemies of the earth.

We spoke of Corona and your leaving.

And you wondered why I bent my head
and would not show you my eyes.

All through the evening,
only the noodles you cooked for me;
only the hand that reached for mine;
only the fear you were losing
and the love igniting in your eyes;
bolstered my confidence,
as I faced the world,
increasingly dystopian.

 

***

I Cannot Not Love

When you say,
‘If you do not love me any more,
I will not be unhappy…’
I smiled at you as if at a simple child.

Know this about me, Nameri,
I cannot not love you any more.

From the roots of my being,
flows this love of mine:
all soul, all body, all spirit.

There is not a part of me
that does not know you.

There is not a part of me
that does not feel your presence
and throbs with pleasure.

There is not a part of me
that does not feel your absence
and throbs with pain.

The only thing that may stop me
from hoisting my love in a market square,
or shouting it from the rooftops,
over and over, is you.

But that is not the same
as not loving you any more.

In these alarming times,
when the world contracts into a cocoon
of fear and hatred, and we know not
what monstrosity will emerge,
what else can I do, but love you?

I cannot not love you any more.

That would be like me,
not watering my blossoming soul;
like me, not loving me any more.

 

***

Departure

You are leaving me.
Corona has closed down everything.

Till a certain date, you say,
though you fear you might have to stay away
for longer than you wished.

My longing is the restless wind,
raging from my heart,
madly, directionlessly,
here, there, everywhere,
up and down, high and low,
howling, wailing, moaning.

Tired of its mad rush,
it has flopped back into my heart,
lying still as if dead.

Corona has closed down everything.

But who is it, Nameri,
or what is it
that has forced you into this closure too?

Who is it,
or what is it
that will force you into an extended absence?

Is Corona the mistress of our souls?
Should we close down our hearts too?

Because I love you,
I will never leave you.

 

***

Red World

Loving you, my world is red.

My eyes are red with all the tears and texting.
My phone is red with all the heart-eyes flaming.
My heart is red with all the joy and pain bleeding.

Corona has turned our life
into dystopian fiction.

Modi is locking down the nation.

He is doing us a favour.

With nothing to do,
We paint the sky red with passion:
dawns and dusks are a celebration.

 

***

Kiss of Life

Corona has filled the world with dread.
Our thoughts are reeking with the stench of death.

I think of those without work or money.
What will be their destiny?

Besides the fear,
the red haze of anger.

I ask, will you come to my funeral?

You ask, will you come if I die?

I will come before you die.
As your masked relations mill about
like carrion birds,
ready to take you away,
I will take you in a warm embrace,
and you will give me the kiss of death,
which is the kiss of life.

As they watch in shock and awe,
together, you and I,
we shall love and we shall die,
then we shall live.

As we leave for Somewhereland,
Here too, our story will be known.

***

Magical*

The tree, the hill, the cloud
They know about my strong death wish
My unnatural fears
My fears of living

You are frightened by lovers.
Men are unpredictable.
They may ask for your soul
and leave you in the lurch.

Your poetry has neither been shaken
nor stirred by the great passions.

You prefer a communion with nature,
who returns your feeling in equal measure.

And I know about their never-ceasing efforts
To nurture me
I fear you will become a tree, a hill, a cloud

What if I were the rain
that drenches you
with the great love I feel for you?

What if I were the sun
that gives you bright,
sunny days for always?

What if I were a tree
that gives you all you need?

I fear the calm they have wrapped me in
Will now rest upon you

What if I were a brook
where you can slake your thirst
and cleanse your soul?

What if I were a sweet, gentle breeze
that kisses you endlessly?

Transformed into the summer grass,
would you lie with me then?

I have created a world
where I can live after death.
The woman in that world,
nebulous of shape until now,
has become you.

I fear the paradise you have built
Will leave a sense of yearning
To belong
To findTo live

 

4/3/20

*‘Magical’ is the result of two poems merged together. The poems, ‘To Live’ and ‘Transformation’, were written by Rimi Nath and Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih respectively. Living miles apart, writing at the same time, the poets were unaware that they were writing similar poems. It was only much later that they discovered their uncanny resemblances. Their thoughts are the same; their feelings are the same; their words are like peas in a pod. That was when they decided to merge them as ‘Magical’. The lines in italics are Rimi’s. The rest are Kynpham’s. Rimi is an assistant professor in the Department of English, North-Eastern Hill University.

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Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih is one the most important contemporary writers from Meghalaya. He writes poems, short fiction and drama in Khasi and English. He has a total of 13 publications in Khasi. His collections of poetry in English include "Moments", "The Sieve" (Writers Workshop), "The Yearning of Seeds" and Time's Barter: Haiku and Senryu" (HarperCollins). He is the author of "Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends" (Penguin) and the co-editor of "Dancing Earth: An Anthology of Poetry from North-East India" (Penguin). His poetry has been widely published in national and international journals. His awards include the first Veer Shankar Shah-Raghunath Shah National Award for literature (Madhya Pradesh, 2008) and the first North-East Poetry Award (Tripura, 2004). He also received a Fellowship for Outstanding Artists from the Government of India (2000). Kynpham teaches literature at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Daphisha Makri
    April 21, 2020
    Reply

    Sir Kynpham never fails to delight me with his poems and short stories. It keeps my heart and my soul stirring for days after I’ve read it. 😍

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