OPEN ROAD REVIEW POETRY PRIZE 2015 (Winner)

I want to begin a poem
That leaves its footprints on
The face of many countries,
without saying “I want,”
Wait like a page or 
          undone button in the dust,
A poem that comes like 
a blighted ovum,
fading as a body fades into a shroud.
 
inside, persistent demons as
worker bees, the incessant buzz
of hungers not quenched
with food or spirit,
the bleb of desires
the mid zone of yearning 
for the divine and 
the unwillingness to
give up on the human,
 
This is the curse in my soul,
I want the one as the many.
 
All that is good is in small quantities,
                Like the hidden flames in flowers,
                    Like eyes which are magic lamps 
                      holding the universe,
All that ties us is invisible, 
                                     trailing umbilical chords unsevered.
 
They tell me prophets are missing from caves,
their words floating in bottles in old seas,
and old cities surface like prophecies,
and someone is a silent incarnation working like yeast,
 
for some this is enough,
 
here, I don’t know that face in the mirror,
a ship afar, the sails down.

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Usha Akella recently released a new book ‘The Rosary of Latitudes’ with a foreword by Keki Daruwalla and after word by Ravi Shankar. She is the organizer and festival director of MATWAALA, the first diaspora poets fest in the US. Her poems have been included in Sudeep Sen’s anthology.

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