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Rajnish Mishra




I am with them


I play animatedly, happily for now, with my children.

The little one arrives with her plastic spoon and steel tumbler.

The elder one starts telling me a story from last night’s horror show.

One eye upon my little one who wants me to play music

with a plastic spoon in my hand on the steel tumbler

held precariously in her little hands,

while the elder one holds her freshly made clay letters

for appreciation and inspection to my other eye.


I am with them:

hands, eyes, tongue, teeth, lungs, skin, bones, mind, the whole of me,

with them.




a line, (a short blue one)



You made me


No, my daughters will never know the man

you used to meet in the lectures, for I am not that man.


You made that man of me, out of me.

Thank you, for making me


every time we met, at least a “demi-God”.

For a class of demi-gods, nothing less would do.


Together we were: the magical world,

alone, I am: just a faded snap of that world.


I live those days in dreams, and feel that high again.

That world has gone, and time never is the same again.


Stay in touch, all of you.

I can't afford to lose you.


For you make me wish to be what you think I am

(and I know I am not, but wish that I were).      




a line, (a short blue one)



Innocence lost


A father is born once more with his child

and lives once more in the Eden: its eyes.


I did not want that twinkle leave my child’s eyes,

if not ever, then at least as long as she remained a child.


When does it end nowadays, childhood?

Once it used to be eleven, no, ten. Or was it nine?


Back then, in my time, inocence was stretched beyond ten.

Nowadays, in her times, it ends at seven, or six, maybe.


She knows, for instance, when to look away form the screen.

She also knows the laws of attraction.

She knows that girls and boys are..., um, different.


They talk, those children her age, among themselves.

They know much more than I think they do.


I can now feel how He must have felt,

when He had seen that innocence lost


in the eyes of the first man,

his pride, his child.




a line, (a short blue one)



Yes, I live


Do you remember the first time your paper kite

rose in the air, spiraled, went down once, then up?

I remember


how I watched and cheered from my terrace while you

strove to hold your spool and fly it from yours.

I remember


how your mother came running when we shouted with glee.

I remember the proud gleam, her eyes.

I remember


many more things; days, faces, neighbours.

That time is gone, long gone are you, and they.

I pass


through my days and nights mostly in a world

where you, and they don’t belong. Yet 

I think


(when I have time to think) of those times for time

is a place where I go and live once more the past.

Yes, I live.




a line, (a short blue one)



For write I must!


I wrote after twelve at night, after everyone

at home had gone to sleep, for nearly a week.

I had heard from those who know that it helped,

Well, it didn’t.


So I changed the method. I wake up now before others,

at 6, and write. Why do I do that (not, why I wake up)?

Why do I write?


Because that's my gift, probably the only gift I have.

I write to please myself.

I need to rise; I need to write,

for that is my gift, probably the only gift.


So, I write.

I write at three.

I write at five.

I write whenever others are asleep

and there's no sound around. 


For write I must!




a line, (a blue one)


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