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Issue 5 poetry

Coming Home Sounds Like

Namrata K is a poet, nitpicky editor, dancer and vocalist who lives with her madcap family in Bhopal. Her work has been published in Poetry with Young People, The Kali Project and an upcoming anthology Shape of a Poem. Her best award has been her son’s “Your poetries are beautiful”. Poetry and music, for her, are two sides of the same coin—expressions of our deepest, most unnamed ways of being.

Coming Home Sounds Like

stop. just stop.
here. right here.
wait. that’s it.
Wind in the peepals
rain in summer.

slowly now. ease on
Gowri’s lowing belligerently
“I’m moving, re!”; moving on

rocks ping brightly
sprightly red
earth crun—ssshh’s
duranta swishes
softly, slightly abrasively
against windows
my hair.

Locks chwip-chwip
bags slither and bump
and there. right there
thu-thump, thu-thump
against softly starched saree
sun-warmed veshti.

I’m home.

End of the Line

So many homes
have come and gone

my mother’s womb
my father’s lap

my grandmother’s music lessons
at the break of dawn

my dead grandfather’s
Dev Anand smile

Jal Vayu Vihar
where I refused to be bullied

Lohegaon and its
teeth-puckeringly spicy guavas
on school buses and patrel
on the kitchen counter

Coonoor—family ghosts and romances
beetroot sambhar and roast chicken
under bottle brushes

Sahyadri—dams, rivers
first loves, first kisses
Koramangala—
sister of my heart
drunk on strawberry tart
(at 14 mind you)

Madras (it’s never going to be Chennai)
4th, Murugan Arul, Sangeetha’s, Stella
whiskey in the quad
soulmates, cigarettes,
CV mama and dance
the settling of grace in my body
Jayashri akka’s terrace
silence sound
young soaring voices

RV—
I can’t speak about that.
Not yet.

Bhopal—my heart
My womb now
someone else’s home.
Not house. Home.

this space.
these words.
this poem
My home.

Editor’s Note: It’s difficult to retain the intended formatting, so images from the issue have been included to show the original intent of the poet.

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