Anita Nahal's Poems


Tumble in space by quilt artist, Manju Narain, Chicago, Illinois, USA


--- Anita Nahal

My muse is life. Life is my muse. See all the muses of all the people in all the world, in a circle ruminating, crazy maybe. Like a boomerang off its tailored path, or a drone revolving like a switchless fan, or me pirouetting like Sleeping Beauty in her sleep. Yes, in her sleep, not mine. In mine, sleeping and waking are not tough...yet. It ain’t like there ain’t no water…yet. It ain’t like there ain’t no roti...yet. It ain’t like Marie Antoinette’s back from the guillotine, standing in space, shouting hoarse, “Let them eat cake.” Yet, the world’s muse is its lost luster. One that appears depleted like phallic creatures in Tanguy’s The Dark Garden. Or the hens cackling unseen. I just let gratitude fill to the brim as prayers leave my lips repeatedly. Prayers mouthing everyday overlooked words. “Good night. Good morning. Hello! How are you Thank you! I am sorry.” Other muses step out of Maslow’s triangle and sprint to my side. Water, food, home, and my son who is my home. A romantic love too can be a muse. See, having a muse is not tough. Being one is. Whose muse, am I? What muse-ship do I fill? Ask the connoisseurs of art, or cravers of sunken treasures. Again, and again at the mercy of screams in deep waters. Or sharks. At the center lies the bank’s vault. Those that thieves attempt penetrating. Thieves of life. Life that can be a muse. Of sanity. Sanity is life. And life is sanity. Just a simple khichdi I remember from my mama’s recipes, cooked in slow open pot, sprinkled on top with lightly sautéed in ghee fresh ginger bits, just before serving. My muse I carry all the time. In those gym pants with side pockets, I especially bought for that purpose. Easily reachable, if you so wish, like prayer beads to chant upon. And mostly when I am awake, I see flowers and stars. Some flowers like stars or stars like flowers. Starfish. Vivid, almost illuminating the backdrops of our muse yearnings.


*Roti: A round flatbread native to the South Asian subcontinent made from whole wheat flour. *Maslow: Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist best known for creating the triangle of hierarchy of needs. *Ghee: Rarified butter * Yves Tanguy, French surrealist painter (1900-1955) *Khichdi: A simple comfort food native to the South Asian subcontinent.

By quilt artist Manju Narain, Chicago, Illinois, USA based on a painting by Anju Mathur who was inspired by Picasso

Muse of biorhythms

 ---Anita Nahal

The highs and the lows trundle through. Through the blue maze that changes blues. Zig zagging, merrily munching on an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Every angle from where I look, the face is heavily patched. A little lopsided or two despite the apple, and the arctic and sky blue. The chin is crooked, the forehead split yet not wretched. The joker and the jester are bubbly and alive. Their jokes and laughter though sticky as if they’d come straight from a beehive. I see Hitchcock befuddled scratching his head, poor man. He thinks the highs and lows have no special mind, soul, heart, or body plan. Forget Kamasutra! So, he eyes the escape route for himself. One that was not in his Birds movie bookshelf. In and out go the eyes. Not far behind are the goodbyes. The ears are not matching. Seemed the muse meant them for a spanking. The muse the biorhythms had carefully petitioned. Yet, I can easily punch in my birthdate and have one daily commissioned. It’s a head without a body smiling at us.  Painted like shock therapy on a moving bus. “…nothing about this place made any sense…”  yet, cyclic biorhythms are shifting, reactivating. adding new value. Wipe the sweat, seems like there is a breakthrough. 


*Kamasutra: an ancient Indian Hindu Sanskrit text on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment in life said to have been written by Vātsyāyana *Birds: A 1963 American natural horror-thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. * “…nothing about this place made any sense…” Part of. Line spoken by Thomas from the movie The Maze Runner