Reshma Aquil was born in 1955 in Allahabad, India. Educated
at St. Mary's Convent and later, University of Allahabad, where
she received her M.A. and Ph.D. She is currently teaching in
the Department of English, specialising in 19th century Literature,
at the University of Allahabad. Her first book of poetry, Sleeping
was published by Ethos in 2001. Her poems have appeared
in Poetry India: Voices of Many Worlds (British Council Division
and the Poetry Society, India).

The Encounter

Someone desperate for cover
Has planted palm, gooseberry together
It is warm under their shade

But as I bend to close the window pane
Sudden swift winds bring in rain
Bouncing trees
Frosting everything;

Let it lie
Whatever it is that's springing to life
Accosting me always in stillness
Rising victorious like smoke;

WIth bated breath
I give it body
Give it death

What Has The Waters Forgot

His dream house built over a lake
Reclaimed, retained a crescent that dazzled the sun
Swung water into the fields

Now housed every inch
But swings that opened distances
From pillars that held birdcages remain

We slept with the fear
What if the waters remember?

And where did we sleep in Ramazaan
When rings in those pillars curtained and roomed
A martyrdom

Pious with silence
Incense, photographs
Of Burraq was Pegasus we thought

What have the waters forgot?

Vagrants nestling within these have left
Burning the fragrant beam through the night
Back in time
For slanting a rawness remembered
Memory like water is kind.

Border Crossing

Between two cultures
Bounces my flexibility

My body's stupidity laughs
Cries at strange stumili

To a masochist need

Fears freedom
The mind's return to itself, kind.

The Organism Swings Back

After its run of theories
Unknotting errors in judgement
Spilling over streamlines
Its fear of losing with the having

The Organism

Ticking its presence
Its will over claims
Its mindless self over mind

And sometimes
Its light over darkness
Swings back.

Back to Front.