Shriram Sivaramakrishnan, a poet from India, calls himself an eternal
lover of 'things in between' — roads less traveled, emotions seldom
expressed, moments forever lost, and so on.

Poem #1: A Glass of Water

A glass of water.

How simpler can the truth be?
Water — that indomitable spirit of nature —
civilized at the work of man.

'Taught manners,' let us say,
to display socially acceptable behaviour
to remain stoic and lend herself to the
whim of the organized mind,

that is, to contain her primal fury:
that which moved continents into civilizations
and made landmass levitate like china dolls;

into a palpable parameter
for further fiddling,
a ripple will disrobes her
into poetic verses
to quench this carnal thirst.

but contained, she was
as in petri dish
under the microscopic lenses
of a microcosmic species,
in whose sacral dimple
even a tail had chosen not to grow.

Poem #2: Someone or Something

A smile sprouts
outside an operation theater.
The room brightens, light bulbs
take up empty sockets above.

A thank you is professed to God,
absentmindedly. Meanwhile,
a stretcher is pulled
in mundane silence in the opposite ward.

It had someone, now something.

A tear drop falls down. Later,
few more blotch up the unmarked grave.
A seed would germinate in this moisture,
but that is for the future.
For now, the land remains barren.

The horizon menstruates.

Poem #3: The Man in the Mortuary

for years, his features
a forgotten typescript on
ancient parchments long neglected,
till his zeal to reach out
pierces a passerby's nostrils
and wakes up someone in a faraway seat.

His gravestone lies unmarked,
that is if he is given the privilege of
a separate burial.

If not, he is poured over in a heap
into a sandpit far away from the city:
as legs and hands and heads
in multiples.

A prayer is moaned
to comfort the living, and the dead
from each other.

Then a register is closed,
few files ticked and locked
in a rusted drawer.

Poem #4: God, Registration No:

When a God is forgotten,
he will simply stand for something else
not in our purview.

Like a meaning detached
from a word and thrown into limbo,
he would remain suspended
awaiting newer associations.

He could then be remade
to denote anything — almost —
a dragonfly, a pair of socks
or that scratch on your back.

He might become like the word woman
denoting nothing but 'woman'.

'When a God is forgotten,
He will be reborn as a Banana,'
my grandma said.

But they disagree.

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