She presented herself

For me to write my poem.

Her twin crimson lips

Eluded translation into

One of my own couplets.

I offered her many synonyms

From which she could choose one-

She liked one of them-

She stepped out of her gown.

Portrait of the Poet

as a Young Woman

For Aruna Gogulamanda.

Her hair

Freshly harvested dreadlocks

Unedited gospel of love

Off limits to combs.

Tresses like streams

Of eternal fire

From the arsenal of her body.

Poems conceived in a celestial tongue

When stars align with cesarean precision.

It is our own language.

Her verses

Are neither left nor right aligned

Time zones hinge at every line break

Like sunflowers un-aligned to the scorching heat.

Every evening, on her terrace ,

she lets  her hair down and flies kite,

Her verses tell vivid stories

Stitched together in myriad colors.

Her verses gurgle like a river let loose.

She never braids them

With her bare hands

Before a poetry reading.

When her poems are read

No boyfriend or pimp is allowed

Inside the reading hall.

Her kite, un-tethered to her surname,

Soars high, till it gets entangled with the stars.

Attempting to translate her poems

Is like making love to a capricious mistress.

Her curly, kinky stream of verses

Sway to the rhythm of her gait

Untamed by the clanging of her anklets.

Her book of poems-

a treatise on disheveled hair

and tresses on fire.


Just like the saying goes-

Tongue has no bones

But can break many,

The submissive tuft of hair on the shaved

Heads of the twice born

Command an army of henchmen

Guarding the rust

Of medieval fences built

Along caste hymens.


 « Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half an hour and drink our bocks. »

 T.S.Eliot  Portrait of a Lady

Two pairs of lips

lock in a kiss

losing the sense of time.

Heads turn to

adjust wrist watches

from a public clock.

Locked lips

turn the wheel of time

like  prophets.

Chandramohan S is an Indian English Dalit poet based in Trivandrum, Kerala. His poems

Chandramohan S

were shortlisted for Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2016. His second collection of poems titled “Letters to Namdeo Dhasal” was a runner up at M.HARISH GOVIND memorial prize instituted by POETRY CHAIN.  He was instrumental in organizing literary meets of English poets of Kerala for the Ayyappa Panicker Foundation in addition to being a fellow at the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa.