2020 Open Call , Poems - Annapurna Sharma


Pariah (A prose poem)

By Annapurna Sharma


It heaved into sight, from nowhere. Was it from the soiled air, from my impermeable walls, from my dusky soul…like a huge Python, winding round and round. The window rails disappeared into ether, those rusty rails that fenced me in their ferrous hearts. Stark sensitivity wounded me. Its colors – flagstones of black and grey interspersed, streaks of gold and green, resonating the glitter in my pupils, my iris widened at its viscidity. Yellow and orange slipperworts, their fleeting images were sprightly and unchaste. Their indulgence, my permanence. It stretched across the baby pink of my furnishings. The rude clamor of the pariah nudged me into presence. One last look, it disappeared into nothingness, the nothingness from which it emerged. Was it a caveat? The mongrels barked and barked outside my window, scents of flesh and rawness permeating from the garden.


Azure clouds, illusive like the white dove, carrying a message of love across borders, across frontiers, the sky seemed irreverent and the zephyr baffled – was it summer or winter? Spring! Will the flora and fauna bloom in my burrow? I sensed it, curling again, in my mind, in the dark recess…like a huge Python, winding round and round. Turquoise blended with crimson, transcending into a darker shade, a hue darker than my skin. Venous blood, bluish, purplish, brownish, blackish…the soot from the coal mines. Was I Ave Maria from Big Stone Gap? Would a trip to Italy extinguish the flames within? My arms embraced around the dream. The darkness of coal, domineering, warped over my myrtle and lilacs. Huh! Jack Mac’s endeavors to refine me hung like the fragile, autumn leaves.


Unhooking my breath, I wayfared to the lone Himalayas to find my love, in search of serenity. Bleating from the plains was a mirage, a mere dirge. The coals cannot overwhelm my soul, any day, anymore.


Annapurna Sharma from India an editor of the literary e-journal Muse India. Her works are forthcoming or appeared on International Writers Journal, Westward Quarterly, Mad Swirl, Spark, Destine Literare, Reader’s Digest, Women’s Era, Assam Tribune, ActiveMuse amongst others. She also contributes book reviews to Muse India and Triveni Journal. A nutritionist by profession but a writer at heart, her maiden book of poems Melodic Melange was awarded for excellence, 2019 (Pulitzer Books). Her poem was shortlisted for All India Poetry Competition, 2017 conducted by The Poetry Society of India.


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