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Simmering Cold-Blue
by Ambika Talwar

Winter arrives
breathing pine and incandescence
long misty fingers reach
from the dark
of distance

to touch future
with past

Mother-father faces
wrapt in kashmiri shawls
breath misting in
cold morning walks
fresh and crisp
as new photos
waiting to be sent

Letters pile on letters
waiting to be written
before winter can set
the pattern in dust
of footfalls and cinnamon

I wait for indecisions
to move rivers towards solace
the moon to shed
light on these pages

I want to see the
face on the other side
of the glass
as I wipe away
steam-mists of breath

the glass not mirror is as thick
as distance
between fragrance of
cloves, curries and cinnamon

it's only another year turning
after only another harvest

love still hides in dusty coils
of earth cities wondering
about a future christmas

When I drive out
world seems illusory
I exist to search
I smell memories
some vaster than truth
yet this unadorned
paradox casts a spell

I become suffused
with worlds of music
some indo-western fusion
its complex tones
writhes with rhythms

it shows me fluid
spaces full—joy of faces
smiling in breezes
trailing orange
behind with flowing hair
swimming against blue skies

to that time when
deserted I was cast off
in a dark forest
cold-wet-grey abandoned
by a frightened lover

…and another who danced
on ash-bones of the dead
carried them away
in the wrong direction
not towards rest—
good his mother keeps him
from playing with bones

Flutes lead me
through heavenly valleys
and smells of cleansing
in dark wintry forests

The light I envision
always smells
of cinnamon and orange

of sage and fortitude
chai tastes of tulsi ginger
of mulatthi—licorice

Bowl of desires is always
full of colors orange
magenta emerald ochre
purples azure vermilion
this brass bowl
with a wooden stirrer

Sun always drenches walls
with white—I face the wall
with bowl of colors
I splash the wall
then walk right through it

if I look back
cracks won't heal
but mother's face
and father's face linger
like echoes of a strange love

I make these echoes
into a melody that I can
hum on the way
to the mountaintop
I am no musician
I am only a paradox

All I have are my
colors given by others
all I have is this path
filled with warriors
some of their faces
hide their real faces

Winter covers me with special
dust: flecks of cold-blue simmering…


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