Saturday, February 12, 2011


dust ossified
between layers
of disintegrating skin
sticking to the blades of ceiling fans

opaque white
specks on the mirror
minty paste sprays
from a seven month old toothbrush

deep gouges
in the margarine
crevasses from 
vengeful strikes of the knife

powdery sand at the door
left by worn out 
moccasin slippers
trudging to and from the beach

battery drained
mobile phone
buried in the bottom
of a brown handbag

at the beach
she opens her bag
buries her face
in its darkness for a while

then reaches in
with shaking hands
gently bringing them out
in a bundle

red, green, blue and yellow
faded in patches from the
salt of tears

behind closed seeping eyes
her three-year-old
whizzes back and forth on the beach
wrapped in streamers

colourful bands flying from 
her hands, her neck, her waist and legs
laughing and screaming
 mummyeee loooook...

© 2011 Padmavani Karkera


  1. Heartbreaking. So simple, succinct and clear.

  2. Thank you for visiting Kim. I am glad you liked this poem :)

  3. I really like this. You are very creative! Here are some of my favorite lines:

    "disintegrating skin
    sticking to the blades of ceiling fans"

    "crevasses from
    vengeful strikes of the knife"

    "she opens her bag
    buries her face
    in it's darkness" (delete the apostrophe though)

    "flying from her hands, her neck
    her waist and legs"

    Also, these should be hyphenated:
    seven month old, three year old

  4. Thank you safehousepoetry! Appreciate your dropping by and pointing out the punctuation errors. I have corrected them. Cheers.

  5. Your poem brought to mind the magnificent film Blue by Kieslowski where he uses a string of blue chandelier crystal to represent the lost child. The mother carries the remembrance around in her handbag, the chandelier is the only thing she keeps from her life before the loss of her daughter and husband. You use the streamers here to similar and potent effect. For critique I'd offer a few tips: first, fossified didn't show up in my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary which is generally my rule for using a word - did you perhaps mean fossilized? Second 'to and fro the beach' IMHO reads a bit more awkward than 'to and from the beach' would. Third, the line where she ‘buries her face’ transitions oddly visually to her ‘reaching in’. You have written a powerful piece. I especially appreciate the iterations of decay and neglect through the first stanzas that reinforce the deep sense of loss. These are simply suggestions, feel free to accept or ignore any of them. Thank you.

  6. Very heartbreaking the loss is so real and I love the way the streamers on the beach and how she pulls them out of her sack

  7. When I realized the theme, I felt my own tears rise. Memories are blessings yet constant reminders. Beautifully written sorrow.

  8. Deeply touching. You've done a great job describing the details and have used such delicate words which embrace the reader and the piece feels very personal.

  9. deep gouges
    in the margarine
    crevasses from
    vengeful strikes of the knife

    I know very very little about poetry... I find it difficult to relate to it... but the above words were raw and painful...It pierced the heart....

  10. There is so much I could write about this poignant poem! I read it once before I think, because I remember the streamers, but the form of the stanza's, the distinctly articulate, almost biting form of the words, evokes something extremely sad I didn't quite comprehend before. Although your work is scholarly, emotion is at the forefront, which I love because it always rings so truly and succintly not only in the psyche but in the heart of the wise reader.

  11. Beautifully realised and yes, heart-wrenching.

  12. Thank you all so much for dropping by and leaving your thoughts behind for me to read. Special thanks to Chromapoesy for her critique. Cheers!

  13. Beautiful writing of loss and memory, Padmavani. The sense that time moves on, the world moves on without one during grief, and then the release of feelings too painful to continue to carry--but still never completely gone, one feels.

    If you still would like me to clarify my poem from yesterday, The Broken Boy, just click on my profile picture and send me an email. I will be happy to.

  14. Thank you Joy! I have sent you a message via FB. I couldn't connect up through your profile picture.


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