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AV poets: Abha Prakash



Night Rain


The soul awakes, greener than before,

Much like the earth,

Its fullness uncontained, yet content.


It is more than just a feeling you and I share.

A moment of stillness, of quiet, of gratefulness,

With the sound of silent sipping everywhere.


Even the house drinks,

Sinking its walls into the river beneath,

Flowing into other mouths,

Open and waiting.


(Auroville, 2004)


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Shweta Ketu


This land that was


Oversized Bob the Builders roar in the greenbelt

Tear out trees, bushes, even the nettles

That goats love to eat.


The forest dwindles, bird nests fall to the ground.

The red paths widen, the sun reddens open wounds.

Where have all the trees gone? Look, the canyons are disappearing.


The yellow bulldozers no longer entice my three year old.

He watches them heave great mouthfuls of red earth and spew them out in ugly bunds

The leveling is terrible; the undulating beauty of Auroville is gone.


We walk now through rectangular fields, locked in their grid, right-angled by destruction. The old winding paths and creaking palmyra no longer exist.

The old map of Auroville is redrawn.


(On the destruction of the Utility canyon, April 2007)




Auroville child


Birdsounds glide into his mind

And then escape, leaving little notes behind.

He chants an alphabet,

A baby babble, a bird song

That stirs the whiskers of the sleeping cat.


Along the dusty path, he picks up old goat droppings,

black beads too conspicuous to ignore.

Feels their oval plumpness

caress his little fingers.

He smiles. His way of mapping

this world is not mine.


(Auroville, 2005)






Devotees, scores of them,

circle the flowered mound, smooth the marble

edges of their soul, then settle like silent Buddhas,

along the verandah, under the tree on the rough brick floor.

Glances float up to your window,

Then glide down.

Leaves fall like so many prayers

fretful in the shade.


Men and women in white move,

or stand still like fragile gateposts.

Order beckons here with just a simple look,

a wave of the hand.

A measure of calm comes,

quietly questioning.

Can the flowers bear the touch?

Do your eyes still wander through the green?


(Pondicherry , 1998)



She waited for truth


She waited for truth

to show its face, terrifying

and bright

all at once


But it came piecemeal

in little boxes, gifts of pain

she was forced to unwrap

unclothe one by one


Until embracing one and all

she looked them in the face;

A collage of broken mirrors

Fugitives with no names.


(Pondicherry , 1996)


Secret sadness


Pain distilled to its essence

Can still hurt

Like the sweet ‘secret sadness'

Of Baudelaire quoted in your self-defense.


Between its parallel lines, darkly detailed

A mutual loss, an overspreading sorrow

Unspoken, unanswered, untouched.


Maybe now we truly commune

Like distant constellations in the nightsky

Each hoarding its circle of remembered existence,

And a secret sadness

Too rich to share.


(Pondicherry , 1996)























Sometimes it comes fully formed,

clothed in layers,

tantalizing articulate.


Sometimes it lingers

Hidden and half-formed

A bitter sweet fragment

Yet medicine to a lonely heart.


(Delhi , 1996)

Fragment 1

I catch the light in slivers

Scoop the dancing moon

Into the palm of my hands, then let it flow

into still water.



Fragment 2

Silk spread hibiscus facing the sun.

Unabashed red skirt

colours the white morning.











They stretch in a graceful expanse, lining the cosmic sea

The waves beckon, the stars unfurl,

the moon suddenly glimmers its silver arc.


And the birds stifle their innocent hearts.

The sky listens

The trees darken

The starry ocean rolls unceasing.


(March 10, 2008)


Abha Prakash

My poetry is obviously influenced by my specific positioning through time and space (read north Indian from Delhi, educated partly in Canada, married to a European, a teacher, nature lover, a mother, writer of sorts, a participant in the Auroville Human Unity experiment, etc.). I joined Auroville in 2002 and live in Utilite' with Agni and our two children.

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