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Randhir Khare – Tomorrow

Profile-Randhir-Khare-LEPW-March-2022

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Randhir Khare is a distinguished writer, artist, teacher and theatre personality. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his unique contribution to culture and education. His 37 volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, translation from tribal dialects and other writings as well as his seven solo exhibitions all explore themes of identity, belonging and the struggle to stay human in a violent and fragmented world. His memoir THE FLOOD & AFTER: A Memoir of Leaving will be appearing soon. He has spearheaded an initiative to enrich formal education through the experience of the arts. Randhir is a founding contributor to Live Encounters Magazine. https://randhirkhare.in/


 

A Prayer

May tomorrow come on feather-feet of love,
Tiptoeing into the shrunken heart of these times,
Bless the forsaken, forgotten, hungry, oppressed,
Shadow spirits waiting for nirvana, loaves and fishes
Waiting to multiply, water waiting to turn to wine,
The dead waiting to start their journey into the beyond,
Words waiting to turn to flesh,
Womb-seeds birthing epiphanies of peace,
Blood hands folding in supplication,
Silver rain trailing forgiveness across the skin of war;
May tomorrow come;

May tomorrow come on breath that flows into our lungs
And fills our beings with light
That we may rise above our littleness, our anger, our hate,
Our greed, our possessiveness, our wanton hunger for power,
Our ‘I ness’, our possessions, our everything;

May tomorrow come
That washes clean today and yesterday, the drowned years,
The hurt that has been, the broken promises,
So new hearts beat and we see our mirror selves
As if meeting an old lost friend,
A familiar stranger, our assassin, the lover who walked away
Now wearing our smile, breathing our breath,
Speaking our words
And eyes dissolve in eyes and we whisper love.


 

Beside The Old Well

Let’s meet tomorrow beside the old well
Which is now a parking lot
Where eunuchs finger jasmine garland hair
And sing their ditties;
We’ll meet as lovers among the crowd of cars
And cigarette smoke and smell of sex;

I’ll be waiting under the pipal tree
Where a peafowl once roosted
And a moon-faced woman sang her prayers,
A glowing coin trembled
In the fish-splashed mouth,
Evening powdering the light with cow dust;

You who I have loved and left
To the hungry arms of strangers
To build your life again, I think of you tonight;
Shame clings to my palate like cold lard
After the meal is done and plates pile
In the sink stained with leftovers.

I’ll be waiting for you by the old well
Under the babul tree where the moon-faced woman
Sang her prayers and we swam into each other
Like the drowned struggling for life;
You are gone, I know, lost in yesterday
And yet I’ll wait tomorrow among the painted eunuchs
And crowd of cars reeking of cigarette smoke and sex.


When You Awake Tomorrow

When you awake tomorrow
I will open your window
To a flood of boats
And your room
Will be filled with singing sails.

When you awake tomorrow
I will sprinkle you with
Remembrance Day poppies
And lie naked with you,
Talking to the peaceful dead.

When you awake tomorrow
I will offer you a toasted poem
Smeared with kisses
Tangy as grapefruit marmalade
And the flavour of morning breath.

When you awake tomorrow
I will fill your room
With your old lovers
Whispering your name like litanies.

When you awake tomorrow
I will be on the high-roads of freedom
Whistling my own tune,
Singing my own song, skimming
Memory stones on the skin of rivers.


 

One Crowded Morning

Tomorrow is Judgement Day
And all the dead who ever died will return;
This includes beetles and bugs and snakes
And wasps and fish and whales
And dinosaurs, known and unknown species,
Humans of all races, the yeti and Idi Amin,
Judas and Jesus, Mister Adolf and Master Gandhi;

They will all be there waiting to be counted,
Each standing where they last stood,
Even the dead of Hiroshima and Auschwitz,
Jallianwala Bagh and Wounded Knee,
All stock still like sign posts in a sea of living;
Where there is no land, the seas and oceans
Will be floating masses of resurrected life.

Picture this, the Blue Planet caving in,
Till life pours through fissures,
Globe skin swelling, expanding, sizzling,
Exploding with the white light of End Time,
Brighter than a million suns,
Brighter than the beginning,
Brighter than truth,
A tiny star shattering and dissolving in space.

Tomorrow is Judgement Day
Or so I think it is;
And if it is not, let’s make love as if for the first time.


 

I Fall Into Tomorrow

I fall into tomorrow
Fleeing a nightmare,
Tangled in a sticky web
Struggling to break free;

A spider with your face
Tells me that I’ll never be now
I’ll never be yesterday
I am the future –
A forever false dawn

Of hope, of desire,
Of longing, of dreaming;
I’ll never be present,
Hope will coat my tongue
With the stale taste of sleep;

Dangling, I sway in the breeze,
Cradled in wild imaginings,
Swung by the madness
Of lost reason
Dancing with auroras glimmering
in the polar skies of forgetfulness.

Now, in tomorrow,
I know where you are headed,
The disasters, the darkness,
The lightness, the absurdities
Of your choices,
The ways of unforgiving time.

I’ll not ruin your now, your present,
The joy of just being,
The unknowingness of your living
Of your loving,
Of the tarantella in your blood
Dancing to your heartbeats.


© Randhir Khare