Linda Ashok

WOOD, COAL AND FIRE

She comes from a village of India
eating gourds that birds eat for fever
Her father, a painter, always said
White is an embracing colour
She would see him paint
the white canvases, brown and black
Imply forests that support our living
But on television (that replaced
the radios of her village),
She saw the white refusing
all that’s dark and gleaming
Even after years, at the transit when
the security officer sniffs at her, wonders
if she has got mold on her skin,
she is groped the way the madwoman
of her village would be scrubbed to glaze!
You Asian, which village are you?
Must be some black to offer you a grant
You all dark little things, how
You cover like filth on our skin
But brown that she is
She stood up in favour of all things dark
My father said, if I break a white,
It’ll spill blood and yolks
The problem is you take yourself to be white
when you are just the notion of white
Because what is white are my father’s
canvases that live life in colours
What is white is the polar conscience of earth
craving for wood, coal and fire!

 

Linda Ashok

Linda Ashok has been a guest poet to many literary events in India including The Hindu Lit for Life, 2014 by Prakriti Foundation, PEN Prithvi, Mumbai, 2015, The Kala Ghoda Festival of Arts, 2016 and others. Her poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in various literary journals including the Mascara Literary Review, Friends Journal, The McNeese Review, Enclave-Entropy, the Big Bridge Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry, etc. She reviews poetry for The Rumpus, Entropy and Stirring– a Sundress Publication. A brief note on Linda can be found on the Literary Hub’s #ActualAsianPoets. She’s the Founder/President of RædLeaf Foundation for Poetry & Allied Arts, administering the RL Poetry Awards since 2013. Linda tweets at @thebluelimit

 

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