Banaras – The City of Gods.


What brings you,
a soul with veins
overdosed on fear
to a place
where everyone awaits
death in the lap of blue-bodied god.

The first fear is always Blood.

Where they pour fire
over the unmade memories
while hymning Vedic Chants
to free the unseen
in the cosmos.

A cycle repeats; I wish I was Death once, unbound.

A river that cleanses ashes
and the bodily dirt still flows;
it must be pure at least somewhere
to still flow; a deity can only cleanse
the remains of the bones,
the priests always beg to say.

A city so choked of faith,
even the unheard dogmatists piss devotions
over the lesser immortals.

A blind devotion leads to salvation; Ask the muted idols.

It’s been a long time, I have been there
I don’t remember much.
Sometimes the rain makes you forget
everything you wish for.

When the eyes shut, the brain craves to forget.

In this imaginary confluence
of life, death and everything in between
where widows wail in harmony
when the flesh turns to memories,
I have always been numb throughout,
maybe this is how, a city of gods makes you feel.


© Shashank Bhardwaj


Madness Float


a breeze of guilt,
smells like remorse
in the morning

the descending fog camouflages
the slaying of the whispers

in a city this big,
everybody is a slave

skies watch patiently
to choose their meals:
the unfortunate and weaklings.

they are all up from sleep:
nature’s most intelligent creature.

the madness shall now float.

Northern Lights

Couple watching the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), Reykjavik, Iceland

Come here,
Sit next to me,
Don’t leave me tonight.

Watch, as the emeralds melt
in the turquoise colored sky
and the winds of winter
dry the sky’s wounds
through mellow howlings.

This cold is neither bright or dark.
like our love, it is mysterious and tasteless.

Come raise a glass of wine to our love,
let it spill and purify the snow.

Let it drown us, till we become reflections,
aligning perfectly in infinite dusted mirrors.

Don’t leave me tonight,
Come here,
Sit next to me.



As waves wrestle playfully,
I revel like a nonchalant dreamer near the shores,
watching the sun disappear,
while the sounds of the sea,
calm its disappearance

I waited all night,
to see the golden coronation
of the bluish waters,
as the horizons brightened up
in the morning

a thousand faces,
a million visions,
now stay with me,

meanwhile the city of dreams,
sleeps somewhere.

Minutes I Counted Waiting

It rained almost every night,
the darkness settled in arrays
of brisk coldness,
dissolved in the winds
which howled and shattered
glasses of silence
that followed

for you it just meant a delay,
in carrying those earthen pots
walking with bare feet,
holding the grace and modesty
though puddles of cold water,
the weathers and wonders of god
meant nothing to you,

toiling for days and years
for a future unseen,
visioned through tired puffy eyes
of yours,
the only light you believed in
were in temples that devoured

I slept all this time,
but never told you
about the minutes I counted
and waited to hear you mother,
to put the earthen pot
now full of water,
back on its place
and to see you settle down,
next to me again

The Tea Stall Warrior

his armor, is a vest with holes,
shabby shorts with a mosaic formed
by the stains of oil,tea, ashes of cigarette and coal

a foul-smelling cloth graces his shoulders
that sweeps the dust from the tables,
coincidentally it comes from the very stars
to which he prays sometimes in night

independence day for him,
is about selling his freedom
and a dozen flags,
a free plate of jalebi,
from the nearby school,
is the only reminiscence of the place
he was once born in,

he lives inside creaking doors,
surrounded by walls
capable of collapsing
by tremors of continuous coughing,

paints his dreams
from the acrylic color box found in a dustbin,
with bare hands on newspapers,
and scrapped sheets

he has no regrets
he might never have,
for he has never seen
the sun of expectations
rise in the morning.

the moon of contentment,
is what he only cares for.