Ayah a poem by Leela Soma


My child eye watches,
Ayah’s Rangoli patterns bright, on the newly washed veranda
The dots threaded together like pearls of life’s experience
Cultural traditions handed down in perfect symmetry
The opalescent sky shimmers anew
A visual joy starts the day.
My child ear hears,
Her quiet, broken piece by piece
The coffee machine, grinds beans, the aroma rich.
Golden sun beats down noon rays harsh
Her thin body repeats the endless chores of the day
She cleans the grime of sahib’s lives to earn a crust.
My child smile engages,
Her break, a twilight rest
Ayah, my nanny,still relishes
The joy of diamond flowers jasmine-scented
A gecko darts, the chameleon changes
The sun baked nature lover.
To me, the child- ayah imparts.
Starlit navy sky, moon dipping
Soothing my eyelids to sleep
And gathers pieces of my life
She is time rich, dirt poor.

As my memsahib mum hurries to her party.

Glossary Rangoli— intricate patterns are drawn with rice flour and vegetable dyes of various rich hues. These are drawn every morning after washing the front of the house to herald the new day. Houses have to be swept and washed (swabbed- it’s called in India) every day morning and evening. Patterns are often handed down from one generation to the next.

Glasgow Writers: Leela Soma

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Stuart Paterson, blogging from Grez sur Loing: Science fiction poetry

This section: Christmas Poems , Stories and Winter Tales, Poetry, stories and poems, Winter 2014

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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