Rice Balls mixed with Moon

on wrinkled sheets of moonlight,
the children sat cross-legged,
around the lady with the soft deer eyes,
her hair knotted behind her head,
her diamond nose ring glinting
like a star in a dream that still feels real
in the wretchedness of the morning;

she placed a rice ball
in each outstretched palm,
telling stories of many-headed demons
and blue hued gods, and
somehow her voice filled the endless seconds
as i waited for my turn, while
somehow the good king always won,
somehow everything was brighter,
the insomniac moon bending closer
to hear, over the crunch of sago poppadoms,
somehow the chillies and tamarind
wrapping themselves around my tongue,
tasted of the wind lifting from the Marina,
tasted of her unshed tears;

I smashed my empty bottle
against the trembling terrace wall,
downstairs there was a cold meal
feeding the famished silence, where
somehow even the silverware
cringed at the touch of the plate, and
somehow the memories always won,
somehow everything was darker
as if the light
lost a little of itself each day,
I brought my hand to my face
and inhaled the scent
of the wind lifting from the marina,
the scent of unshed tears;

I picked up a shard of broken glass,
feeling the chillies and tamarind
running warm and red
through my fingers,
the moon closed his eyes
with a band of satin cloud,
and I counted the endless seconds,
waiting for my turn.

For Poets United where the midweek prompt is “Food”.

35 thoughts on “Rice Balls mixed with Moon

  1. You had me reading faster and faster, as I twisted and turned through your words. A masterful tale, complete with delicious morsels –poppadoms and rice balls–to tickle one’s taste buds along its well-woven path!


  2. the poem is a beautiful painting of a nostalgic space filled with aroma of memories, time and place…the thought of ” wrinkled sheets of moonlight” as mats is simply grand….


  3. Feeding a famished silence is not something that just anyone can do. It takes a special kind of magic to do that, the magic of soft deer eyes.


  4. Oh this is such a beautiful skillful write. I luv your use of images, the introductory verse is so absorbing. I easily slipped into an empty seat to listen to the rest of the story

    Much love…


  5. A sad, but powerful poem, which grips the reader, emotionally,until the very last punctuation mark is placed. As I find myself, relating to, all too well.


  6. “the insomniac moon bending closer
    to hear”–a moment filled with so much hope that I cringed when the moon closed his eyes. I would the narrator held a rice ball instead of a shard of glass. I feel a grip of terror rather than calm.


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