Twisted Ribbons

your absence
is entwined emotion,
a nebulous tangle
of staccato starlight
caught in crisscrossed karmic threads,
not tumbleweed probed constantly
by cold fingers of the morning wind,
but twisted ribbons of silver water
hurtling confused,
down the throat
of a thirsty whirlpool,
which one lost its way first?

that old woman saidΒ the unravelling
is in the sleight of eye and touch,
I watch her wizened hands
string jasmine flowers
with wet fibre pulled from plantain stems,
two buds, heads turned away,
and a knot,
two buds, looking astray
and a knot,
she was singing about a lone heron
lost in a lush paddy field,
shackled petals
rocking in her warm breath;

which one lost its way first?
your absence coils
around the bare walls,
two lives and a knot,
two lies and a knot,
tumbling in the thirsty chaos,
it has a sweet sound now
and a heady scent.

For the midweek prompt at Poets United: “Absence”.
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36 thoughts on “Twisted Ribbons

  1. A beautiful poem in which each stanza is a poem in its own right. I especially love the:
    ‘… nebulous tangle
    of staccato starlight
    caught in crisscrossed karmic threads,

    Like

  2. The elements of repetition really enhance the sense and feeling of those knots…in truly testing times they can become symbolic of what is important and what should never be forgotten/lost

    Like

  3. It’s that knot, without which unravelling is inevitable. I love the old woman at the core of this poem. I hurt with the “twisted ribbons of silver water
    hurtling confused,
    down the throat
    of a thirsty whirlpool . . . “

    Like

  4. Phenomenal writing, Rajni! My fave lines :

    “absence coils
    around the bare walls,
    two lives and a knot,
    two lies and a knot,
    tumbling in the thirsty chaos,
    it has a sweet sound now
    and a heady scent.”– Some verses carry with them emotions, solace, philosophy and so much more. Beautiful work.

    Like

  5. “shackled petals”–love this…..it is such an unexpected phrase, so full of contrast and contradiction and that makes it so poetic and powerful πŸ™‚

    Like

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