Three Poems by Indran Amirthanayagam

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Woman In A Field

I want to paint your sky blue skirt spotted 
with hundreds of white islands, ocean on land 
before a primrosed field, grass green, hair 
a flame, talisman beside my keyboard, gift 
received. I thank you now, and dream of 
a world beyond my own eyes, of essences, 
sky,water, woman, primroses, grass. I say 
the peace that came dropping slow drops 
for me as well as I gaze on poppies, butter-
cups next to primroses. I can catch them all 
in a net of wildflowers, and you how shall 
I name your abandon before field and sky wearing 
the ocean on your body? How shall I turn away? 
Will you walk with me reading these lines?


House Before the Endless Plain

My house is made of dishwasher and microwave-proof 
glasses and dishware, fine-cut serving bowls, goblets plated 
in gold, trays to serve sweetmeats, plaques I received 
for speeches to Rotary and Lions clubs, to the local American 
school. I have a blue flower- bordered poem about a bird 
just above me in full song as I look up thinking of Cote d'Ivoire 
and an angel in flight. I think of you now on the other side 
of these lines, how you are drinking tea, how you attend 
to perfumes and powders. I think of you on each of 
the continents, my collective love, universal and catholic 
taste. But I am still in the relay race, looking for a partner 
to whom I can pass the baton. Work has become a cul-de-sac, 
an alley at the end of the road, but beyond is the yet-to-be 
discovered field, fresh air, bird song falling.


Another Murder Most Foul

The kid, eighteen, white, drove for hours and hours,
a camera on his head, to mow black people down 
in the parking lot and  inside a Tops market 
at Buffalo, New York. And once again we wonder 
if the right to bear arms will be challenged, whether 
weapons might become a little more difficult to buy 
at gun stores, in sections for arms at the larger all 
purpose markets, at shows, on the internet. And 
we wonder why the cop persuaded the kid to turn 
himself in, to not kill himself. So justice can be 
served? So we can imagine his pretty boy face 
through trial and judgment and in dreams 
of survivors, the ones whose families were 
shredded one Saturday afternoon, food shopping?

Image: Baton Pass Flying at 120 mph under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by Richard Schneider

Indran Amirthanayagam edits poetry books with Sara Cahill Marron at Beltway Editions (www.beltwayeditions.com). He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly (www.beltwaypoetry.com). He has published 22 poetry books, including Ten Thousand Steps Against The Tyrant (Broadstone Books, 2022) and Blue Window, translated by Jennifer Rathbun (Dialogos Books, 2021)

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