Daya Bhat – Three Poems


What devils have entered the sky’s head! Sixteen in the watery grave and you aren’t done with the mad dance. What evil has come upon you. You are no more like the strand of jasmine in my hair. No more a soft thrum on my tiled roof, no more a hint of mystery on my monsoon guest.

I knew you as a turquoise plume on the peacock, a soft rhyming drizzle of my quill. And what are you here, hurting like a raw sore. As if I had buried alive a pining lover you gnash your teeth.

You’re speaking over the trees and walking over bird prayers.

My child’s paper boats need a gentle puddle. And what are you here, a blood monster.

Return the silk on my dawns and gold on my dusks, then, who will hold anything against you. Too much rain and too much pain have never made good a verse.


My comfort niche recedes
into the mogra mist
homeless, unhinged
within myself
I grow a pilgrim’s feet.

chakra to chakra
greys to gleams
apogees to perigees.

An aberrant sixth demon
has carved her nest
peeled three layers of bark
blued the veins of rootless trees.

In her maya
mazes in mazes
I’m lost
I’m lost.

A restless frog
breaks the pond moon
a thousand times!

I can’t escape
the allure
of the water mirror 
It’s not a myth
of the sepia pond
that faces are epicenters
of brewing storms

ripples moving outward
from the ajna chakra
reaching for the ashwatha,

Mired in delphic ponds
I wander
I wander
cities of glyphs

Cosmic drifts
of a pin head universe
frank the homecoming
of the conqueror.

A lotus
of folded palms
for my acharyaa.


Bright yellow, deep red, sombre green
the color swirl dissolves and she does nothing.
The chimera has lost her limbs, doesn’t she know,
to the constantly changing weaves!
So many truths have claimed her
one is, the moon locked in her graying hair
the other is, the blessed old habit never dies,
caressing the same old scar to keep it awake.
That way, grief never rose to her neck
playing a chameleon, a mastered swindle of decades.
Now, an undying white is the color
between the first leaf and the last leaf
of a tree prone to autumns.
Sitting by ponds, she has never questioned
the persistent frog trying to jump high walls.
She has never questioned
why white is the color of easy acceptance.
The year’s monsoon treated her like an untouchable
She has never questioned the ethics
shriveling waning receding in a whirlwind
all she remembers is an order lost to a deadly pallor
red yellow green…red yellow green…red yellow green.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Everything that exists has a unique mysterious element embedded within itself. Just like an encryption which cannot be decoded. The process of understanding the key ingredients of beautiful things comes from an obsession to create something similar. Long after admiration begins an abstract traverse of the mind. We first try breaking the crust of superficiality and then attempt to get beneath the intricate layers, all in the anticipation of touching the core of things that fascinate us. Beauty is in the realization that there’s no formula to either create or replicate beauty. And then we find ourselves spinning in an endless loop of fantasy and disquiet.


Daya Bhat is from Bengaluru, India. Apart from having a book of poems, her short stories and new poetry have appeared in New Asian writing, Kitaab, Off the Coast, Earthen Lamp and The Bangalore Review among others.