The Tower Journal

Romi Jain


Fingers

They’ve done the dirtiest of work,
and are resisting my attempt to restrain revelations,

but the force of my brain is too powerful to be curbed,
which permits three instances:

holding a stained toilet tissue, picking at the scalp,
saving a runny nose from embarrassment
when purses and pockets betray.

They’ve done the hardest of work
while snobbish arms take credit
spared though of the intimate moments
with roughness.
They’ve borne the brunt of the owner’s devastation--
a rage from the heart cruelly channeled into dashing off
angry letters.
They’ve been a victim of restlessness, of contemplation, of boredom:
treading an unsmooth cheek; playing with the hair,
ravaging the neat cover and re-arranging it
while plucking out odd man out;
and intruding upon the stillness of objects
that prefer business.

They’ve been pressed into action
to mitigate others’ distress,
but ungrateful skins have sometimes
complained of harshness,
relieved of itchiness though.
Sometimes I try to keep them in humor
by treating them with saffron nail print
or massaging with mustard oil.
But to heal the scars of abandonment
I don’t have ointment,
nor insurance should no trustful touch ever embrace
and they turn decrepit.



I Bid Goodbye

I bid goodbye and join my communion
where I’m awaited with enlightened calmness.
Rising higher and higher
I would see from a distance the illuminating gate–
Individual beady spirits would focus on me
and my self will be shining in celestial rays.

The home on earth would be exposed as a dream:

consoled by fellow selves
after arousal from the dreary slumber,
I would pray for erasing earthy trace.

“Obtain the grace of the supreme self!” (the injunction from the messenger)
Complete solitude, my self and the shining round periphery--
the uncrossable hedge.
A struggle would ensue against recurring memories,
though without craving affection and attention;
the sturdier contemplation on Goddess be my defense–
my solemn prayer would issue--
passing through numerous stages, escaping each assault,
may I clear hurdles and be worthy of your blessing.
Protected against earthy contact, I would reach the higher stage—
unison with fellow selves in collective meditation on Almighty:
environ of order, peace, harmony.
We will be softly pulled inside the supreme core–
individuality and collectivity shall be perfectly intact—
merged with the complete bliss we on earth can’t imagine.




Tests

You say you fill my bosom:

If I were to believe you,
I sense a silent fragrance and
A quietly burning lamp;
What makes the promise of cheer
and enlightenment buried,
without a spade to grasp?

I admit my spirit carries cactaceous whims
and is a poor shield against mean provocations,
but won’t you agree its response is
childish, harmless?

And know that
it does aspire to grow roses
with your sacred nutrients.

Forgive me if I think
the test is at too early a stage!

To confirm my agonies,
please ask a sapling,
with a storm faced!


Copyright © 2014 Romi Jain

Romi JainRomi Jain is a published writer, MBA (SFSU, California), and Vice President of Indian Journal of Asian Affairs. Her creative works include The Storm Within (a fiction), Poetry! You Resurrect Me, and Voices of Rocks in the Dusk. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in international anthologies such as Veils, Halos and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women; San Diego Poetry Annual (2013-14); Family Matters; and Rich Fabric II, and in literary journals such as Transition (published by the Canadian Mental Health Association), Off the Coast, The Journal of Poetry Society, and Touch: The Journal of Healing.

The Tower Journal
Spring/Summer 2014