Poems by Aditya Shankar



The love byte is a frozen ripple
seeking the other shore

just as the curve
seeks the circle,

the curly hair seeks the halo
encircling the head.

May be because raw effort is
prettier than the outcome,

sun fondles the dark underbelly
of the forest, floods it with light

only for darkness to regrow
like waiting.

Humans remain banks with the
turbulence of love in between.

Our landscape is the flesh of
a lover that we dig for time.


Fish rain at third block, as if alienation
needs a living metaphor. What better stage

than the fire-paved-Indian-weekday for new
migrants to rain from heaven, for sewer rats

to twitch whiskers, sensing competition?
Someone believed here. Watched the fish

wiggle, as if a street magician: the alchemy of
translating water into blood, beneath collapsing

gills. Who lifted brows in concern, only to drop
it, as if crunching beneath a barbell shaft? Who

complained about hold-up, citing flowing traffic
and uninterrupted internet as indulgence? The

unmoved Ambedkar statue (yet another urban
artefact) watches on. We waver in a conditional

sympathy, oscillating between the plastic cover to
take home a catch, or a bucket of water to revive a

drop of sea. The whipped cockroach scurrying off
in a new direction, must be the god of urban wisdom.

Note: Rain of Animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which flightless animals fall from the sky. Though its occurrence is widely reported in history, scientists are yet to witness an event.

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Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author and translator whose poems have appeared in journals from 20 or more nations. His work has been translated into Malayalam and Arabic. His poetry collections include After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He has edited Tiny Judges Shall Arrive(AHRC Hong Kong, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.


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