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After Life

The wings of a Red Pierrot butterfly offer a glimpse of  after life to the poet.


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One early morning

On the new leaf

Of a branch emerging

From your favorite sunset pink

Hibiscus plant

Sat a baby butterfly

Stunning and still

In the verandah

Quiet and alert

As you were in your lifetime

Nearly blind


In recent times

Your ears always perked up

You were a happening person

The Red Pierrot, beauty that it is

Offers a glimpse of

Life after life

Image by abhishek gaurav

Behind the Seen
Some poemlets

Beautiful 'poemlets' that gently touch the imagination of the reader and leave a lasting impression. 

Iridescent blue stars dangle

On the insides of my eyelids

In daytime darkness

The sunlight caresses the outside

My space, my universe


The language of thunder

In the pitter patter of rain

With slashes of lightening

My dialogue, my silence


Dewdrops on rose petals

Falling on thorny branches

Homing on pebbles and rocks

My emotions, my thoughts


Streaming down the windowpane

Is the rain water filled with

Bits of the rainbow

Chopped and capsuled

My grief, my pains


Big round red moon, hanging

In the blue-black bowl above

Defying the stillness of the oceans

With the ebb and flow of the tide

My love, my passion


Who can cross the border and return

Who can rise from the ashes of the pyre

Can the corpse walk out of the grave

My ghost, my self


Sukrita Paul Kumar, poet and critic, was born and brought up in Kenya. She held the prestigious Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at Delhi University. Formerly, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, she was an invited poet at the International Writing Programme, Iowa, USA and Hong Kong Baptist University. Honorary faculty, Durrell Centre at Corfu, Greece, she has been a recipient of many prestigious fellowships and residencies. Her recent collections of poems amongst others are Vanishing Words, Country Drive, Dream Catcher, Untitled and Poems Come Home (with Hindustani translations by Gulzar). She is the “Writer in Context” Series co-editor, being published by Routledge UK. Her co-edited book on the eminent writer Krishna Sobti is the first in the series. Amongst her critical books are Narrating Partition and Conversations on Modernism. Her translations include Nude, poems by Vishal Bhardwaj and the novel, Blind (HarperCollins) by Joginder Paul. A guest editor of journals such as Manoa (Hawaii) and Muse India, she has held solo exhibitions of her paintings. Many of her poems come out of her experience of working with the homeless, street children and Tsunami victims.

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