Three Poems by Rishitha Shetty

Why we speak

My grandmother’s song
grows in fields, where
joy is trapped
in the clap of tongues,
grief twirls between teeth,
and silence is sculpted with
fractured pause.
She sings of words dressed in ink,
drying in the folds of wrinkled spring.
To save them is to
frame them in speech.


come from fists
breaking open skin
of stagnant ponds,
cut banana slices in milk,
light kissing folded pages of poetry,
apologies churned out of
stuttering lips,
and in the heel of wise old women
standing over history,
with wind parting their hair.

God of half hill

of half hill.
The other half for
storm goddess, that wily bitch-
he was a sword wielder,
would find stolen gold
from the ear of corn,
spit in faces
Of bystanders.
She chewed,
mouth open-
stepped on his toe
when he stretched.

God –
Striped of fury-
for fury belonged to the storm,
and him, the half hill.

bathed in silver light-
storm goddess pulls snakes
out of her nostril
skin, lilac of
evening oceans-
untouched by spite.



Rishitha Shetty lives in Bangalore, India. She has been previously published in Spark, The Indian Review, The literary yard and The Quail Bell Magazine. She is a member of Bangalore Writers Workshop.


Photograph by Flowcomm.

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