by Bibhu Padhi

Floating above the rice fields,
the jackfruit trees,

evening comes
and gets into our dark houses

where ghosts stay,
poems are made.

We change places,
our bodies wanting

to be everywhere,
at all those places

where memory is so alive
among forsaken things.

I know how the night will be,
its wings flapping

in the windy passageways,
its body cheered by a song

that started from
the river’s edge.

From a distant village
comes a song that

speaks about lost things.
A wind from the north arrives

and gets inside our bodies—
the same wind that had seen

little known places
and remembered them clearly.

My face is held by summer’s
dry, warm palms.

Somewhere a lotus sings,
repeats its songs for future days.

A broken piece of the sky
falls on my terrace.

The sound stays.
Somewhere else a night bird

promises a quiet night,
without dreams.

I lie on my bed, looking for
death, which is not too far away—

on the nearer hills.  I wait for the night
to end in my house and me.
Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 13, Number 2
(Fall 2018)

Copyright © 2018
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.

by Bibhu Padhi

They enter, milk-white,
the dark house, full of poems

written by thin, wiry hands.
The nights come back

again and again, teasing
my sense of time.

I ask the nights if I might
stay on the earth without death.

Nothing changes.  Death lives on,
like a flourishing monarch.

Trees shiver in the wind,
like leaves.

Someone speaks of nights of pain
under a smoky sky.

The sound of blood running
in arteries and veins

reverberates against the heart’s
dark walls, their immense plasticity.

Evening falls, the cowherd boy
sings a song that belongs

to an endless time.
Poems arrive from behind

the mountains, are full of life.
The sea sleeps and dreams.

The night ends.
The sounds of life are here again.

by Bibhu Padhi

Summer.  The birds dream of
distant flights,

reaching the lake
that fringes the forest.

The forest leaves
tremble against a sharp wind,

answer the questions
of birds beyond the trees.

The forest dreams too,
of how it would reach

the faraway places,
beyond its limits.

Someone speaks of
sleepless nights,

of how the nights
spread over our daily habits.

Someone else weeps
in the middle of my griefs

of a thousand days,
a happiness that is rare

to find among sad stories
about our children and wives.

I shut the front door of my house,
wait for blessings

from unknown gods and places.
Who is looking for me now?

Who else suffers in the depths
of the forest, the hills?

This is the time to ask for gifts;
this is the time when

questions are answered
by dry mouths.

Who else is there
except me, looking for

life, for death, rebirth?
The birds are ready

for their southeastern flights,
beyond the lush forests.

Who wants to offer me
a new name, new dreams?


Bibhu Padhi is the author of eleven books of poetry.  
Meditations on Being: Upanishadic Poems, his twelfth
collection, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in late 2018.  
Padhi’s poems have been published in English in
The Poetry
, Poetry Wales, The Rialto, Stand, The American
, Colorado Review, Confrontation, New Letters,
North Dakota Quarterly, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner,
Poetry,  Southwest Review, The Literary Review,
TriQuarterly, Antigonish Review, Queen’s Quarterly,
and elsewhere.  They have also been included in numerous
anthologies and textbooks including
60 Indian Poets from
Penguin Books India and
Language for a New Century:
Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and
from W. W. Norton.  Padhi lives in India.   

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