Oceanic Eyes

Lily’s tribute to her mother on Mother’s Day. She talks of her sea-green oceanic eyes, among other things.

Your  perfume, dripping love
As you tucked me into bed
With the holy mantras of the Sikh night prayer, the”Sohila”
Rumbling sonorously in my ears

The arithmetic tables
you made me repeat
In the bath as you scrubbed
the grime of fears and doubts from my baby hands
The filth under my nails
Coagulated into pretty dreams
Of the pancakes you waffled up
on your primitive griddle

How goggle eyed I gaped at your impressive line-up of footwear
The steel spikes , the pumps with a crisis cross world woven into them
Tottering surreptitiously when you were not looking
The gleeful thrill of knotting up your veils into mini saris and preening before the mirror!

The almost gourmet effect of your lovingly made French toast on a wintry afternoon
The aroma of your cauliflower fritters
Wafting to the heavens in the relentless North Indian monsoons

Your oceanic eyes watching like a hawk over my homework
Your selfless maternal affection Coursing in my arteries like a
Shot of adrenaline

Your constant reassurances when I grumbled about my longish nose and petite frame
“You are the prettiest of all my dear girl! It suits you!”

Your intuitive umbilical cords pricked up their  ears at the slightest  hint of misfortune that
might befall me
Frantic phone calls to check on my wellbeing as I traipsed all over India

The uncanny forewarning of danger
The doting eyes that rotated like a Buddhist prayer wheel around my aura perpetually
The work withered hands that raised in prayer for my tiniest wants
A rosary she was

Of the purest tulsi beads
How can God not be a woman ?
He simply has to be my Mother!

“Mother & Child” (1977), oil on canvas, 119 x 99cm, Archit & Nenne Bartolome collection. “

“Mother & Child” (1977), oil on canvas, 119 x 99cm, Archit & Nenne Bartolome collection. “

©Lily Swarn 3.5.2016

Pix from Net.

Lily Swarn

Lily Swarn

Lily has published English poems in three anthologies. She was awarded Reuel international prize for poetry 2016. A postgraduate in English from Punjab University, she was awarded a gold medal for best all-round student and academics. She edited her college magazine and wrote middles for newspapers. Poetry blossomed after her young son's sudden demise. She writes in Hindi and English. Hailing from a defence family, she is settled in Chandigarh.
Lily Swarn