A Little Light


Rushing willy-nilly

for the train to work
stopped in my tracks
by the sound of joy
in a child’s chortle
A mop-haired imp
tumbles at my feet
a world of innocence
in her smile
I savour the sparkle
in her eyes
delight in the firm grasp
of her grubby fingers
leaving smudges
on my immaculate trousers
as she totters to her feet
handing me the treasure
she clutches in her hand
I look at a little yellow flower
as bright as her face
Placing it in my
outstretched palm
She turns and scampers
Into the anxious arms
Of her harried mother
Who hugs her tight
kisses her curls
gently scolds her
for vanishing like
the sun behind the clouds
My eyes follow them
till they’re lost to sight
I pick up the threads
of my now luminous day
And weave the colour
into my life

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Beginning Of The Slide

The road I thought led to you

wound its way through my curls
spidery veins carrying my hopes
each breath labouring uphill around hairpin kinks

and when I reached out weary hands
you pulled me close
yet kept me apart

Yes, to the very end
you put a distance between us
longer than the bridge my locks built
no Rapunzel tresses
ebony not gold
they clamoured to twist themselves
around your heated fingers
but you stayed cool
impervious to their silken appeal

and now I
abandoned at the crest of my desire
rue the beginning of my slide

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Pretend We Are Perfect


Nowhere to hide our flaws
in harsh glaring day

Frustrated frown lines
scar your forehead
Spidery exhausted wrinkles
mar my face

The gentle glow of night
melts all imperfections
If we meet in the dark
we can pretend we are perfect

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Living With The Pain

Hope bled out with the red of a sunset sky
the flutter of butterfly wings fallen silent

Even before your essence slipped away
I had to relinquish the tenuous hold I had on my

barely formed kernel of maternal desire
as the detritus of love leached through open thighs

once parted to receive what would become you
now clenched as though I could hold you

within the pod of time now crumbled
into remnants of fallow days

and yet I count each of the 23 years
you have returned to prod my mind

Tall and strong, so vivid I could have spun you
out of my wishes into a flesh-and-blood manifestation

of dreams so ephemeral they only exist to spin a web
so tight around my heart it traps the pain pulsing in every beat

the only proof that I still live

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Unkind Cuts


His thoughts
The first cut
hurts the most
keep it shallow

His eyes
The second cut
a red streak
that stings

His face
the third cut
a twist of the knife
draws blood

His voice
the fourth cut
a fresh rip
easier now

to savour
the pain
easing the ache
of a hopeless love

Cover throbbing scars
with a smile
go on living

There’s room
for more cuts
on the heart
for it still beats

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Will We Fit?


In the pause

between contemplation and action,

you muse, will we fit?

I think about flesh and bone

curves and planes

and sketch lipstick lines

on the napkin to bare my heart

They harmonize into each other

smudging the gaps into a whole

You look at the meshed squiggles

a smile tugging at the corner of lips

I ache to feel on mine

You gently crush my clumsy attempt

in hands I envision drawing me into you

Our fingers cling like twining creepers

And you say, oh yes, we will


© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Set Me Free

Walls of fear
shackles of doubt
trap me
in this loveless prison
whose gates
were opened by Betrayal
urging me to step out
and reclaim my life
showed me the way
out of this neglected garden
that blooms no more
Weeds of distrust
have choked its soul
leaving it barren
Freedom is within reach
But not the courage
to break free
from invisible bonds
that keep me
tied to you
I’m not brave enough
to leap without a parachute
so do me one last favour
give me a push
or here I will stay
and die a little each day

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved