By Madura Katta
They say I’m confused because
I am from India, but I speak Canada
That my words follow each other, death-grip roller-coasters
Through a life that is a twisted hurricane of cognition.
I am a girl. Seventeen years old. Poet.
Brown-colored skin. Plays soccer. Junior at school.
Plays soccer, collects coins, has glasses
Has life. Wait, has life?
I feel like I am being sorted into boxes, and boxes
Slipping of conveyor belts
Where brown is just brown, not rich and dark and chocolate.
I know I am an onion
Layers upon layers
Of angst, raw passion
The surreal energy of a concert
The cascade of tears flowing down an actor’s face
An oasis that is merely a mirage in a desert.
The philosophers may say, humanity is suffocating
But I am living proof of a
Pretentious teenager packaged in morals
And expectations and clichés
Carving the letters that spell life, in the tedious winds
Multitudes of leaves
And soccer balls being booted into infinity.
But when I say sorry, or thank you, or I love you
Living isn’t having a heart of gold
Or being ideal.
I feel, therefore I am.
You were out in the venerable valley
Of the warring downtown of buildings.
Where the wind twists like a never-ending argument
The sun beats out in angry colours
Gaining vengeance for an extended winter
Your scarlet jacket mutters
And the scarlet boots sputter
In resistance to the blisters forming
Under the red sun.
Drip-drop, drip-drop, splash
Cats and dogs are raining in buckets
All over the late afternoon barbeques
As wide-eyes attend to windows
Watching the sun befriend the water
You arch your back, envisioning a rainbow
When light passes through rain – rainbows are formed.
You feel her music, you hear her touch as she strokes your hair back
Whispering unto the lightning.
Lost in the plethora of emotion, you notice not the
Stilled, serene, vacant street.
The last of the puddles are drying up
And you are enamoured by its transience
Or are you saddened?
From my spot under a tree, it is like the rain never happened.
But the wide-eyed wonder of every nuance of your body
Tells another story.
A shamble through rocks of ocean
Propels me into crags and nooks
With no company but my own.
My mother walks beside me
A stinging cut on her hand
Her worry slowly fading
As she faces the inevitability of the ocean
Waves crash, push, struggle in the distance
With only wind for company.
That same stuff that musses my hair.
They are at battle, contingencies
finally giving into the undertow.
Gray waves fight the clouds incessant
Never ceding to the ever present crescent
It is twilight.
The water romances the passing rocks
More so than all the couples holding
hands, Venturing trying to find
their own crannies.
I find solitude
Slight smiles grazing my eyelashes
and lips as I scribble into the ripples.
Mumbai is behind me – soundless –
Marring with the various hues
There is something to be said about
loud sounds, company and feeling loved.
There is more to be said
about peace and the
ferocity of water.
Madura Katta was born and brought up in India. She moved to Edmonton, Canada five years ago. She has been writing poetry since the age of 7. Now at 17, she has been published four times in the Canadian Institute of Poetry anthologies and has won second place for her poem, “Color of War” in Young Writer’s edition. She is part of the “Stroll of Poets” community in Edmonton, and has performed in various poetry readings. During Grade 11, she hosted an Open Mic, as part of an initiative for youth. She likes to stroll around with pencil and paper in case she feels inspired.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issues of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Disability: Art and Culture’, edited by Shilpaa Anand, MANUU, Hyderabad & Nandini Ghosh, IDS Kolkata.