Tuesday, August 9, 2022

City’s Seasons – Babitha Marina Justin, Kerala


Babitha Marina Justin

marriages are like migrations to

cities, the unfamiliarity and

the task of getting used to them;

my weathered feathers in new city,

combating heat and cold

when the first summer climbed

the greens stems to dry its

succulence to twigs, a snap

of the finger, the tension

of the thumb and index finger,

it cracks no matter who wins.

winter, with its creeping

chill, froze every frill

at home, hardened knuckles

refused to move, seasoning life’s

spices well, warm inside

covers, cold when the day broke,

room heaters sustained the dull

gray city clouds that let not a

speckle of sun ray filter to the ground,

portholes of windows let in the chill

of an unfamiliar blizzard that grew

colder as the day progressed

city crept on me by inches,

wrapped the chill, the

discourse of familiarity was not

hateful but comforting, it’s roads

intersecting at cross-roads,

circles and traffic, grew on

in degrees till I learned its

maps clumsily like my veins, its

arterial alleys waited to be


tread on,


trundled by

feet and dust,

their whispers


when heels click

and kiss

the ground

I learned how to love hate

the lost cities of the self,

nostrils echoed my

breath like tunnels,

my tongue tasted the forbidden

in the visceral depths of floating

hunger that worsened day by day,

my eyes were the alert sensors

to my mind’s needs, the red lights

flashed to say I have to stop

and proceed at green,

I touched the muck of the city

and loved it too, there I saw a

piece of my sky mirrored

in its murky brown…

Anesthetic Limen

Before each surgery,

the catharsis of an

enemata rebirth,

between the ward and

the operation table,

one life to life,

between breath and

the oxygen mask, is the

euphoria of anesthesia.

I go for surgeries with

a touche of a subconscious

fear of ranting my past,

my future-present with

no tense attached to

the conscious tongue;

equating sedation

to hypnosis

The anesthetist is always

a kind man, asking if this

is the first incision,

or if my first born is a boy

even a cryptic observation

of the persistence of lipstick

on the patient’s lips, traces

the nurses wipe away with

a quick disdain, I count

on my God’s and blessings,

the convent litanies that

my rebellion has not erased;

with my Hail Marys, I wait for

the mask to descend with many

uniformed arms assisting

in diminishing my pain.

As a murky life plummets

into darkness, first I inhale easily ,

then with the dryness choking

to sense a weightlessness

lifts me up like a feather,

I can see my heavy self

laid flat on the surgeon’s table.

I float about like a detached

soul, Ariel in flight to see

my Caliban chained to morphine

and various surgical tools,

gazed on by a scissor happy

surgeon and his bevy of

nurses, an attender and the

kind anesthetist. I sink

after a brief flight,

wake up groaning in a pain

that hurts not just the body,

but my once-feather-weight soul

in the post-operative ward,

I am alive once again!

Editorial Team of Indian Ruminations.


  1. the task of getting used to them…..
    ……………………………………..in the post-operative ward…..’
    I loved your poem, a stream flowing through nameless terrains, stumbling intermittently in ‘intersecting cross-roads’. I strove to travel through the parallels, in between the lines balancing myself through the cityscape you have painted, many times over, to get through to the tentative spots you traversed.
    What ever things that became apparent to me I would ascribe to beautifully surreal-wrapped, real- looking feelings couched in words with very many shades attached to it. The images do have a tenor of realism fastened to it though I felt them as drips colored by your beautiful imagination threading a trinket of poetic expression; a plethora of beautiful words rather cleverly hiding your real intentions.
    I enjoyed reading and believe I could correctly resonate to its allusions in my own way; waiting for more from your pen, wishing poetry be your ‘first love’ 🙂 Thank you.

  2. ‘marriages are like migrations to
    cities, the unfamiliarity and
    please read the above as the first lines of my comment,which inadvertently,did not get copied..:)

  3. The poem is really deep. You have conveyed your emotions beautifully.  A woman’s feelings, sufferings, life journey expressed in a subtle way


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