Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Jhandu

Cheap chillies! How fresh their green gleams glow,
Now from the womb, covered in seed;
Unaware, a flashing blade approaches, heave ho!

Off with our tails, oh the math, were we quartered in halves?
Look all at our wounded little pieces, a bleeding puzzle,
Aren’t we all? Bloodied and grassed, like infant calves?

The warm and tender steel nods in agreement still.

The toasting mustards fume,
Fenugreek and fennel reek, on the black steel pan.
Do suffocate the chopped chili smiles a moment, resume.

Won’t it hurt? All of this spice?
On my wounded winded pieces that hide?
Slipping under one another, like a hunted pride,
Afraid of the eye that spie-

No, my dear, the spice, it’s price it demands,
Still a steal.

The price my dear – No, no, Please no!
The warm and tender please remember – No!
The – Who is doing this and why? I want to know!

My tender green chili spine, why does it whine, and rage?
At the cold-cold molest of vinegar, a chill down my spine, and its teen age.
Hello? Hey you slimy oil on my thigh unrefined,
Yellow lemon in my eyes, the turmeric they mined.

After all we have been through, thorough is your protest dear,
My nurture is at an end, still my love of always, fill up, don’t fear.

Call the clean cap and jar the jars awake,
Wipe em squeaky and virginal, sparkling they wait,

Green chillies draped in the oily spice of yellow,
Detained within,
Jarred green leeches leaching their own green, retained within,
bleaching their own sharp green, mellow.

Warm welcome! Warm welcome!
She is quiet still.

I spot a finger familiar, rounding a flashing blade,
Its criminal stains of turmeric yellow, reeking and fenugreeking;
It’s the bitch that chopped me to shatters, when infantile I laid

Her cold vinegar molestation, her slimy oily, lemon eyes,
Fucking devil’s bride.
Now massages my scarred cheeks in yellow turmeric,
Hiding my dissolution, under and inside.

Speak now you bitch!

I wait with all my chili being,
My wasted greens,
but they were all yellow,

I wait for her wicked finger,
Await the final blow,
But now this jar my prison,
Only shows me the yellow sun risen

So that’s her corrupt plan!
Paint me plane yellow, hide me yellow,
Out in the yellow sun, planesight rotting
Dismissed a madman!

And I wait, sweating from dusk to dawn,
On and on,

Fretting Seconds,
Fraught Days,
Distraught Hours,
Disingenuous Years,
Dubious Months,
Lugubrious Minutes!

Until it dawns upon my mangled limbs green, nay yellow,
In my soft mind I found floating in bottom-jar oil, its seeds missing,
Is it already jell-o?

I have been punished to digest,
In misery my own, and some foreign spice,
Cursed to the limp, soiled mellow yellow, the brightest

The oil, the sour, the spice
All under my skin.

And then suddenly,
It’s over for me now.
Out of the jar bleeding over the whites I go,
Risen in my soiled attire, I care too little to show;

Yellow with a distantly related green,
Limp with an instantly regretful feel,
Once raw and fierce seed of mine, mined
Its sting all sunk slow into the bitter oil, now refined.

I return to the wretched finger, almost dead now,
Bite off my limb, bites of my limb, off with my limbs,
You dirty fucking cow!

Ouch! This chili is hot and bitter! Good
Burn you fucking-


Jhandu is a writer, translator (Hindi-English) and educator from Delhi. Although born in Lucknow, it was Emily Dickinson who led him on his journey to explore classic western and traditional Indian poetry. Through his stories and poems, he likes to explore his relationships with people, places and nature. He has worked in children’s publishing, technology and sports education content. 

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