POETRY – Priyanka Sacheti

Hunting Old Homes

Priyanka Sacheti is a writer based in Bangalore, India. Priyanka previously lived in Sultanate of Oman, United Kingdom, and United States. She has been published in numerous publications with a special focus on art, gender, diaspora, and identity and is presently an editor at Mashallah News. Her literary work has appeared in Berfrois, The Lunchticket, and Jaggery Lit and two of her short stories were featured in international anthologies. She’s currently working on a short story and a poetry collection. An avid phone-photographer, she explores the intersection of her writing and photography at Instagram: @iamjustavisualperson. She tweets @priyankasacheti1. 


There was a garden there once and
a girl sat in the mint-cool dusk shadows,
waiting for a firefly glimpse of a someone.
Its walls were first monsoon mauve
until a newly arrived daughter in law
painted it the colour of
a rose she had once seen in her dream.
And a grandmother had knitted booties
for her unborn grandchild, primrose yellow,
like butter left out in winter sun.
But all has been erased: the memories, the memory-keepers.
Fungi lace veils the edges where the wood and walls do not meet and
termites have built their palace long back. They will go too.
The predator patiently lurks in the tarmac river,
its jaws silent. And the hunters polish their guns,
smelling bullets in the bowl of their palms,
waiting, waiting
for the right time to take a shot.


Flowers Are Tarot Cards 1


They beckon me from the
these tarot cards
promising to map my fate.
I am my own cartographer
but I read them anyway.
Across the street,
the ironing man
erases wrinkles from hot cotton,
steam rising
like a scent of a newly cut tree.
I see my fortune, doubled:
each side, a new fortune
awaiting to happen.
Whom to believe?
Which fortune is my fate?
I gaze into the heart of my palm:
the doubled headline
snakes down,
river forking before
vanishing into nothingness,
the abyss we came from,
will return to.
I return the cards
for someone else to read,
to make a map
where none may exist.
But me,
I have long known which
road I have to take,
what awaits for me at its end,
as it does for all of us
who live and breathe.


Flowers Are Tarot Cards 2

The Anatomy of Age


The camera is a ruthless scalpel,
unworking the cragged scabs
to reveal what came before.
Past is the color of
molten honey
and the windows,
portholes to the tumult
that is the ocean of history.
The skin is peeling,
surely we must heal it.
A pile of rocks
huddles beneath the hurting
body, like a
litter of newly born kittens.
Where there is life,
there is hope.
And you want to kill this
house simply because
you think it should
not live anymore?
Go and speak to it
during noon of a summer day:
the force of its hot thrumming
blood will blow you away,
your knees buckling
meeting the soft damp earth.
And if you still can’t see its heart,
then, I wonder,
what can you see,
after all?



There are green dots, asterisks,
ellipses everywhere
in this abandoned paragraph.
The sun writes in the spaces
between the antique words
and the soil gives soul
to these pages that everyone else
had forgotten about. In years to come,
these verses will become epics,
those mighty trees communing with
the heavens above,
singing paens to those words
that someone still dared to write,
despite knowing
that they might
never ever be read.

Forest, Floored


a shuttered-eyed man, turmeric walls, white horses ploughing through the surf on a moonlit night, blue doors, freshly sheared cloth, a party of yellow, green, red, and mauve patterns below his feet, his village lake, his favourite actress, a train chugging away from a station, clothes which forge their own destinies, a yellow sports car shearing through the air, calendars that tell time is passing, the dusty mirror, the necklace of a measuring tape, and the sewing tables: the laboratories of dreams. And beyond the stage, the river of a street where a woman stops to take his picture and time stands still, even inside that bleached bone white clock that otherwise runs ten minutes fast.

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