Nabina Das lives two lives, shuttling between USA and India. Her short story “Tara Goes Home” is featured in Inner Voices, a contest-winning collection of fiction (Mirage Books, India). Her poetry appears in Mad Swirl, The Smoking Book (poems for an anthology from Poets Wear Prada) website, Shalla Magazine, Kritya, Lit Up Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, The Cartier Street Review, Maintenant 3 (Three Rooms Press) and Muse India, and is forthcoming in Quay Journal, Sheher anthology (Frog Books, India) and Liberated Muse anthology. A poetry commentary also appears in Kritya. A 2007 Joan Jakobson fiction scholar from Wesleyan Writers’ Conference, and a 2007 Julio Lobo fiction scholar from Lesley Writers’ Conference, Nabina was Assistant Metro Editor with The Ithaca Journal, Ithaca, NY, and has worked as a journalist and media person in India for about 10 years in places as diverse as Tehelka.com, Down To Earth environmental magazine, Confederation of Indian Industries, National Foundation for India and The Sentinel newspaper. She has published several articles, commentaries and essays during her tenures. An M.A. in Linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, her other interests are theater and music. Formally trained in India classical music, she has performed in radio and TV programs and acted in street theater productions in India. She blogs at www.fleuve-souterrain.blogspot.com.
A Soothsayer’s Dilemma
When she said prophecies make the sky spin like a roulette table, she meant while taking
chances, they reach the end of palpability, each courting a few unexplored desires
She said prophecies would let their winding hands circle my fleshy roots, digging
amply inside Apollo’s oracles, welcoming a change in spring’s sparkled honeyed light
I asked if future is a scene, a fête where men and women bestow abhaya; laugh. Because
they’re shown grand, animated, in prints of red and Sepia tones in books of prophecies
She said because we can’t read future we melt inside our tacky floors hopelessly shelled
with sleep’s call, but they still come the prophecies, like soft footfalls and infantile taps
My mother’s disbelief, when I said prophecies invade my bark before turning it into the ark
when new rivers depths unknown are created, seemed like a verse. Prophetic overtures.