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Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Kashiana Singh is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to Work as Worship. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer. She dips into very vulnerable and personal contexts but also explores the shifting tectonic plates of the world around her.
She is from India, now lives in Chicago and bridges the miles by regularly etching her thoughts. She is a regular contributor to different poetry platforms like OnMogul, Literary Yard, Best Poems, Narrow Mag, Modern Literature, Women’s Web, Tuck Magazine, Spillwords, Visual Verse and with Scott Thomas Outlar. She is in the process of gathering her second collection of poems.
All Rights Reserved by Kashiana Singh


Feather droplets, uncertain and fickle
a standing ovation, trickle by trickle
Rooftops lay flat against a tiptoe dance
a gushing lullaby to an apocalyptic trance

I know a Noor
She is seventeen
She is insatiable
She is possessed
She has likes and dislikes

She does not like legacies of silence
Relishes eggplants and turnips her grandma makes
She does not like perfumes
Her fury is aroused by a wild musk
She does not like mirrors
They break her infinite shadows
She does not like wild drinking
Her vice is dipping rusk in chai
She does not like hesitation
Her voice arouses a vocal soprano
She does not like being told, instructed
Heartbeats pierce through her like an easterly
She does not like flowers, plucked
Has an addiction to wild dandelions
She does not like corsets, or foolish tales, retales
Unburdens her seat at every table
She does not like riding pillion
Unfettered she seduces the wind
She does not like nightly ceremonies
Virgin’s milk, plaited hair long discarded
She does not like permissions
Her entrails pound a curious honey

I know a Noor
She permeates every minute
She is painfully present
Her eyes opal daggers
Her neck a river
Her breasts surging mystery
Her legs anchored to her ship, as
her impetuousness sails full throttle
into a churning sea, pulsating with
likes and dislikes

She is not
a weekend edition of feminism
She is a noor*

*noor – holy soulful light

Barefooted they walk

Incredible India
coffee book canvas
multi-dimensional presence
giant statues
loud bells
louder chants
dawn prayers
marble upon marble
lights upon lights
wasted wax
from devotional candles
sits forever in stubs
like dwarfed men
who light them
bargaining with
a God
advertised in plenty

barefooted they walk, timidly
discarding shoes, of all shapes
sizes, colors. shoes of all people
hindu, muslim, sikh, christian, old
young, bard, barber, woman and
girls, even the bad ones who force
honor killings, or rape, and shoes
of gays, lesbians, hijras, that have
flowers embroidered in nauseating
colors, shoes of all caste, creed
and shoes of those with no shoes
barefooted they walk, careful
feet tip toe through the last lap
of cleansing rituals, they stride

through mehndi and monkeys
into their hanuman’s temple
through an aromatic langar
served in halls of Bangla sahib
through her virgin Sacredness
into the heart of their Church
through an elevating qawwali
cathartic at Hazrat Nizzamudin
through blossoming petals
of their famous lotus temple
through quietness of Buddha
into Lakshmi Narayan’s abode
through the spiritual largeness
of Akshardham illuminated at night
through the urging sandstone
into the calm of Jama masjid

barefooted they walk, timidly
they walk the length and breadth
of a mutilated constitution, the
north, south, east, west;
an entire country circumcised
of courage
an entire country in disguise
I disappear to find solace
in the prize winning
essay, I once wrote, it was titled
‘unity in diversity’

Eleven Photographs
Rain rubbing shoulders, a hesitant earth
Earthworms, mud froth, flooded ant homes
A grave, firma turf bursting forth, snails crawling out in remembered commonness, fungus in smells and scents, deadness erupts, scavenging sourness in cilantro leaves, a rain rustling through thickets in a drunken rustling| I am
Flipping through a story teller’s album|In an attic that smells of corpses| Translucent years on paper|Crumpled taste of dinner table discourses|Every page has remnants| Hesitant footprints and fallen scabs| Bloody ketchup stains| A grain of coriander| Weary threads of frayed wool| Rose petals mocking| Lifetimes and lifelines concealed in glue dots| An alchemist at work| Chess boarding time on album pages|
I stumble upon photographs| There are Eleven|
Opaque images of me in my mama’s kitchen|
There are Eleven
I am stirred kitchen pot of bubbles
a melancholy rehearsal on repeat
I am an orchestra of wondrous gathering
of spices, flavors and secrets
I am an alchemy of yin and yang
of rum with chocolate syrup
I am a pitcher of iced panna
a keeper of syrups and sour
I am a bowl of mango strips, lemon
an explosion of poems in teaspoons
I am a page of sonnets filling empty water sips
a winner chuckling with conviction of taste
I am a bowl of milky crusty caramel
of melting sadness on burnt edges
I am an avalanche of fudgy brown bites
of humming into an overflow of sweet
I am an earthen platter of pickled promises
a crisp bite supplements prosaic day
I am a texture of overcast ginger and garlic
of diminishing appetites in bland curries
I am an anthology of preserved scars
of surprises lingering on cleansed palates


Gauri Dixit said...

Beautiful poems by my favourite poet

She is not
a weekend edition of feminism
She is a noor*

Those lines are wonderful.

I have always admired Kashiana's poetry for the range of subjects, a balanced view and beautiful style.

satbir chadha said...

All beautiful Noor and Barefooted they walk strike a chord
I feel I think like kashiana singh

Kashiana Singh said...

Thank you both for your encouraging comments! I am honored and humbled both

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