I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

15 April 2014

If I Were Writing in Sanskrit

I’d make curlicues and flourishes. 
It would sound aloud
quite different from English. If.

My Mum said she topped the class
in Sanskrit; showed me old notebooks 
in her schoolgirl script.

Poor little Anglo-Indian girl,
she didn't want to be mixed,
liked to be thought Colonial.

Me, I look white, but I'd have liked
long black hair, dark eyes,
and a smooth brown skin.

Product of my locality and time,
I disapprove of Colonial,
and I sometimes think

I'd like to have learned to write Sanskrit
in a schoolyard under banyan trees
in Puri in Orissa, long ago …

April Poem A Day Challenge 2014, day 14: "If I Were ..."


  1. Lovely poem!! The last stanza esp...the longing so beautifully shown.
    Well if not then...then why not today! It is never too late to learn a language....but frankly I struggled with Sanskrit during school days!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment and the suggestion. Intriguing thought, but I think it might be hard to find teachers in Australia, and truthfully, at 74 I want to focus on writing in English. It's just a wistful fantasy, really. I did visit Puri in 1998, and recognised some places from the old family photo albums, so that was special.

  2. I love the way you brought forward those tender memories/wishes.