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Poetry

Winter in Vienna and more…

By Sarita Jenamani

Winter in Vienna 

Winter is usually foggy here 

It blurs the reflection of your dream 

in the mirror of your imagination 

Night does not sojourn here 

but when the snowy night 

passes through the city 

a violet glow envelopes everything 

A certain passion erupts in me 

and jumps back to its own caldera 

Conversation is a sin here 

Voice darkens and submerges in the sorcery of silence

Snow trickles into the stillness

Exile 

All through life 

an unending journey 

accompanies you 

And in the absence of 

a destination 

much of what’s inside gets lost 

And the warp and weft of being 

keeps on breaking

Beyond 

Stillness spreads its wings 

like the desert 

beneath a dawning sky 

The paraplegic pyramids glitter 

in a mixture of azure and gold 

There is still a lot to say 

beyond civilization

Viennese Coffee-houses 

No sooner does dusk fall 

than the city’s cafés come to life 

with the tinkling clang of indifference 

Gradually the crowd of solitude gathers 

around the tables

Sankt Marx Friedhof*

Silence is magnificent 

particularly when it connects 

the monumental music of lives 

that sleep peacefully 

with the absolute space 

Flowers and graves shoot up 

rupturing earth’s breast 

They exist side by side in stillness 

I wonder what they think 

of volatile souls that travel to the sky 

with the chanting 

of mysterious mantras 

or of those who wait 

for an undefined time to resurrect 

Beyond cemetery’s wall 

a swarm of sound passes through 

slicing the essence of existence 

in our trivial time

*Mozart was buried in St. Marx Communal Cemetery, Vienna.

(These poems are excerpted from her latest collection, Till the Next Wave Comes)

Sarita Jenamani is a poet of Indian origin based in Austria, a literary translator, anthologist, and editor of a bilingual magazine for migrant literature – Words & Worlds – a human rights activist, a feminist and general secretary of PEN International’s Austrian chapter. She has three collections of poetry. She writes in English, Odia and translates to and from German. Sarita translated Rose Ausländer, a leading Austrian poet, and an anthology of contemporary Austrian Poetry from German into Hindi and Odia. She has received many literary fellowships in Germany and in Austria including those of the prestigious organizations of ‘Heinrich Böll Foundation’ and ‘Künstlerdorf Schöppingen’.  She studied Economics and Management Studies in India and Austria where she works as a marketing manager.

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