Border Crossing, Pooja Biswas

I set out on a pilgrimage

over the northern plains

     of ice-steeped grass

and stones round as knuckles,

breezes sharp as kite strings.


so far from the sea

     was I & yet

so near to the sky, the clouds


like small parachutes,

      descending bodies

invisible in the glare. reduced

to threads, mere threads

     of light, oh sun. why

do you hide death.


birds solitary as footless

     minstrels, singing heat

down upon the curling curves

    of snow-dust, evaporating

as softly as love-sighs, spirit-whispers

      from pale mouths. the earth a

gently rolling corpse.


I left in order to put in order

     a great many things, wings,

notes left unwritten, unfurled. dangling

participles. shoes & the feet in them

          seemed ludicrous here,

raw-bone ache and callused blisters

making of the body a pulsing knot,

         centered on two points

                hot needles.


     & still the sun sketched

perfectly geometrical shapes.

the wind rolled back & took

the black shrubs with it, bent them until

they touched their sturdy heads

          to the soil.


the terrible tides

the perilous undertows of love

   their impossible depths

& the heart within them,

desperately toothless

   swallowing loss.

Pooja Biswas

Pooja Mittal Biswas was born in Lagos in 1983, and grew up in several countries, including Nigeria, India, New Zealand and Australia. Currently, she is a postgraduate at Macquarie University. She is the author of four books: Subliminal Dust (2010), Diaries of a Marked Man (2005), Musings on Poetry (2005) and Musings (1997). Her work has been reviewed in The Age, The Australian and ABC Radio, and her poetry been published in Meanjin, Hecate and Jacket Magazine. In 2001, Pooja was selected as New Zealand's representative for UNESCO's international project, Babele Poetica, and in 2007, she was featured in both The Best Australian Poetry and The Best Australian Poems. Most recently, in 2018, she was anthologised in a landmark collection of Indian Australian writing titled Of Indian Origin: Writings From Australia. She lives in Sydney.

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