Srimati Lal’s Paintings
Sweet goddess in the light that burns
of womanhood I kiss the flame
that turns to ocean’s leaf, that turns
to hooked tree-finger, that can name
cat, fish and telephone in surprise,
and smiling businessmen, and acid
burning the air before the eyes
of boys who plot death in a placid
hour of youth that’s chained with flowers.
My hand shall India’s story sing,
and knowing, lonely, beautiful powers
may with the fingerprint of Spring
let go a love-blaze touch. Whose face
now in this portrait takes its place?