Shapeshifting

The old ones have left
And the young ones hide behind shadow

We wait, only so long as patience demands
And slowly make our way

Into the woods. There lies danger and further on,
The disappearance of self

Into something sublime, resembling a wet sun
Rain that clings to emptiness

Time that longs for no rainbow
Streams that flow to no clock.

But before we go in, we pause
We know we won’t come back

The same way we went
We would change our stripes

And we ask ourselves, one more time
To no answer

If we are ready this time, to become lion and camel and buffalo
And leave our earthly robes behind.

Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poetry has been published around the world, in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, the UK, USA, South Africa, Kenya and Germany, and in the anthologies, 40 under 40: An Anthology of Post Globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala), A Change of Climate (Manchester Metropolitan University, Environmental Justice Foundation and the University of Edinburgh) and the Sahitya Akademi anthology of Modern English Poetry. His recent collection of poems, River Wedding, has just been published by Poetrywala and has been widely reviewed. His poems have also appeared on street walls of Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg and buses in Philadelphia. He has read in various places, including in New York, Delhi and Boston. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.

earth shadow