Rama K. Ramaswamy


Quarantine 

 

But what of the thoughts 
that quake, like a sieve

disembodied above ourselves,
like a higher order of operations 

whereby every friend made
is another breaking wave.

Sea foam and loneliness diffuse alike,
equally forward and in reverse 

outstripping tomorrows, and
arresting all today's presents.

Without these small deaths,
appreciating balance hangs in the balance.

What remains is the gift of promises 
made to be made, without which 

despite forced hyperactivity 
all are rendered to bits of inactivity.

No one to let the light in
linking one closing to the next one's beginning;

mediations spin out like silkworms
waiting.

The drapes ruffle through fingers
as eyes ruffle through them.

 

 

 

A Birthday For Wayne-Daniel

 

Aries skims the horizon,
rising-
the way origami 
extends itself into meaning.

Filaments of light and love 
drip from above and around you,
reverse Fibonacci, 
the way pain is growth 
and fodder for the poet’s flame.

Mars refuses to ride
retrograde, rather waiting,  
just beyond the vertical dawn 
like the loneliest little bear
hoping to oust trespassers from bed:
spinning memories
into unmentionables
that impale the heart.

The enormous burden of rootlessness 
without contentment to connect 
is by any other name, fruitiness.
All along, your global gardens 
have remained well-nursed. 
And your glass vase- polished clear! 

Your cut flowers gather, 
are ready to be gathered;
Be mindful to add water, and 
All your spring sunshine 
will alight from within.

 

 

What Use Are Poets?

 

I.

In these times 
of uncertain being,

binary oppositions of thought 
remain: light or dark.

Presence or not at all. 
If the universe is infinite
how did it begin?

II.

The days have become time-pass, 
and pastimes.
Veda, my daughter, wants to know-
should the being of beings 
be examined and 
what of minding time? 

Veda means the duality of
wisdom and knowledge but 
the timeless world seems, at least to her, 
bounded.
A conflagration of opposites,
brought to its Corona knees
by enzyme strings and spike proteins. 

The way Derrida remains 
a mathematical derivative 
of Heidegger:
an ontogeny of philosophy 
that recapitulates its phylogeny.

She asks me, is humanity broken?
I tell her instead 
of beauty in imperfection.
And how she holds the breath 
of a tropical island, 
inspiring me, in reincarnations,
with her aurora borealis.

iii.

You might as well ask 
how Van Gogh brushed 
in sunflower penumbras; 
each textured stroke, 
in opposition 
to the previous one 

and question the way life unfurls
as a corrugated landscape might;
as if for no other reason 
than to be content to deconstruct 
the coexistence of dichotomies 
such as speech and writing. 

Every dawn rises,
winging angelic 
from its phoenix pyre 
even as radiation 
dusts us daily.
What use is the sun?

 

 

 

Rama K. Ramaswamy is the author of Coming Full Circle (2011), proceeds go towards breast cancer research (BCRF and Mass General Hospital). Her work has appeared nationally and internationally in Soul-Lit, Sugar House Review, Jezebel, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Christian Science Monitor, Manila Bulletin, Phil Star, Manushi-In, to name a few. Rama is a multi-media, print and TV journalist; she produces a TV show, Chatting It Up With Rama, and is the recipient of the Alliance for Community Media Northeastern Region Award. Rama has founded and created several programs and educational community events in the Metrowest Boston area, STEM EXPO and Multicultural Festival among others. In addition, she has worked as a bio-geologist for the United States Geological Survey.