Friday, April 5, 2024

Monica Mody : Two poems




Auroville, 2019


I gave my word to change.

I gave my word to aligning with life.

Spat out a snake—snake of the old paradigm—crouched on Earth—gave it to the Earth.

Cleansed myself.

Made sounds that were not only mine.

The sounds found me.

I was conversing with the wild in a common tongue.

Sounds radiated from me… ours.

Elements bided to be invoked.

I moved to the place nonrational where worlds part, called out to (ancient) (wise) ones.


Rational made space for what arrived: the left-handed made it possible.

What needed to be disgorged pushed through with force.

I crouched on Earth, released.

No hiding may occur in ritual’s sphere.

Are you willing to bare yourself to Spirit?

Are you willing to meet your bared spirit?

By the time I came back to the black electric scooter—hair in disarray—I was—am I—

Am I the madwoman who makes civilization afraid?

Am I the woman that disrupted rivers of status quo?

Am I she standing up to the male priest, saying ‘You don’t make sense’?

Am I she whom the historiographer forgot to include?

Am I that rishika – witch – priestess – dain – yogini?

Am I that fallen woman?

Am I Katyayani, Brahmaani?

Am I the one Krishna wanted to merge with?

Am I the one with the blue lotus skin?

Am I the one resplendent, robed merely in sky?

Do I bear a name you forgot?


Leavened by Earth—patched back together—green guise shaded black, off-putting to all patriarchy—drunk on, alchemizing shadows—here I am. Swigging from a water bottle astride my electric bike. I even fit on the bike as I nod at the blonde young man locking the forest gate behind me, and ride away.



Urban Walk

   for San Francisco

These secret lairs of nature—stillest within. Language is a distraction I set aside so I can roam in the sheaf of magic. The song of the world stills the ego’s chirps, brings out that crooner with big lungs whose face is lifted to the sky, given over to the singing.





Monica Mody is a poet, scholar, and educator, and the author of Wild Fin (Weavers Press, 2024), Bright Parallel (Copper Coin, 2023), and Kala Pani (1913 Press, 2013). Her writing has won awards including the Sparks Prize (Notre Dame), the Zora Neale Hurston Award (Naropa), and the TOTO Award for Creative Writing. More at


most popular posts