Silence / Vandita Dharni

Her amber eyes were a lighthouse

reflecting their fury on an ocean

that fluttered inside her restive heart

a tornado of endless dreams, gypped

by the ferocity of an ill- timed winter

that extinguished this burnt- out candle.

The spectral night slithered through

her serpentine neck, splattering

rubies across her warm belly-

Her crimson lips smiled nonchalantly

while the magma erupted within her.

The staccato ticking of a clock silenced

those lifeless hands in a dirge,

A whirring fan emboldened just above

diffused incensed hymns, dispelling winter’s curse.

Dulcet necklaces hung in the air –

Hollow tubes entangled in a labyrinth of memories

Ah! The smell of dankness embossed

in her marble lips now waxen cold.

Quivering veins ingested with Nembutal

sedated her nonchalance into a stupor

seeping into the quietus of night.

The azure sky smeared the kohl of her eyes

into the canvas of night

leaving skeletal trees to behold an oppressive silence.

The wind howled through the feathered mist

filigreed with fresh carnation wreaths  

drenched in the fragrance of night.

The thorn from her lily- white breast yanked out

had lingered still like gangrene-

The deathly dance grew untamed

until the chaff blew away into the wind.

A star twinkles in the dead of night

And the billowing wind moans-


Vandita Dharni is an acclaimed poet, scholar and gold-medalist from the University of Allahabad. She has a Ph.D. degree in American Literature from the same University. She has authored three anthologies, Quintessential Outpourings, The Oyster of Love and Rippling Overtures. Her articles, poems and stories have been published in journals like Criterion, Setu, Ruminations, GNOSIS, Hell Bound Publishing House and International magazines like Immagine and Poessia, Synchronised Chaos, Silver Birch Press, Inner Child Press, Raven Cage E-zine, Sipay, Fasihi and Guido Gozzano. She is also the proud recipient of the World Poetic Star Award 2019, the Rabindranath Tagore Award 2020 and the Gujarat Sahitya Academy Award 2020.

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