Samhainn

Samhainn - a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year, traditionally marked by fire-light in the dark. 

If there is a darker place,

we might forget about death, and sit by the verandah
oiling the hair of our children before harvest
it is the season of fruits & I watch the skyline
muzzle with specks of fire-light

before the last brightest sunbeam reflects into our
eyes, we prepare to look it in the eye to bid
our warm farewells. The sun illuminates barbed
wires & birds sitting on electric poles

& the softened cervixes of our terrace overlook the
railway station. I always mention how I
have loved watching long-distance trains,
& you have been quiet but attentive. Maybe

it is because we all have a condition of homesickness
for a place we don’t recognize. Our myths say
the dark is a good place to start the search for
ourselves. My grandfather believed in lighting

lamps that glittered over the surface of the balcony.
I invoke light in an inverted inheritance. I, too,
have passed graveyards in the dark, thinking
about the ones we lost. The solace in dark is

we temporarily forget about death.

 

Volume 12.1 - June 2019

Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a recipient of The Charles Wallace Fellowship at the University of Stirling (2019). A GREAT scholarship awardee, she has earned her second postgraduate degree in literature from England. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal, and reader for Palette Poetry and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She is the author of Land: Body / Ocean: Muscle (forthcoming with dancing girl press).