Poetry: "My Mother was an Environmentalist" & "Patterns of Our World" by Debasis Tripathy

My Mother was an Environmentalist

To chop a pumpkin for curry is customary but

to make chutney out of the peel is creative.

Ergo, my mother was a very creative person.

A restorer, she was also an environmentalist,

much before the title became trendy & cool.

She strived to reduce the usage, reuse Dalda

PET jars & tins of Amul for storing grains,

repair old worn, torn garments to breathe new

life into the once-living. She was also a recreator.

Compromise can lead to creativity. The imperative

inescapable incentive for her was to save, somehow;

she didn't have an option but was forced to save

the way creativity was forced upon her, the same

way she was forced to be a housewife, and compromise.

Patterns of our World

My wife lays kaleidoscopic flower petals on the floor—

squares & concentric-circles, predictable patterns

passed from the grandmothers to her mother to her;

a geometry of elements repeating across generations

with the regularity of repetition of our round world,

rotating, revolving in a prescribed path, repeating

forever. The patterns lead me to the mathematics

of symmetry, of waves & dunes, spots & stripes,

bubbles & foams, fractal structures of an ancient

temple in Hampi, the template of a petal resembling

flower, the parts simulating the whole, resonating

the parts. Words forming the language, mimicking

the pieces for generations who forge & form

the language that we speak & scribble & transpose.

In the center, she places an earthen lamp & lights

her face with abstract patterns of ripples in rapture.

Debasis Tripathy lives in Bangalore. His recent work features in Mad Swirl, Rogue Agent, Vayavya, Leon Lit, Mantle Poetry, Eunoia Review & elsewhere. Occasionally, he tweets at @d_basis