Two Poems

by Ankur Betageri (July 2020)
 

Still Life with Roses and Butchy, Max Beckmann, 1942
 
 
 
My Kitten’s Teeth Are Nothing Like the Pearl
(After Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130)
 
My kitten’s teeth are nothing like the pearl
Her lips pale before the red of rose;
If beauty intoxicates, she is a wine barrel
If facts are facts, she is all quantum flows.
Skies shimmering and green I have seen
But no such shimmer see I in her eye;
She’s soft and clean without needing to preen
There’s something singular about her milky sigh.
Like a firefly under a handkerchief caught
At the least instance, her soul glimmers and flies.
All mischief and comfort, she lazy sits
And licks her clenched paw as if she did it!
I am touched I am bitten I am bruised I am smitten
A kitten is a kitten is a kitten is a kitten.
 
 
 
Your Face Like an Illuminated Manuscript
 
Your face like an illuminated manuscript
mysteriously guides my quest.
The Holy Grail—could it be your mouth?
Could it breathe into me—a new life-current
a new purpose?
 
Your face like an illuminated manuscript
mysteriously guides my quest.
Commentaries on it
waylay my trail,
I must interpret the original
to enter the forest.
 
Your face like an illuminated manuscript
mysteriously guides my quest,
I read you slowly
and note down the scribal mistakes
I have had moments true, moments
false, in this mysterious quest
but your face like a luminous manuscript
continues to guide my quest.
 
 
 
 

__________________________________
Ankur Betageri is a poet, short fiction writer and visual artist based in New Delhi. He is the author of The Bliss and Madness of Being Human (poetry, 2013) and Bhog and Other Stories (short fiction, 2010). He teaches English at Bharati College, University of Delhi and is currently pursuing PhD in Philosophy from IIT, Delhi. His poetry has appeared in New English Review, Indian Literature, and London Review of Books. Email: [email protected]

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast