Poems ⓒ Sobhana Jaya-Madhavan

The beautiful drone photo by unknown, is courtesy of Photo Minimalist



1. elegance

the grass moves

the wind blows

the sun sets

the heart beats

the water flows

the fire glows

with elegance


2. calling

i heard you calling my name

(knowing you never will)

it warmed my heart

i closed my eyes

you carried me towards the mistletoe

it was nice…

3. theory

there’s no theory

to explain why love

gets weary

how we give everything up to get close

only to run away

from the other and ourselves

there’s no theory

to explain why love

never gets weary

how we give everything up to get close

and stay together

in harmony with the other and ourselves

4. heartbeat

he walked up to me

and hugged me

standing tall

letting me hear his heartbeat

the way I let him hear mine

as a newborn

 5. miraculous

her fair unblemished skin

turned black and blue

her bones broke

just one or two

she saw the world with one eye

just once in a while…

now she stands tall

telling her miraculous survival story to all

wrapped in a black and blue sari

with gold zari

her blemished skin is radiant

my friend you are beautiful…you are valiant

~ dedicated to my friend, survivor and author of black and blue sari, Kamal Dhillon ~

6. Torn

was told i had lost

felt like a winner

was told i was a saint

felt like a sinner

when asked to stay 

chose to leave

when asked to celebrate

started to grieve

for all those moments

a smile was worn

when my heart 

was torn

7. Mild 

mild winter for some

severe for the other

mild betrayal for one

devasting for another

who are we to decide

what’s mild, medium or high

all things in life

is relative to the i

8. Thunder Lily

i went to say good-bye

one last time

he served me tea

and played a favorite song of mine

we talked about the weather

and politics of the day

when i looked into his eyes

he simply looked away

after a lifetime he said

we are just friends…don’t be silly

he took me to his garden

to show me a thunder lily

a beautiful ball of fire

rising from the earth

for a moment

i forgot the hurt


9. Almost over

when i am seventy seven

i want to ride a train

cross rivers

watch the falling rain

take a walk

on the streets of Vancouver

listen to Bocelli

when the Christmas night is almost over

when i am seventy seven

i want to wake up in the morning

sip a hot cup of tea

and watch the lazy day dawning

i want to welcome the solitary nights

sleep like a child

dream of tealights

and baby elephants in the wild


10. Cherish

this moment

is the best time for atonement

this day

is the best day to laugh, love and play

while pondering on all our misses

let’s not forget to celebrate Christmas

 11. Cozy

jane addams and progressivism or

siddhārtha gautama and buddhism

when i cozy up tonight

what should i read?

maybe when we were very young and all about winnie-the-pooh

good medicine for the blues

12. Geneva

a newborn baby named geneva

safe in the arms of a loved one

crying, smiling and wondering

when she can start to run

to chase dreams

see places

be brave

welcome warm embraces

stand up for those

left behind

make a difference

by daring to be kind


a special little dame


more than a beautiful name

~ dedicated to my little new friend GENEVA – welcome to the world! ~

13. Finally

at fifty, what have I learned?

don’t complicate life, keep it simple

don’t forget to forgive and move on

When in doubt, be kind

find or create work you love doing

be prepared to learn from everyone, especially children

important words – thank you, love you, please, sorry, awesome

don’t miss any opportunity to travel and have new experiences

talk to strangers, they could be friends after the first hello

dare to love deeply and unconditionally 

Live in the moment and always, choose to be happy

at fifty, I am


14.  Conversation

my favourite kind of conversation is one 

where two are silent and connected

not the kind where two are together

unhappy and disconnected

my favourite kind of conversation is one 

where we can stretch our legs across a comfy chair

listen to bocelli reading poetry

then share

what’s on our mind

with no fear of judgement, no strife

just a meaningful conversation

about life

15. Reservation

why do some live with reservation

others with none

why do some live for the future

others just for moments under the sun

each one to their own

based on choices

why have reservations

about listening to diverse voices

each person

has a story to tell

listen with curiosity

why quell

16. Today was treat



was a treat

meaningful conversations

with little reservations

trying to understand

different perspectives

about life and humankind

deepening the resolve to be kind

appreciating life

and connections

looking at the water

not letting the glass matter

17. Love life

apple pie with whipped cream

chill yellow jell-o

i confess i love life and

hot chocolate with marshmallow


18. Just a Human


if i were a liquid

i would shy away from a funnel

or for that matter

any tunnel

if i were a chant

i’d like to be the te deum

have depth and beauty

embody freedom

neither a liquid

nor a chant

just a human

who appreciates maitreyi and kant


19. Forlorn

to be

or not to be forlorn

has been the question 

all along

when things go wrong

life stands still

one can always

bring out the strong will

to make the choice

not to be forlorn

to celebrate life

bravely move on

replace fear with love

be willing to unlearn

have a purposeful journey

like the Arctic tern


20. Thanking a python

the chickens were missing

they could not be found

we wondered whether

they were eaten by a hound

my daddy asked me not to worry

my mummy asked me to go to sleep

in the morning

i was like little bo-peep

into the dark shed

i decided to go

in the corner

i saw two beads glow

i ran to tell my tale

wanting the brilliant beads i had seen

my mummy turned pale

knowing what could have been

into a big sack

went the green and black python

tired and slow

after the chicken eating marathon

oh my gosh

it could have been little me

i am alive

fifty summers old and free


note: when i was four my chickens got eaten by a python in malaysia…i went looking for them and saw two shining beads in my backyard shed…soon the phython was captured and taken away…46 years later, i can remember that morning vividly…


21. Loner’s eyes

when life is static

i tend to cast blame

on all but me

to ignore the pain

one must undergo

to transform

to rise from the ashes

cease to be forlorn

hit rock bottom

see oneself in the mirror

be free of

self-inflicted terror

walk alone

see through the blindfold

be compassionate

amidst the heartless fold

keep reaching out

when no one tries

look beyond

the distance in the loner’s eyes


22.  Candid

papa said speak up

mama said stand tall

growing up i realized

candid is not for all

when someone asks how are you

they often expect i am fine

i may be fine or miserable

but nevermind

connected to technology

tracking likes and stories of notoriety

who has the time

to heal our lonely society

to turn and say hello

to the one standing right beside us

to figure out how crpto

can buy happiness

i tell my children look them in the eye

speak up and stand tall

growing up hope they realize

candid is not for all

23. Silhoutte

i turn my head

a little to the side

the flash goes on

i don’t hide

i like my silhoutte

lines and dark ink

i search for colours

in the black ink

for life

is more than black and white

the debate goes on

if plato got chora right

for now

lines and dark ink


that make us think

ask questions

about humanity

go beyond tolerance

can you see the beauty in diversity?