A Guided Heart Tour
by Shelly Narang
This morning it woke in the darkrooms
Between past and the waterway,
This morning it beats differently
shifts shape of its own accord
from bird to the budded branch.
It rolls over in the chest,
Like sounds of intense gurgles in hotel rooms,
a sagged old man groggy with winter,
And later skips like a child at the shops
Staring at those glowing sites of desire.
Sometimes stopping suddenly in the shade,
When things and people get inside too deep
Else an empty room where the ghosts
of the dead wait, tuning through moments.
Sometimes it gets bored too,
Sometimes elated too easily,
Delighting in the sight of cyan orchids,
From the room window
Or the smell of burned toast
It has a few terminals too,
They call them chambers,
Infinite hallways of longing
The arrivals and departures go on and on,
Inside the conveyer belt never halts
Sending out perpetual luggage,
Filled with dreams and a thousand lies.
Then someday when someone leaves
the heart closes its doors,
And locks all its gates too
becomes smoke, a wispy lie,
curls like a worm and forgets its life,
makes a few wrong turns.
Heart sits with its hands folded in its lap
For hours in gardens and streets
Witnessing blue parting in the silk of sky,
It does what it wants, takes what it needs,
Alive till the flights come and go
Shelly Narang is a citizen of Chandigarh, India. She is an academic and a poet. She attended Department of English and Cultural studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh for her Masters Program and finished it with top honours. Later she wrote her thesis on South Asian Women Writing for her Doctoral Degree. She was also shortlisted for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship at University of Texas, Austin, USA in 2008. She was the editor and contributing author of the bilingual poetry collection Resonating Strings (Authors press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in numerous international anthologies and journals, notably The Muse, Indian Literature and several others. She has been working as an Assistant Professor in Chandigarh for a decade and has taught courses like British Poetry, Applied Linguistics to postgraduate students.