February 21, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION



Archna Sahni




Losing Poems



I lose poems every day.

They fall out from me like

an incomplete exhalation.

I can recall their faint beginnings –

rumblings of music

from the seed of mind

that spill into choked

throats, bees caught in flowers,

and the soundless climb

of snails up a papaya tree.

Lost poems: aspiring dwarfs

that never make it to the stage,

the children hoped-for

that rest in the warmth

of the womb only for a day,

before being summoned

to a heaven, where the souls

of childless women wait

to sing to them lullabies.





Third Eye



Deeper than

the opening of the third eye

is to see

your heart’s desire



I did not don

ochre (was born a Hindu)

or white

robes (thought of becoming a Christian nun)

when it happened to me –

but finally fell in love

with the grime and gold

of the world.


Matter jumped

at me

like spirit’s twin.


The petals

of the sahasrara[1]

faded away

like the memory

of a Valentine gone wrong.


It’s the real rose

not given to me

that I cannot forget.




[1] The thousand-petalled crown chakra (energy center) according to the philosophy of yoga, considered to be the most subtle of the chakras in the system of sevenfold chakras.






Archna Sahni

Archna Sahni is a poet and educator who was born in India and educated in Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Toronto. She made Toronto her home in 1992. Archna’s debut poetry collection First Fire (Calicut: Yeti, 2005) was critically acclaimed, and her second book of poems Another Nirvana is forthcoming by Mawenzi (Toronto) in May 2018. She is the recipient of Agha Shahid Ali Prize for Poetry and received Honourable Mention for E.J. Pratt Medal and Poetry Prize. She has a PhD in English literature from Panjab University and an MEd in Adult Education from OISE, University of Toronto, and has taught both in India and Canada.

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