Selected Poems by Priyanka Sacheti

Jul 31, 2023
Tree Mother


A prickly platinum river 

cracks the bruised sky in 


A tree mother dressed in bridal finery,

arms laden with moon flowers,

stands quietly, drenched in star rain.

By dawn, the ground beneath her feet

will be a city of broken dove wings.

The day the ground turns red, 

the tree knows it is going to die:

one limb giving way after another 

until all that will remain are 

a handful of seeds

nesting inside married roots. 

Every day, 

knowing its abbreviated life 

draws closer to its end,

the tree consoles itself with this:

If I could not walk in my lifetime,

I will bear children who will fly.






After William McGregor Paxton’s Tea Leaves


I wonder if they read their fortunes 

too, afterward.

For, in the wake of 

sleepless nights and sepulchral mornings,

the child who refuses to stop crying,

the husband who has forgotten how to talk,

the misbehaving cutlery and glass,

when the fingers are exhausted from

embroidering alternative universes,

when they can arrange flowers no more,

it is in the dregs of tea

they ask what it is

that they are living for 

and if at all 

it is worth it.






An Ode to the Bougainvillea Tree


Of all the times 

I walked past you,

you never once 

told me you were 

a church in disguise,

an invertebrate diary,

a letter written in lemon juice.

Perhaps, you did tell someone once,

the sour masquerade of it all

but they would not listen.

Now you have green teeth 

but plucked out your tongue 

long ago.

When there is no one to hear your words,

the tongue dies of loneliness.






A Tree Walk in Bangalore on a Sunday in February


Spring hibernates

inside wintering branches:

a green crescent of a seed pod

tells that unfurling story.


A crow builds its nest

inside a labyrinth:

a little knot of

tangled chaos.


The sun-fed trumpets are

singing to the world,

advertising next month’s 

grand concert.


And pink-soft peepal leaves 

peep out from skeletal fists:

a constellation which shines

only during the day.






Priyanka Sacheti

Priyanka Sacheti

Priyanka Sacheti is a writer and poet based in Bangalore, India. She grew up in the Sultanate of Oman and was educated in the United Kingdom. She’s published widely about gender, art, culture, and the environment for various Indian and international publications. Her literary work has appeared in many literary journals such as Barren, Dust Mag Poetry, Common, Popshot, Lunchticket, and Jaggery Lit as well as various anthologies. She’s currently working on a poetry and short story collection.

IG @anatlasofallthatisee, Twitter @priyankasacheti

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