Vermillion by Leela Soma

Leaves fall down, blown away in the autumnal blitz

gold strewn paths crunch and crackle underfoot.

A single vermillion leaf like a tear drop stands proud

defiant, blood red, life courses through its veins.

The widow looks askance; the blood red leaf sends a shiver

an awakening of the day as her sindoor on her forehead is wiped away.

The bindu, the dot, the point at which creation begins, negated forever

the jangle of broken glass as bangles are crushed, ornaments discarded

the white sari envelopes her shroud-like, a colourless palette.

A life of the walking dead bereft of feelings, love or emotion.

Vermillion turned to ash, grey, unassuming as the leaden skies.

The blood red leaf trodden under the walker’s brisk steps

a lifeless mess of veins traces its lineage etched on the path,

as it is submerged in the brown heap of dead leaves.



Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications, including the National newspaper The Scotsman, The Grind, New Voices and Gutter magazine. Her first poetry pamphlet was ‘From Madras to Milngavie.’ Some of her poems have been in Gutter magazine, New Voices, The Grind, and Visual Verse. Recently her poems have been published in the magazine Steel Bellow, Buffalo, NY in USA and a poem published in The Bangalore Literary Review, India. She is working on a poetry collection with a working title ‘Tartan and Turmeric.’

She has served on the committee for the Milngavie Books and Arts Festivals and on the Scottish Writer’s Centre Committee.

Visit her author page on Amazon for her books:


Twitter ID : glasgowlee


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