Cheryl Antao-Xavier

Cheryl Antao-Xavier has over 25 years experience in writing poetry, articles, copywriting, editing, and proofreading. She is a publisher and her company In Our Words ( particularly focuses on ethnic and aboriginal writers and artists and hopes to help them incorporate their work into mainstream literature.


Gold bangles softly clinked
As she kneaded flour for chappatis.
Tinkled like wind chimes
As she scrubbed our clothes,
And spun her sewing wheel,
Moving those ever busy hands.
They jingled a warning,
When she wagged a reproving finger
To check our wayward ways.

The years of our youth
Were filled with the music of clinking bangles,
Blending with our maturing sense of love,
Of home, and of motherhood.

And the music of bangles
lives within me.

I pray it never stills,
For I love the sound of tinkling bangles.

Dawn on the Himalayas

A tentacle of light
Steals shyly through the clouds,
Piercing downy softness
And delving through the sensuous depths
Of awakening darkness;
To touch,
Ever so softly,
The virgin snow of haughty peaks;
And then,
In mounting ecstasy,
Soars in a burst of light,
Bathing our world
In pure exhilaration.

ĎKiraní is the Urdu word for Ďray of lightí.

Like Sherazade

Sheherezade, the legendary storyteller, was compelled to tell stories non-stop in order
to stay alive.

As Sheherezade spun ceaselessly
Her never-ending tale
To stay alive.
So is a poet impelled
To pen his rushing thoughts
Pour his heart into verse.
Lifeblood on parchment.

He sees, he feels, he invokes
A vision in words
A notion, a prayer
Spun into lyrical form
He is more than a dreamer
He is a slave to poesy.
Much like Sheherezade
Compelled to write
To stay alive.

Devi comes home

Devi, after a night
Of splendour,
Comes to his home
To find her prison.
Thus begins a new phase
In both their lives,
His life with her
And her duty to him.

Devi, after a childhood
So free,
Comes into maturity
To lose her identity.
She must die in spirit
To begin a new life,
As someone's wife,
And someone's mother.

Devi, after a thousand
Comes into this world
To find the same destiny.

Dance of the Peacock

When all the world seems dark and grey
And the shroud of clouds looms lower
When his tiny heart quakes with fear
And his doubts are the fiercest foe.
Thatís when the peacockís fan unfolds
In a blaze of flamboyant colour
Thatís when he flaunts his unique trait
In the legendary peacock dance.

Dance! Peacock. Dance!
Do what you do best
Strut your stuff to all the world
And dance your peacock dance!

Should all the world mock him
And see nought but his ugly feet
Should barbs pierce a fragile shield
And deflate his self-esteem
Thatís when his breast swells with pride
And he assumes a noble trance
Thatís when he comes into his own
To dance his victorious dance.

Dance! Peacock. Dance!
Do what you do best
Put your heart and soul to it
And dance! Peacock. Dance!
If I be with birds of dissimilar feather
Who stare at my difference
If I should wish to be like them
And feel shame in being myself
Thatís when Iíll think of the peacock
With his brightly coloured hues
Thatís when Iíll see the beauty in me
And Iíll dance my peacock dance.

Dance! Peacock. Dance!
Do what you do best
Hold your pride up to the skies
And dance the Peacock Dance!

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