Pastel and colored pencil on paper (12 x 18)
By Rohini James
Copyright April 2015
All Rights Reserved

My Shadow Aspires to Your Silhouette

You kept my hands gentle to one day love a man.
You disciplined them with dish grease, books, and bleach
Because docile, pretty, unskilled hands attract the wrong man.
More so, you taught my hands to build solace,
And lectures came with the consistency of stiff honey
Until my words and spirit were as sweet;
Until its resilience and longevity were parts of me.
Mommy has daughters that make daddy swell with pride.
I will be broken in your likeness to resemble your vision,
To be modeled against your form, only if life is kind.

By Rohini James
Copyright February 2015
All Rights Reserved

Willing Prey

How does your soul, so full and abundant,
Not spill and flood the world?
It begs your touch as a primed canvas
Starved of the zeal of a generous brush,
Whose strokes deplete all uncertainty.
Galaxies collapse and are born behind
Your idealist, kaleidoscope eyes
And daring to stand in the path of your rare overflow, I
Do, time and time again, die;
In the turbulence of your mind,
In the wrath of your autonomy.
I wear a jaw, gaping in awe
That aches from asking so many questions,
Hanging slack to consume all of your hesitant answers.
Brimming spirit of noise and color is alive in the dull and sparse.
That minimalist smile does not compromise your exuberance,
The fullness of your thunderous laugh.
I am broken, holding your gate ajar;
One eye going blind in the fray.
I look into the sun in the cage of your chest,
And its shrapnel brilliance nearly strips me away.
I haven’t the brawn to keep it open
But I am emaciated enough to slip through and be trapped.
I see now what you meant about catching lovers
As I am greeted with the bones crowding the chasms of your heart.

By Rohini D. James
Copyright January 2015
All Rights Reserved.


I apologize for almost perfecting that thought
And for thinking it had to be perfect.
I nearly gathered the impetus to rise up, to write it down.
I regret the moments I spent uninspired
And I would pay ransom for the bathroom ideas
I let melt into the drain and fade into six a.m. steam.

I should have stirred my tea with the pencils you wrote with.
They always seemed to get things masterfully done.
I would have been obese on your sense of purpose
Instead of being afflicted by Alzheimer’s of everything worth saying.

In my negligence I squandered beautiful words behind my teeth
For I thought they would be ill-received.
I could have slathered your memory in silken lyrics
But I choked, seized in fear that was maliciously conceived
And toxic, because you died in my idleness.

I almost salvaged the whites of your eyes at sunrise.
I still mourn the dimming of days spent curved into the arc of your torso.
Now the sensation of your palms, like attentive hands turning the leaves of a novel,
Is a fallacy of my perception that haunts me in your image
And refuses to lay at peace in the pages of my soul.

You were almost immortal.
I almost wrote that soliloquy.
It would have preserved the inkling of light
From the consumption of three a.m. blackness.
I am beginning to realize how sad a word ‘almost’ is
Because you almost loved me and I owe it to my sloth
And reclusion that you never really did.

Rohini Dasi James
Copyright October 2014
All Rights Reserved

Just Like You

You are to me an everlasting dawn
Drenched in nature’s most vibrant watercolor
As if all of creation were grey against your hues.
Nothing more lovely is outside of your estate
Nor can it live without thy breath drawing nearer and warmer still.

Endow me residence within thy boundaries
Where I, upon the shoulders of thine perfection, will rest
For as long as you will have me
To love thee beyond youth, beyond beauty
And far beyond the arms of the most steadfast wealth.

In the peaceful and the tumultuous
Thy presence is significant and enveloping.
And like thunder encroaching on a flamingo skyline,
Or a receding ocean about to be thrashed
Against the jagged face of a pastoral cliff side
Your loveliness is volatile and adeptly transformative.
This evening the light died in a slow, poetic yielding
Of vibrance to smooth blackness that swallowed the world.
And just like you nothing was ever so tenderly luminous, or potentially violent.
You were always a sunset on the verge of thunderous cataclysm.

By Rohini James
Copyright July 2014
All Rights Reserved

photo credit:

Lest She Was Hollow

She forgave with her hands so her heart would remember
And those dancing fingers dispel all shame,
But within she knows how slow to trust her ghost heart is.
One day to revel, the next it runs, callous, cold, bereft.
She loves like an artists paints; all at once
And with everything, withholding no explosive desire.
She always touched more than skin
Having detailed the kisses that interspersed her loyalty with intricate care.
She held on lustfully and let go with grace.
All for her lovers like portraits, seasoned with
Her very essence, so much so that you could tell
Who had her heart just by a glance across the room.
And her heart was a home that framed each flame
To be kissed when their canvas dried. All die with time.
For a little while
She’d be satisfied before,on impulse,
She would layer her craft further;
Love of the luxurious kind, outpours that made her wretch ’till she was empty
And she was unhappy lest she was hollow.

By Rohini James
Copyright June 2014
All Rights Reserved

Soul Eater


Many have mastered the guise of a good woman. Their lies are laid thick like the scarlet on their lips. Good men have been lost in the snares of kisses and tender hips. Evil most alluring must be evil most fearsome.

Watercolor, pen, whiteout, colored pencil.

By Rohini James
Copyright May 2014
All Rights Reserved