Proverbs for Doing Battle - The Consonants
 by Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Priya Sarukkai Chabria is a poet, writer and translator. Recipient of the Indian Government’s Senior Fellowship to Outstanding Artists in Literature she edits Poetry at Sangam. Her five books include poetry, novels and non-fiction. Her work is translated into French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian and Tamil and is published in international anthologies, journals and websites. Forthcoming are translations of Tamil mystic Aandaal’s songs. 
"I'd recently read Arvind Krishna Mehrotra's stunning translations The Absent Traveller : Prakrit Love Poetry from the Gathasptasati of Satavahana Hala. Arvind's translations of these compressed poems give us their erotic thrust encoded in dhvani/ overflow of resonance in language sleek but not terse, while retaining their simple forms. I just had to write contemporary gathas that were, I hoped, allusive and  leave it to the reader to fill in the rest." More here
In & Out *
Poems after the Prakrit
He comes to comfort me
he says , arms open.
He comes
violating me. He rapes
my sorrow too.
Insects swarm to the lamp
to mate, then die.
But before they die
their sting !
I think of the vast
betrayals we live under .
Why does this small one
hurt so much ?
For him I turned barbaric :
Stopped wearing earrings , necklaces
innerwear . Wild he’d fling
pillows off the bed , fling away my shame .

Now I’m clothed in shame , bejeweled.
A gentlewoman again !
Dear God the way he would make love :
Like a phantom all over me , like a demon
leaving me weeping with bliss.
Dear God the way he left me :
Like a phantom, like a demon
restless and cursing.
I ask myself again: Why did he toy with me?
I open my small drawer of whys:
Why was I born? Why
is dark matter present ?Why does the universe exist?
I drop him into the drawer, shut it tight.
• Some of these poems were first published in Not Springtime Yet, HarperCollins (India) Publishers, 2009

Vowels
I
Blood will have blood. Better do it
than wish it done; better late than never.
Circumstances alter causes.
Delays are dangerous: Destroy
the lion when he’s but a whelp.

II
Finding’s keeping.
Give a dog a bad name and hang him.
Heads I win, tails you lose.
Justice pleaseth few
in their own homes.

III
Know thyself.
Lookers-on see most of the game.
No time like the present.

IV
Promises are like pie-crusts, made to be broken.
(Quickly come, quickly go.)
Remove an old tree, and it will wither to death.
Revenge is sweet.
Stolen fruit is the sweetest.
Straws show which way the wind blows.

V
The nearer the bone,
the sweeter the meat.
Venture a small fish to catch a great one.
What’s yours is mine,
and what’s mine is my own.

VI
no proverbs found under the consonant X. I suggest:
battle x. you
are x.
no one’s x.
nothing is x.
pray for x

VII
You never know what you can do till you try.
Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.