Three poems


In the villages where there is no food for kids

In the villages where there is no food for kids
Flowers look dark,
In the villages where children starve
Trees become stones.

In the countries where there is no food for kids
Milk turns black,
In the countries where children starve
Bread becomes stone.

In the world where there is no food for kids
Songs sound dark,
In the world where children starve
Poems become stones.

(‘Pillalaku timdi leni graamaallo’, Punaryanam, 2004)

Ismail, the poet and the man

He is like an ancient Chinese scroll of bamboo painted
In deep green and lemon yellow.

The mango blossom strewn on
The earth trod by the horses of February.
A garland of cranes across the
Slanting twilight.
The sacred silence of a jar full of water.

The waves rise and fall incessantly.
He sits cool in his drawing room
Sipping his evening tea.

Against all the odds, summoning all our strength,
We raise our heads and look in that direction
He keeps staring at:

And what does one find there?
A sparrow, a flower, and a haiku.

(‘Ismail gaaru’, KokilaPracesimcheKalam, 2009)

When the fragrance wounded us forever

… we stole milk from the cosmos and survived

–Tomas Transtromer

Like a watermark left by a flood, the neem scent is

Still lingering in the street. It was in one such season
I held your hand for the first time. The memory seeped
Into our bones and the fragrance wounded us forever.

Now, one more season of spring is over. Meanwhile, I
Swam across every bend in your body. Having imbibed

What we could from each other we left the rest to
The swarming bees, the breeze and to the cherub.

And then when you pull me into the shade and
Give your breast to me in secret, I would bring forth
All my energies to my lips like the way the wheels
Of a plane hold onto the ground when landing.

 (‘Vepapula tipigali’, NitiramgulaChitram, 2014)


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