Forgive me if I haven’t been able to pass
beyond my grave – I really can’t help it, see:
Beneath the anciently spreading mango,
its fingers of shade flecked
with wavy tangy aromas, I lie,
wordless, among mutinous weeds and
butterflies rosy with summer. Here, when
high summer winds whip their florid mane,
days turn morose, evenings don frosted grey.
In the highest branches of the mango, lives a koel.
A musical prodigy of delicate temper,
she likes to rehearse through the day,
invisible in her leafy enclave.
Then as the sun drives its cone of light into the river, she
mints a sufi melody that breaks the dusk into fickle
bands of light, waterfall song crashing
happily through my unkempt bed,
shining muddied eyes.
And oh, I must tell you about the fat fragrant mangoes
that the hot wind ripens, that the overheated noon
bakes, and that returning school children
scramble for, shouting, calling, begging, and fretting,
“one mango on that branch there,
that great golden orb right behind there…”
It’s an enchanted riot. It only pauses for the monsoon
that comes in July from the River Gomti…
Now I know, you will tell me
winter is when I should get away. I know!
But no! When winter moves in with silent
misty days, short lived, a pink rose blooms
right where my heart once beat . Her warm roots
breathe my rusted veins and nestle against my
lopsided beat at the flushed perimeter of life.
Still I lie. I lie still.
I watch her blush, and my soul falters, in joy,
a little in love.
I think I will stay here awhile.
Among the rebellious weeds – a riot of life