Why not write poems when women turn sixty, like how we write them about small and big things ,the thread that passes binding us to infinity, little things that make their poetry and mine on the edges of a night.
Sixty is milestone in the vastness of infinity that stretches before us.
I do not know if the thing is phony ,glass-like, with the glistening dew-drops of a morning vision on windshield, pearl-glass that breaks in little coins on endless highways, on mild impact of metallic bodies with drunk men.
Some cars have steam on bonnets like bees, in spring, on the stone. Our vision is partly crowded, you see with birds hiding dust in the east that has turned orange at sunrise ,a phony vision, it is partly clouded.
On the highway there are no houses only string cots for our dream sleep on glasses of buttermilk, hot breads. We have whites on our mustaches of too much buttermilk in throats.
You focus vision wide enough to see buffaloes calmly chewing their cud in tin sheds that jump out of green fields their milk sloshing in their pink udders. Luckily their tail-flies and smells fly away into tree-tops, waking the morning birds, a phony vision indeed, if partly clouded.
The sunflower beds sprout dark kids that smile nicely of a little village alphabet, like flowers that turned deep inward when the sun went behind the hills.Their little bees have nowhere to go .Wait, let the sun come from the hills.
The village school is closed for today in honor of the guests on the string cot .The sunflowers will open with the wind and the shadows will creep up slowly behind the buffaloes, with eyes closed, their mandibles moving up and down.The vision is partly clouded, a phony vision caused by too much emotion in the eyes.
In the evening some identity questions popped up against the tinkle of a few china cups of rising tea steam and stainless steel spoons of sugar in place of cubes brought in by two white- dressed men from Kolkata. Themselves plagued by identity in their white dress, they would invert bed ,take out your air in the bed sheet.
Their fathers have unending tales to unwind, their wind fresh from marshes of Sunderbans where tiger tails deftly elude experienced hunters. Their uncles are government clerks in frayed red files ,their brother’s wives doting mothers of soft love with saree over heads, of wholly hidden identities.
There are others in the room that do not have faces -the ones that seem to speak out in clanking sounds from the corners, their spanners at work on the wall .They may be spiders who have just woven their web .They will climb the wall, their shadows on the roof over the electric fan coaxing it to whir in its shadow.
The taxi man to this place was a communist with some capitalist dreams .His son painted slogans and politicians that stared from stately billboards rising above electric wires. A communist has no identity apart from the state. The state just stares in empty space from its heights.
That time we saw river rising ,quickly, past sleeps and drowning all things including sleeping cots and we heard cries of people climbing to roofs for a bit of a sky.
Legend had it of the young old man ,squatting hunched up in the attic ,up above the swirling waters as if he was reading from history books
narrating river’s history down the ages. He was history mad, water averse. Actually he loved pillow too much being bald banker off the rockers.
We were not bald,a training banker ,but too young to be off the rockers but what lovely rain to drown under ,what a pale sky to be afraid about. The sky was father we feared most .He would spank ears with his rain to instill nature fear in bank minds.
Legend had it of mom now in a sky ,my river that rose in flowing dam to turn a legend as bodies flowed. The legend turned ashes in a river.
First poetry had entered a dog’s life chasing steel’s shadows and gray death .The elephants were hard to come out. They had their strong sylvan reasons.
Our timid tribal guide called out to Surya who had his elephant feet tied to the tree. There was black fear in his beady eyes. Earlier of the morning, beauty had beckoned. Death of dog was but a sweat drop.
There was fuzzy rain in a bamboo grove.Ponderous shadows cogitated on the lake.The sun shimmered on the solitude-beach. Poetry would return over the coconut tops. The quintessential shadows remained.
This morning we came upon how light wrote on itself in an old photograph. We called it the history of light.
My coming is Dad’s going from light,
As there was light only for one of us,
What happens to electrical engineers
With year old baby sharing brief light,
A light that is history of a day’s light,
Light writing on itself in photograph.
In a history of sound we heard a woman’s voice in the street. From her conversation a scrap came our way about a man who had sold charcoal iron worth Rs 12000 for a mere Rs 600. The woman raised her hands at the sky, her eyes in distress.
A watchman at the base of an apartment irons clothes to supplement his watchman’s salary. The coals are red and blazing, like the wife’s anger at a drunken watchman husband.
There is this morning you stay ahead of, for words to remain within your grasp.The winged chariot steals just behind you,in a moment’s program of words ,a quest for meaning , a context from the universal.And you do not have the years for words. He the reader of words has all the years.
In his mornings of darkness he shall read meaning in half told tales, impose contexts and craftily make beauty in their assembly.If he moves away from truth, let him do so because he is making his own beauty on the sly.