While we confront the red sandstone and colorful head-gears in snake coils we manage to hold still as if we are holding an oil lamp through a silky darkness of the desert .
The lamp sits before us with a warm bread that brightens up a dark inner palate and its yellow light colors the swirling dancer- A girl dancer swirls her marigold moment.
We hold still to avoid a camera shake with memory’s superimposition on girl. The drum beats its rhythm to catch the liquid girl to be like a lamp-lit pearl- drop under leaf . Night sheds ,in the winter of our time, a leaf slowly falling its bright yellow moment.
We hold still a shaking camera of night from a shaking body to catch a glimpse of the moment.
Like Frost ,I too am acquainted with the night on the sound- stopping, silence- raking watchman’s beat. I do not know why and I am not Frost but like Frost’s my watchman beats the sad road.
I have decided to fix this watchman in the Himalayas where stick beating watchmen descend from.The midnight road is hollow from below and side streets are dark and lonely and not deep.
The Himalayan watchmen are stick walkers of the night as old poets sit near machines of words.The old poets think watchmen are in their felt caps, sad in the inside roads of their lives.
(Inspired by the watchman in Robert Frost’s poem Acquainted with the night”)
Apart from lighting my bulb, electricity rules my adult mind as making my father weightless to sky.
When kids we had no electricity, just dimwit kerosene lamps hanging on the door frame.
When it rained there were halos of moths. The halos moved on the wall in shadows.
Then we had shadows gently touching wall lizards . Electricity finally came and removed
shadows except lizards.
The electric thoughts still play on my grownup head, especially the then grownup tongues clucking sadness at the child’s loss of father.
The Barua sea is my old sea by the stranger’s house where I had slept a night. It was a monotone that drowned my child’s fears.
The monotone kept coming through my adulthood and now that I am old I yearn for the monotone to drown my old fears.
At midnight my head hums with the old sea, it’s monotone coming on the tops of casuarina trees sweeping an old sky.
Whenever I have a head cold the old sea comes and drowns all my other sounds.
Now I have the wall flowers blooming in wall’s garden stretching to my roof that look like they have been smelling all my night in silence, emerging from stems of two – three leaves with twists like a fresh school girl would make in her Saturday drawing book for authenticity.
The air is not heavy with their fragrance but could have been into the late night when we had gone to sleep over them.Their fragrance spreads only after sleep and some time enters our sleep quietly as if they are blooming in late night’s garden.
They are wall flowers that can be smelt only in the higher reaches of the night.
The tree rises in a white sky of a memory, stripped of its leaves, through the kitchen’s vantage going back to several autumns of old memories, a point of view that looked an oncoming street.
The leaves lie in state in a mishmash of rain on the roof with many days of rain accumulated for the crows to explore and the sun to render a golden painting of a vanishing glory of rising.
We have to take the aid of poetry for memory with the leaves lost to the sky’s white wilderness. The trees make bland statements as if in dance. Meanings are merely extrapolated from memory.
Memories arise on words falling from trees. They fill our kitchens with nice vapors like rising suns sending down shafts of memory through the half-closed kitchen exhaust hole.
Back home , in the shepherds’ land where I and the crows were born I was a baby from a dark night howling inside overwhelming cloth walls.The crows were born in the tree under the influence of a hot coastal sun.
Later , grown up crows would snatch soap from the open well water bathroom. The well water bathroom had its walls directly to the sky. And when the wind touched our child bodies we felt it was very very cold.
I would cry ,when they swooped in their nefarious tooth and claw on our red lifebuoy soap leaving claw-marks. I was then a scared little child soul.
I am now a body old and bald by sea. Crows are now darker by their deeds emptying the turtles of contents in bodies washed ashore at night ,when trapped in fish men’s nets. Crows are now red in tooth and claw.
Remember they were the very crows who dropped pebbles in water pots for the pot’s water level to rise all the way to their beaks. (That was the time we heard the thirsty crow story in our alphabet school.)They were the very crows who sat on neighbour thatch roofs patiently waiting for the rain to stop before they could land on our roof thatch.