We pass a yellow bus for a planet school. The school is a creek but we do not have sea in this around. We have no sea but a fetid lake where our village empties our dirty goods.
Beyond the lake is an island where we burn our plastic garbage . Our village burns it’s corpses there and on sunny days you will find their smoke rising to the clouds that look like cats on the prowl. There are rats scurrying in the garbage. The cats are always on their prowl.
We have no sea here but there may be an ocean beyond multi- coloured apartments where there were hills. The hills were all broken up into so many apartment holes. We have not seen the ocean here but we have seen scientists doing ocean research. There has got to be some ocean up there.
In our village we have catters and cookings. For everyone’s weddings and funerals. The catters have no cats to cater to nor are their cookings secret deals. They just cater to your wedding or funeral food needs. No cats are harmed in the process.
One thought green benches were for all time. Dark poet says they too have legs that will turn blue and thin and they too will sink in and in.
No problem because the beings that will sit on them are upper air. Beings will sink in and in till they are upper air .
The garden seat will see red flowers turn black at night but there will be new suns to turn them red .Upper air beings are so light and airy they can sit on them in large numbers all night.
All night when red flowers are black
And they of an upper air sit on them,
Green bench legs turn blue and thin
As they keep sinking in and in.
The man with a skullcap and his wife
The woman who made nostril noises
The poet who wrote his parchi prose-
They all keep sinking in and in.
All night reds and greens will be black.
Green bench legs will be blue and thin
Sinking in and in , till all are upper air
And red flowers gray and thin.
Forum is a nobody’s discussion joint. It is a glitzy shopping mall that walks on curious gawkers. A third of the city crowd seems to be there as you can see from the cars in its underground womb.
We go to eat stuff from a capital joint. Not curious gawkers, we return with oily belches.
In the evening we walk through streets not full of sawdust but the fallen scraps of conversation from houses. Their words resonate through a dark silence that has descended upon the houses .
A dark silence is before men return from their walks. The men sit on stone slabs in the square and sip tea . When it is dark they will return to pick up threads from the earlier quarrels with the neighbours.
P.S. (24/11/2015) Looking back I have not noticed sawdust yet but I have just heard rice husk is no more. Rice Husk is the name of the loyal house maid in our inlaws house. She is 90 years of age. My memory is of a woman sweeping the house corners in a body wrinkled like a jackfruit.
You see the train fires our thoughts. We find a train’s white metallic sky up there, as though the train itself were the earth spinning like a top in cosmic space. The train’s hoot pierces our awareness.
We then come down from the upper berth to mundane matters of trivial concern- thoughts which are not train thoughts but home kitchen and patio thoughts waiting for inquisitive neighbors to talk ,so that we could pick large comic holes.
In the train, between our finiteness and sky, there is another white sky, train sky under which several celestial thoughts take place in our upturned sleeping faces. It is as though the metal sky does not exist and we are faced with the Big sky itself.
Words are things, just like the translucent sky which, my grandmother says, is, in fact, a thing. The flowers in my courtyard are the blue sky with new insect-stars appearing in the twilight .These are just like words, thingy and palpable .
When they freeze under the leaves they become icicles and when they verily thaw, they tingle your skin and feel on your tongue like December snow.
Poetry- words are splinters of a broken sky. The long arms of the morning sun spread warm words as though the evening to come promises pure happiness .The ugly caterpillar eats beauty-holes in our garden leaves which are poetry- words scrawled in thick sticky leaves and then they become fatter on the flanks with floral designs. The stinking caterpillar then disappears beyond the fence leaving behind incandescent thingy poetry- words.
Together we need a respite from our howling. In the inner depths of the train’s night, inside full with feeling ,I stir along with the train and thought. She the train better stop thinking violent, not puffing like her coal-eater ancestor .
The mind walks slowly like the blue bird that went up and down on the telephone wire. Train-fans stir cold wind and winter air shaking shadows of recently fed men bringing out guttural sounds from sleep’s depths. Dreams spoil their fun through monster bridges and dark tunnels in the mountain’s wombs.
Train writes her history on two parallel lines in the black parchment all the while erasing it. I collect its exquisite shadows in the night’s silence.
They have gone away vacating this space .Here, on this dusty ground, there is a vacant space where there was a vaulting dome. Here elephants cried in streaming tears, shuffling and stamping chained feet. Now I see a one-legged crow sitting, quietly, on the cable that bridges the vast silences ,the only link between then and now, between man and humankind.
We had gone into the deep forest looking for a blue kurunji flower that bloomed once in twelve years. There was no blue kurunji flower in sight .An ebony-backed tribal laughed and denied there was any such thing. We do not believe him in wildest dreams .The old forest guard recalled the last time he had seen the tree in bloom. We shall wait for the next season .
Twelve years shall pass in no time .There will be some magnificent pageants in this space of time . And we will barter innocence for beauty.