Sunday, May 6, 2007

My 45th encounter with the peacock

The peacock saw me
Your face is wet
Your eyes are moist
My people call it mourning, I said

Oh, let's take a cold shower and then let's have a beer

What happened?
I don't know
How come no reports on the TV
She was no high and mighty person
With fans and charlatans who posed as disciples

Wish she was the queen of the ants
Mindful of manners
Silent, never troubling
Even though she was a teeny-weeny creature
In the jungle

Are we discussing me here? asked the peacock with a pout

Why don't you write something in one of the languages you claim to know?
Saying what? I asked
A monodrama will do
Like the one you've written
(Your only claim to fame I'm told)
About a multitude of things
Incantations and speeches and all

I try

Her as an old spinster sitting inside a fridge
Talking to fern leaves till they wither and shrivell

The sky leaking
Dry bones bursting
She wanders the dusty streets
Knocking on doors
Begging for her odour to be erased


How do you know all this, I asked the peacock
Sir, he replied
You have talked and walked in your sleep
For seven nights in a row

I was consuming my anti-biotics
At dawn
Still despairing, asked the peacock
Yes, said I
No man-made drug for that?
Not yet, I smiled

It was a weak smile
If I was a Dutch painting, I would have smiled better

Did she outlive her purpose
No, said I
I think she tried to resist the winds

Sounds like my gum tree
You remember how she shone in the darkness
The cause of her death, never disclosed
The optimist in the graveyard said it was asthma

Plus the discomfort
At having to extend her stay on this planet

What will you do now, asked the peacock
Mourn some more, said I
The peacock rolled his eyes
Clockwise, squeezed eyes thrice, and then counter clockwise
The human kind discovers all kinds of banalities
To pass the time

It's an elegy for departure
The epilogue of a lifetime
A finale to a besieged soul
An inscription that befits Acropolis or Knososs
A prayer from an atheist
For god knows what and why

Go sleep, said he
Can't said I
Why asked he
She will come and knock on my eyelids

1 comment:

lakshmi said...

This is a hidden side of you Ramu...yes i did appreciate the poem!