Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two wild buttercups growing out of my toe

The earth is burning
I smell it
Through one unclogged nostril
The other defunct for days

Yesterday at this time
The soil was moist
Tears from the sky
Or quite simply, our planet sweating

Seven children, unclothed
Sit on the ground
Around a fire of eucalyptus leaves
Their great grand mother
Chops timber into tiny pieces
Little alphabets
For them to take to school
Which may re-open today

My word, today is prevaricate
I put it in my shirt pocket
A noun, verb, adjective
Or something more
I give up
One more word that I discard
Crushed under my feet

A colourful centipede emerges from a crevice
In the grassland
She leads me
To a river
I gargle my mouth
The water tastes boiled
The centipede informs me
It is because this river sings
An inappropriate raga
Madhuvanti is not for the mornings

The sun rises
I know
There is a bit of sun on my elbow
With an expiry date
Preserve me, it says

I try
To return home
My feet are wedged between the bekaatas bamboo
Or is it a manvel bamboo
Hopelessly lost
Give me some indication, a sign
A flowering
One fruit
Don't block my path

I stand there
All alone
I become a gargoyle
Made of granite
Dull grey, all 150 feet of me
That's my story
The one they tell about me

Except on the days
There is a thunderstorm
Strong winds
Lightening strikes
Instead of caving in
I walk towards the long forgotten road

Behind me
Others march
Teaks, mangos, coconuts and orchids in military beat
Also adad, dudhkod, khakhro, timru, haldu, chopadi, bondaro, shimlo, and ambla
We chant decidious slogans
Left right
Left right
I'm all ready to have a fight

Morning, once again
The rain, it ceases
I look over my shoulder
443 uprooted trees
In a lush forest

I've my revenge
But I am not home, yet
Never shall be

My feet tingle
Cramps due to all the exercise
I look
I see
Two wild buttercups
Growing out of my toe

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