Sunday, September 2, 2012

Two poems

These poems appeared - along with many other works of many many others- in The Brown Critque, May'12 issue.

Kalpattu - Stoneville

My forefathers’ home
Fine and Mild
On a winter morn
Grey-blue hint of chill
Wet earth and wood smoke
Tang of bullock dung
And they- up at crack of dawn
To toil for the broken tough.
Ignore their iron cladding
For the ducks are coming
A flock waddling,
Up our street, toward the pond
Feast your eyes on this lively sight
Before they vanish into the dust
Gone, and the day not done.


This morning red ants
Swarmed in my silver cup
Of rice flakes and jaggery.
My offerings to the Lord
Not eaten last night
Or put away in the fridge.
Three rusty mustard grains
Lightly touching
Balanced on six fine hairs
Intuited feelers
Moving in a Maglev train
Is one Red ant.
I want them off.
Disturbed they break ranks
Are everywhere
And more appear
A red angry seething
Or a panicked scrambling
Over my sacred fare.
Which I leave under the sun
For the distant fire to scare
And return to find them
Gone but still there
Behind sweet sweating rocks
Under shades of white lace
I tap the cup twice and the
Earthquake stirs them out
Scurrying over scalding silver
For the haven of dry hand
Clutching for clemency
In this roiling, boiling land
Hold cup aslant under tap
Tilt away from the flow
And they wash into the drain
Swimming their way
Into… oblivion.
I only wanted a cooling off.
What was I thinking?
Bhavani Krishnamurthy

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