Sentinel Poetry (Online)
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POETRY & GRAPHICS...since 2002
Some years ago a procession
of men calling themselves
the sky-clad came
to this district to build
a hospital for birds that had been
damaged by the rains.
The landholders here
My grandfather among them
decided against it Ė
it not being our way
to intervene with monsoons
which is why to this day
the birds grow
so damaged & wise,
or so our tutor said gravely
before stepping out into the sun-
washed coriander patch to watch
droplets work down
stems one by one, small
storms suspended, while over
the rooftiles came
breakers of mist making
our whole house to him
drift back like the high prow
of viceroyís steamship
he watched sail off with his youth.
Inside I still could not find
the main verb the chariot
wheel performed. I thought
it was silver. It bore
the king with 100 heads
across a battlefield red
with his wounded
up to the end of the
then blue-skinned Rama bent his bow then his
raiderís arrow met
the axle & then
I could not stop laughing
as through the doorway my mother scolded
the aphasic houseboy
who peed into our
(black putti, untouchable)
arcing the thin golden
stream & singing
ooo-ee-ooo-ee at our ruin.
Then the pulse.
Then a pause.
Then twilight in a box.
Then the same war by a different name.
Wine splashing in a bucket.
The erection, the era.
Then exit Reason.
Then sadness without reason.
Then the removal of the ceiling by hand.
Then pages & pages of numbers.
Then the page with the faint green stain.
Then the page on which Prince Theodore, gravely wounded,
is thrown onto a wagon
Then the page on which Masha weds somebody else.
Then the page that turns to the story of somebody else.
Then the page scribbled in dactyls.
Then the page which begins Exit Angels.
Then the page wrapped around a dead fish.
Then the page where the serfs reach the ocean.
Then a nap.
Then a peg.
Then the page with the curious helmet.
Then the page on which millet is ground.
Then the death of Ursula.
Then the stone page they raised over her head.
Then the page made of grass which goes on.
Then the page someone folded to mark her place.
Then the page on which nothing happens.
The page after this page.
Then the transcript.
Interpretation, then harvest.
Then a love story.
Then a trip to the ruins.
Then & only then the violet agenda.
Then hope without reasons.
Then the construction of an underground passage between us.
She was watching the solar eclipse
through a piece of broken bottle
when he left home.
He found a blue kite in the forest
on the day she lay down
with a sailor. When his name changed,
she stitched a cloud to a quilt
made of rags. They did not meet,
so they never be parted.
So she finished her prayer,
& folded his map of the sea.
*Poems excerpted from Facts from Visitors by Authorís permission.