Woodsong

The blank page was a locked door

A poem opened before –

A silver beech it once soared

Where the river Glaisnock roars:

Forests in the wind singing,

Seek your grace, and refraining –

They tell you to be in them

Rather than write about them;

They ask whether it is good –

To bask in their joyful glades

Or turn them into deadwood,

Into splendid accolades

Printed in a book of poems.

©Krishnamurti Ganesh

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Returning

because i have been

everywhere,

i have now returned

to you, my walls-

let the waters

of the home-tap

wash the accumulated dirt,

and other homes’ grit-

you span

the void between;

i ebb and flow

till i am the ocean

that has enterprise

only at its fringes

and on its margins,

little waves of adventure;

home is the middle

ocean calm and level,

an idiot’s mind,

never improved upon.
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

Story-fires

We once had to cross

A rope bridge

Over a swollen river-

With dancing lanterns

In our hands,

We teetered some

Before we crossed

To the other side, a length

of ten hands distant;

Yakshas came over

And shortly, they built,

And danced round

And round, a story-fire-

Long as night

the stories were

And fed the fire well

As the winds

Roamed and sang

In those forested years,

And the lanterns

Composed cantos

Of light and shadow

As they too danced

In the dancers’ hands-

Long ago it was –

The stories’ve since died,

Dead those fires.
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

Moons and Seas

In the leaf-yellow darkness

Some days before the full Moon,

The big sea trilled with the light –

It leapt, and rose, and with its beaks

Knocked and cracked the sooty shell

Of the black Moon, splitting it,

Till fire burst and crackled

And moon-soot loosened and fell

In sable flakes and splinters

For two weeks on the breast of the ocean –

Like a bird with a lightning

Heart, the full Moon flew and settled

In the wide fields of the sea ;

Then, again, waves’ tar fingers

Blackened the face that shone

Like a tusk – till none could much

Tell the Moon from the dark ocean

But all heard its radiant song

From the thousand lips of the sea
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

From VT to Vikhroli

The old bogie rolled, leather straps swung limp;

Breadwinners, their eyes closed, rocked in their seats;

All thoughts dissolve in the one thought of reaching –

Eyes ate tabloids, rice of print, graphic fruits

With insane persistence, greed to know things

Before journey’s end, selves shut like pebbles;

Conversations loud posed like they propelled

The engine; opinions posed as the wheels –

Two beggars’ singing pierced the noise and

Made for speculation that went beyond

The song and the singers – I fantasized

The empathy that made me glow inside –

Yet I moved on, out of the yellow light –

A pair of rails stretched like human legs, and

The station’s name-board rose like a forehead –

From the door, I saw the train’s big hips sway –

She slowed and gently scooped the platform up

right-handed; again I had made my ground.
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

An Indian Autumn

All ankle and half-shin deep,

we wade in the copper leaves –

autumn – strewn coals and matches –

sparking underfoot-and-heel;

suns and moons, tides of two seas,

jellyfish, spiralling sand,

sweat’s lick, finding the lost keys;

white and yellow flowering weeds

steering our old shoes off course,

and a lake looking at us:

(this brief immaterial life

yet yields fat fruits of remorse-

so it’s better to be good);

roads ran away behind us;

sun revolved in wheels’ hubcaps

rising and setting; past woods,

past rocks, past faces that gusts

conjure upon rocks; like smoke

your hair streamed; past cream-and-rust

paddy-fields – with tied-up rice-stalks-

(fingers steepled)- and a bullock

dreaming at work, as it seemed,

who had endless eyes like noon;

past the seasons of the mind;

not the day’s last twilight nor

tomorrow’s breaking light’s here;

the brown leaves slide on the glass,

in the iris of your eye

commencing burials; corner

of your eye traps terns in flight,

as the seas lie collected

In the spoon of the shore;

the sky’s full of raised eyebrows-

the spread-out wings both of birds

that pass and the ones that stay-

of birds’ eyes, bright with purpose.
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

(for t2 & me for may 24th)

A Hug for Amma

Your touch banished all pain;

For safety, I trailed you-

‘Amma…’ went my refrain,

‘Amma… where are you?’

By your strife we all throve-

Ten lives besides your own;

Melding duties with love

Meant long work hours alone-

Your Faith gave resources-

To make your hours less hard;

Helped by divine forces,

You even found time for cards!

Jane Austen lent a hand-

Mills & Boon, Vivien Leigh

Olivia d’ Havilland –

Proffered felicity!

Once the most carefree lass-

The queen of Flower’s Road

In the glades of Madras-

Where you had your abode-

How your life filled with cares!

When days stretched serpentine-

One school shoe of a pair,

When you sought, mother mine,

Did you see the way out

Through the drudgery, or

Did courage flag with doubt?-

Did you see fruits before-

And an orchard, somehow?-

Did you ford the black sky

With “what should I do now?’,

Never once asking ‘why?’
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

Locked out!

When, from shopping and from gallivanting outdoors,

The hordes returned and stood at the shut teak-wood door,

They discovered they hadn’t the key – what a bore-

And only one man- and he was deaf- was indoors !

( There was no spare key left with the neighbouring pricks) –

If you can’t telephone or yell or throw a brick,

If door bells can’t do it and it’s no use your kicks,

If it’s too late to get locksmiths – you’re in a fix !

Let us move indoors with imagination’s keys –

The deaf man, before he slept, was in agonies –

All who could ever hear gone off in company

Without a door key! That’s when he began to see

If the door shook; his ears hit, (TV turned down),

By a thousand imagined doorbells, shouts and sounds,

Till they felt raw – time and again, he walked around –

Outside, leaned and looked down the staircase to the ground;

Then he walked back in; soon, he tired of that game –

On top of being deaf, he was becoming lame !

The brain was heated; and soon, when sleep overcame

Him, voices in his dream, by turns, jeered at his name –

If you must know, at once, if it all ended well –

(Waiting for a rhymed tale to end, for most, is hell) –

Those locked out, at last, got the number of his cell,

He felt its throb, saw its light – it all ended well !
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

April Sun

Milk in a silver trough is the road at 0615 hours

This April morning

And coming to a simmer, and in minutes boiling over

Into early Noon;

The long stem of the Sun, lengthens and is taller growing,

Its face of black fruit

Hangs between our eyes, and we hurry into our lair

Of conditioned air.
©Krishnamurti Ganesh

Dhairi

It happened, I sensed it in Dhairi, that morning-

There had been no precursor nor any inkling-

In the night previous, I recall- straight above my home,

The Moon had stood fragrant, much like a white blossom

Atop an unseen stalk of black sky; outer Space,

An arctic forest of homes and fireplaces;

Why did the colours run or stop being right-

Why coalesce into two colours- black and white-

What peculiar blindness was this?

Where did the huge mountains mislay their majesty

To be observed only as objects risen high?

So when did all those monsoon waterfalls pall,

Become merely waters that coursed downhill ?

Beauty had been disarranged-

It seemed that the heart had changed,

And could see the Earth once more,

And Nature, as seen before

The truth’s shadows, and lies

Caught them in their artifice-

Is this new – this word life brings,

Of the sameness of all things?

My sight is set on where, at the roots of the reeds,

The rain crawls with the feet of earnest centipedes-

The rain that grows in the soil, then climbs and falls,

Returned from the dark cloud chalice,

To the earth’s hills, plains and valleys.
©Krishnamurti Ganesh.