POEMS FROM INDIA

Ahimsa

The
equivocating

autumnal
sky

of
grey and white cloud

and
intermittent

mild
sunshine

through
pointillist

drops
of rain

Attends
the sibyl

who,
mountain-like,

creates

her
own inner weather

Which
now is bathed

in a
radiance of pink

like
the Himalayan balsam

in
the Valley of Flowers.

Through
tresses silken

as
the weeping breeze

the
sibyl speaks:

“They
say that we

would
be lucky to see

nine
hundred and thirty

full
moons in a lifetime;

“Yet
is this all in vain

if
ye shed one drop

of
an animal’s blood

wantonly
and cruelly

for
all is of one Blood

and
all pain is one Pain,

ye
of the briefest spring!”

Beneath
a sky grown ashen

the
message glows

pearly
clear:

yet,
few men

(and
women too, it would seem)

choose
to hear.

~ Vasumathi Krishnasami, Bangalore. 

White
Bird Flying

Beaded
lines

of
scarlet, gold and green

artificial,
brightly seductive,

shimmer
static in the lallation

of a
lambent wave,

unlike
tongues of fire.

So
many, at dusk

so
many since the dawn

of
all of us,

cradled
in a bed of flowers,

clay
within the clay—

So
many float

upon the quiet dark waters:

flames
that set forth to meet—

in that
loosener of knots

and
thief of scarves,

a
casual wind–

the
kiss of death.

So
many lives

brief
as the blink

of a
tropical twilight,

not
knowing quite

what
purpose

we
might have served–

save
that something magical

has
been glimpsed for a moment:

A white
bird flying

against
a shroud

of
deep, dark blue-grey

stormcloud

~ Vasumathi Krishnasami

 

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