Treasure Island

Raj Arumugam


A friend like Iago


There was a man
who kept his distance
but edged closer
to make use
of my hospitality.
There was a man
who kept everything
that was his
but took what
he could of mine.


There was a man
who kept his lips
sealed
and peeped long enough
into my open heart.
He peeped long enough
to make me
shut its doors to all.
It is not good
in the material cities -
in Roderigo's Venice
and today's Calcutta
all over time
all over the world -
to be honest and guileless;
learn to be double
and to keep tight
your lips and purses
or retire to a quiet deserted cave.



(from The Migrant - notes of a newcomer (February 1997- July 1998))

Submitted: Thursday, November 06, 2008
Edited: Thursday, January 15, 2009

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