Treasure Island

T (no first name) Wignesan


Feet, feet that walked away with the toes


Heavy the hoods of the eyes
that laboured the scan of horizons
Heavy the course of the thoughts
that sat unstirred on the sill of the stare

Heavy this ancient bottomed nose
sitting in judgment over this meat
Endlessly shunting the frenzied workers
now sniff-drunk and steam-bellowed in the street

This the scull careered through rutted scars
the primeval hair bushed in pathways
Where long tribes with long lances
prod the undergrowth for signs of lost bones

These the ears that heard the wake of worlds
wandering in the ever irretraceable tread
Ears though that admit the silent secrets
ever still and hospitable to the panicky refrain

This the assembled machinery, forging fire
have dropped the tongs
Down the corridors of investigation
hurtling in darkening diseases

These the loins, companion of time
stalked through fire, filth, and foam
Baked in the hot ovens of empires
wearied some morning in blurry depredation

Wobble-eyed, knee-tied, dragged with pacing company
through yesterdays that are forever lost indemnity
Heavy the larvae lipped throb, kiss and consider
heavy the molten strata ooze, consider and kiss

These the organs that prodded nations
and shrivelled up to curse them all in pain
Pursed its potency, convulsed the course of the vein
this the dismembered member of the tribe

Heavy, alas, these feet that thump
jog and reel in the dancing rhythm of millenniums
Trod on the will-less face of faiths
twitched their toes and walked their way

(©: T. Wignesan,1957 (from the collection: Tracks of a Tramp. Kuala Lumpur-Singapore: 1961)

Submitted: Thursday, July 12, 2012
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