Daniel Trevelyn Joseph (21 December 1945 / Mumbai, India)
The rain-tree is of cassia family -
Like an elephant it stands on the road, clothed
With thick green foliage, dark against the sky
All along the Bandra-Kurla road in Mumbai.
You have to exert a little and see
Over the top to see the nazuna-type
Of pink flowers sitting above the foliage
In plentiful numbers, with up-thrust pink hairs.
Unlike the African tulip in front of ONGC
At Bandra Flyover visible from the distance,
Here the pink and green does not show off
As rain-tree flowers don’t advertise themselves.
Unlike copper-pod’s bright yellow flowers
The rain tree flowers don’t weave a carpet:
I’ve never seen the flowers on the ground below
Nor do they wither on the tree, how I wonder!
In monsoon rains, the leaves shine specially,
Transparent drops falling on walkers below,
Or with a thud on the racing car bonnets too,
Some choose to fall on road to rise a bit upwards.
I have not understood why it is called rain-tree:
Are they attracted, peacock-like, to the rain-clouds,
Or does the rain-bird which drinks water straight from heavens
Prefer this tree, and inspire Kalidasa to write Meghdoot?
Comments about this poem (Rain-tree by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph )
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