The Jackfruit Boulevard - Poem by Seema joglekar
A childhood lesson travelled in time; a jaunt in Western Ghats’s wood,
There chancing on a macadam, flanked with jackfruits, a jackfruit boulevard.
Jackfruits like knights, scarred armor, gnarled trunks, braving many battles,
Mosses & lianas smudged with smothering kisses, vines hung in harness,
Foliage fearlessly ran rowdy, a peer beyond looked pitch black mid-noon,
Jackfruits hung in hundreds on each tree, till they touched the ground,
Like protruding bellies, someone’s outrageous idea of fecundity.
So profuse that each fruit below gave a foothold, to climb, to ascend,
Till- in the branches with lion–tailed macaques, glances were exchanged,
Shoddy eaters scattering aromas of pillaged fruits, birds, in exotic plumes
On full-throated onslaught, made merry of the abundance,
There my breath hung as precariously, as me, in a trance.
Butterflies hung in felicitation, disgruntled bees broke the silence,
Dragonflies hung transfixed, with rainbow wings in noon sun,
Hornbill screamed ravage, woodpecker breaking his head on a bark
Kept watch, a bulbul hushed all with her soulful melody dark,
Dew hung from the lower branches, while rain God hung in a draft.
Then a fleeting glimpse of a peacock- like damsel in distress,
Floated- gathering her brocaded gown, in high pitched shrieks,
Awed gurgling stream gushed nearby, rounding pebbles rough,
Assured one was sure to meet God if one treaded long enough.
I know not how & why, we hit on an idea innocent,
To build a jackfruit road block, seemed apt at the moment,
Gathering my siblings, my instincts ordered me to pluck
Fruits closest to the ground, before trespassers ran amok.
Now when you hold me in your arms, makes that old feeling start,
To build a road block- - on the way to your heart.
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