Jagannath rao Adukuri
This September - Poem by Jagannath rao Adukuri
This September I have turned yellow and seventy
The sky's translucence no longer mystifies
By holding out hazy undefined amber promises
This air is still crisp and there is promise of
Excitement on the leafy floor of the forest
As the mongoose scurries among the yellow leaves
Tens of thousands of zany butterflies of many hues
Have burst out of the bushes on the Tirumala hills
Striking the stunned panes of the passing cars.
At night I open the window with rusty hinges
To feel the September draught resurrecting
The archived sensations of my withered skin
These limbs feel cheated of pleasurable walks
On dirt tracks lined with fragrant ketaki bushes
There is now not even fear churning in the belly
The creaking bones, powdery and forgetful,
Cry out in sorrowful unison waiting for deliverance
My senile mind, at times agile, refuses to sleep
Unable to muffle the burst of the creative voice
My sonorous monologues have no listeners.
I sleep fitfully and dream of the beyond
Of what lay beyond the Sahyadri mountains
Of the gusts of howling wind passing through
The swaying red sandalwood trees on the other side
And of the myriad mountain streams pouring
In steady trickles into innumerable check-dams
I think of death, the beginning of the tunnel
Not knowing where and when I would emerge
I am at times afraid of the all-enveloping darkness
Darkness closing in slowly amid the staccato cries
Of noisy crickets from invisible crevices.
I turn to my left and go back to self-obliterating sleep
It is only when I lie supine that I get my nightmares.
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