Jagannath rao Adukuri

This September

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.

Submitted: Thursday, November 27, 2008

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