Ayyappa Paniker

(12 September 1930 - 23 August 2006 / Kavalam, Kerala, India)

Gallnut - Poem by Ayyappa Paniker

Bite me not and beat me not, 0 hurt me not so hard,
I'll gulp this gallnut of yours, 0 mummy,
I'll gulp this gallnut of yours.

I won't say it's bitter, I won't say it's sour,
I'll gulp this gallnut, dear mummy,
I'll hold this lit~~ phial for you.

When the kitchen is silent, and the bedroom quiet,
Then, you hag, your gallnut brew
Becomes a stain on my tongue,
A mole on my nose
A curse in my mouth.

My hands have grown long, my feet are swollen
My ears shrivelled, my eyes dimmed, my cheeks blown.

Beat me not and hit me not, 0 kick me not in the crotch.
I'll gulp this gall nut, and when all the other ones -
The green gall nut,

The white gall nut,
The red gall nut
Form a brew that goes down my throat, 0 mummy,
Bite me not and beat me not, 0 hurt me not so hard,
I'll gulp this gallnut of yours.

But when at last I'm filled with this gall,
I'll put a little noose around your neck, 0 mummy dear,
And when you are floored, piggy you, and look
this way and that,
Don't you ever come outdoors at all, -
Or then I'll snatch away your rings and your bells.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 7, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, September 7, 2012

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