umashankar manthravadi

Rookie (23/07/1945 / kakinada, India)

King Of The Grove - Poem by umashankar manthravadi

the time now unfolding, she thinks, she says
will be a good time
but the lord of endings says, my time now
would he be the man
who sweeps the stairs, stonefaced, poles the dead?

if this is fire, it has not been a dream
but a truth too tall
to be parceled out in small fictions
this is your share
I will allow the unfolding, for now

but you will defend
me against others, other defenders
I am the harvest
she says, I rise from the furrow, golden
and cold as you are you must not fight

it looks good dead, but will not keep
and you have made this flower, will see it
whole and multidimensional and naked
nestled in your palm.
only kind of sight

the time now unfolding does not permit
much craft. not craft but
a bewilderment.

the stonefaced man who poles who for a brief
while was not dead, sees, says, she too
had fought
with anger and bitterness and with craft

and she will be your image. image of
your exile. in exile
she will rear your children, their song will be
of you in exile.

you will craft with all you had set aside
my golden image

without me in your memory, she says
you cannot dream. yes
she says smiling. golden furrow

-April 17,1991


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 21, 2006



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