T Wignesan


Who Would Milk The Tigress... - Poem by T Wignesan



Who would milk the Tigress

wears no armour gasmask
pail within squat thighs
nor bloodless forefinger and thumb

Cows wear forlorn looks
distressed mien
trailing tarred roadmap streaks
dry udder tears
for lost stripes
after mynas taken to the hills
forever abandon torrid flatlands
to the reverberating mockery of magpies

splintered limbs
split podiyal torn fiber ribs
jut through mortar-upturned tarmac
signposts to a lost bickering Peninsula and island children
Adam's Bridge of Hanuman hordes
loping to reclaim Sita
ghost-towns where once-fenced-in
palmleaf thatched huts in mud-caked villages husbanded grain
the unswaying palmyra droops with juice heavy nongku

the tiger cub teen thrust up
in sepoy bayonet salutes
thrusts her unsung virtue down
blind plunge in backgarden well

a warrior race of she-cats buried deep behind kitchen smoke

Those who came to milk the cow and drink peace
eat with hands besplurged with menstrual-blood

Where has the milkmaid gone
her pail half filled with her brother's blood

The wombs of Purananuru mothers long dry
bleed
for their sons
untethered tigers longgone from lairs
their stripes for flags

Is there a Mughal in Delhi
fears a Sivaji in Jaffna
or the ageing monarch in Colombo
his Nizam-ul-mulk in Trincomalee
who would have gladly traded his throne
to an armourless English captain
armed to The Buddha's Tooth
Would a Muhammad Shah prepare
for the coming of a Nadir Shah
from the far fastnesses of The Middle Kingdom

Whose no-man's-land
would skirt the Tiger-lined jungle trails
see stripes wavering at the cluck of each rubber fruit

Who would then growl to remind us
of thunder
of righteous anger
of wayward peoples
trekking for elbow space
under the hardy palmyra
with only the nongku to slake
sterile trampled soil
miles and miles of heaving padi-fields
wreathed in fatigues
the lone lithe tigress
licking her paw sweet

Resources

The historical references hark back to the events preceding the gradual rise under Jehangir's reign and final collapse of the great Mughal Empire: 1739-54 to 1858 in the Indo-Lanka context. Other references draw on the Sanskrit epic: Ramayana in the Indo-Lanka context.

-From the privately pub. coll. (re-worked: 2016) : longhand notes (a binding of poems) ,1999,115p.
© T. Wignesan - Paris, 2016

Topic(s) of this poem: revolution

Form: Elegy


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Poem Edited: Tuesday, January 26, 2016


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