Poetry / February 2011 (Issue 13)

Ode to Poetry

by Divya Rajan

"...men and women came and took my simple materials, breeze, wind, radiance, clay, wood, and with such ordinary things constructed walls, floors, and dreams." -Pablo Neruda
And then, the cervix sighed
a couple more poems basked
verses entrenched, reappearing
as eruptions on the cornucopeia of pathos,
words rendered secondary
depth of silence trickling into
the comparative placidity,
the warp and weft of a word, permitting
it to reign, then.
Each of them had moldable fingernails
and bawled with energies of rivers, mountains.
Some soothed themselves, others continued
till exhaustion dripped like fiery loops
from sun's forehead that noontime.
I served them as knick-knacks,
even staple sometimes
on marmalade plates from a thrift store
and guests devoured
them, some tenderly
taking time off
to digest
and some gorged
till their eyeballs
literally sucked in juices
from the serving bowls.
I hung them up to dry, their humid
sweat still clumpy
after a tornado and rain combined
had cooked them the night before.
They were starched stiff and ironed,
folded and laid into raspberry closets.
In the morning, I dressed them in pink and blue,
drove them to school, where
syllables'd be flattened further and
drawls perfected as sequins on a kurti.
Of course, I'd rush in with the pencil case
abandoned on a lazy nightstand.
And then, the conundrum
that existed before everything else evolved
will continue to be conspiringly taut and inconspicuous
at the same time, at odd times, even creatures of awe,
with antennae resembling aliens that, we
ingratiatingly claim to understand, especially when
emotions run amok and
rants refuse to soak in brain nectar.
If ever you stripped off the cover
of a Mayan codice, that's what you might find
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.