River steps

River steps are wet with village women’s baths.
A golden sunlight floods their mornings in boats
Leaving early for mountains on wrinkled rivers.
Giant banyans greet them from the other bank
Spreading their shadows of hair on the blue sky.

Mornings are for sun, palms cupped with water
Looking the sun in the eye, lips softly trembling
With prayers, as white wet clothes cling to body.

On the river bed, the buffaloes bath in shallows,
Unperturbed by the sun flashing in vacant eyes,
Like little rocks in the bed laid smooth and bare
By a dried up river, after last year’s flash floods.

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Rain

Rain in the afternoon makes less noise
On a napping mind, more on a dulled skin
The way it tickles it by the wind from trees
And comes in instalments like crow-caws
And rice poundings in neighbour houses.

Half -awake eyes are shut in old thoughts
As certain rain of day and sun on the side,
Rain and sun married like dogs and foxes.
It is at leaf-ends that rain-magic happens.
The sun trains a flashing mirror into room
Way past gaps in curtains, on to the wall.

Who started the wind?

In the river, you look up from the waters,
And see the wind walking down calmly
From the hills that have holes at the top.

On your feet, if joined in a lotus posture
At the river’s bottom, the wind will push
Through currents smelling of the far hills.
Your face can smell the wind in the river
Where it touches your cheeks, in caress.

Surely the trees have not started the wind.
The trees just shake as though they did it.
It is not even a sea of giant rolling waves.
Those just pretend they brought it about.

It seems the wind comes from upstream
Riding down to the sea on the river’s back.
The sea hosts the wind from all the hills.
Who originated the wind is now answered
Finally and without equivocation, after all.

Larvae

From trees, on a gentle wind from the hills
A new light shall fall on the fluff of marigold
Its petals scattered for bees to tempt smells
On antenna of viscous honey, pollen of love.

The larvae are growing as luminescent dust
In beams of light that travel down from the roof
In chinks of old tiles, awaiting their change
After the moss turns on them black in sun
When new tiles will replace them, by workers
Sitting on the roof as if they are sky-birds.

The larvae are growing in white water- clouds
Hoarding river and sea for tomorrow’s festival
When they will be beating tin-roofs like drums
Pushing dried flowers down their corrugations
And send down snakes of water to our ground.

Of light dust and snowflakes the larvae will grow
Till evening when they will vanish in our pages.