“Civil twilight” By Terri Witek

… the limit at which … illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished.
—U.S. Naval Observatory

At 6° under speak only with kindness.
At 12° trust buoys to gather the port.
At 18° swing doubt through its usual cold orbit.
Let a scratch in a song be love’s cough in the dark.
Who arched the bridge to this island of flare-ups?
Which is the key to the hotel of dismay?
Nests blunt the junctions between river and ocean.
I suppose we have done with our mutual heat.
As horizons melt into more vivid disclaimers
or choose from a shoreline’s stubbed-out streets,
let go the gold ways you thought nothing then nothing.
Think nothing forever when you get to my name
.
________________________________________

“who arched the bridge to this island of flare-ups”- opens up myriad possibilities as all words do. Words are born and ripen only to fall .Their music rings like smoke rings ,each of the rings on top of the lower rings .”On this island of flare-ups “ ,the body is consciousness ,flaring up intermittently .The flare-ups do not matter to the sea of consciousness which laps on its shores but there is a bridge which arches over the vastness of the silence. The hotel of dismay is where I would like to stay but where is the key , marooned as I am in this island .From here my eyes stretch to the distant horizon and nests blunt the junctions at the estuary where the twilight wipes out the distinctions between the sea and the river .As we have done with our mutual heat .Horizons are stubbed out streets as they melt into more vivid disclaimers, saying they do not belong to the island and they do not own responsibility for the little island of consciousness. In the end let go the gold ways you thought nothing and think nothing for ever as you enter the night.

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Moving sleep

I have just come across a fascinating photo collection by G.M.B.Akash , of beautiful pictures, dealing with life in Bangladesh.In particular I have liked the train pictures .All of them are about people who travel on the train’s roof and on every conceivable space on the train including the precarious chain links between the coaches. Apart from the human interest of the picture below, what fascinates me is the counterpoising of inertness of sleep with the blurry speed of the train ,achieving a kind of death-like effect , the inevitability of the dark tunnel as though it was an intended return to the womb. The man is disintegrating in the vast space-time continuum and the walls of his consciousness have broken apart as he gets sucked into the vastness of empty space.
man-sleeping-on-the-trains-roof.jpg

“Love” – a poem by Hrishikesan B

Love

My mother never told me
Love is a bottle of mango pickles
She used to put in my cotton bag
Every time I leave my home town

One day
Her season of mangoes ended
And never returned”

A simple poem on a very simple theme ,very effectively used image .Those of us who know what mother’s mango pickles signify for a son who is studying in a different city will understand this.
Heart-rending is the “season of mangoes never returning” .

A Malayalam poem in English ! That is what he says in the other poem
Thinking somewhere …

The bus conductor
Pushed me out
As I was leaning on a foot board
For support
In an open public bus
Going somewhere
In Mumbai city
In the early
Twenty first century
Thinking about
A Malayalam poem
In English.

Indeed ! Here is my poem on the subject of a mother . A Telugu poem in English ?

My mother’s brocades

My mother’s moth-balled
Brocades , a whole lot of them,
Are lying systematically stacked up
In her ancient wooden cupboard
They smell of her ,the smell
That belonged to a slice of her life.

This yellow one which she wore
Just once in her life had wrapped
A coy twenty-year-old bride
Tentatively setting her dainty foot
Into the hesitant bridal home .

Somewhere in the backwoods
Several industrious silkworms
Had spun miles of salivary yarn
In the foliage of the mulberry tree
To make this gorgeous five-yard saree .

The rustle of the silk drowned
The wails of the boiling cocoons
These worms died that beauty would live
In their plaintive cries lay new bridal hopes .

My mother, the coy bride of yesteryears,
Is now as non-existent as the worms
That had ceased to exist spinning
The smooth silk for her bridal finery .

Her bridal fragrance lives on among
The delicate folds of these gossamer silks
That the worms had died weaving
Death is so fragrant and so memorable.

 

“Ode to Autumn” by John Keats

Ode To Autumn
Poem lyrics of Ode To Autumn by John Keats.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

The poem “Ode to Autumn” is one of the more popular poems of Keats and is known for its undercurrents of death and dying being signified by autumn and mellow fruitfulness.The poem lacks the complexity of thought and classical allusions of the other poems of the poet but is full of exquisite sensory imagery ,more particularly visual imagery. The entire season has been described with “visual-dynamic” images suggesting growth ,decay and death .The images thus refer to the process rather than static objects thereby reinforcing the seasons being born,slowly growing and then maturing and ripening. Just look at the “growing” images-“load and bless”,”vines that round the thatch run”,”swell the gourd”,”budding”,”more and still more”,”over-brimmed”,”seen thee”,”sitting careless”,”soft-lifted”,”winnowing wind”,”twined flowers”,”last oozings”.

Now let us look at the “dying” images -“soft-dying day”,”touch the stubble fields -a tactile-visual image of harvested fields,”small gnats mourn”(death image),”light wind lives or dies”( a dying image),”full-grown lambs loud bleat”(auditory-dynamic image suggestive of the imminent slaughter of the sheep)”gathering swallows “(readying for migration)