A WRONG TIME FOR GLEANING

 

(FOR A K RAMANUJAN)

It's the Tamil month of Aadi

a time for sowing, rooting, planting

a time when the raingods shower their grace

in abundance, and a time

when the river Ponni is in spate,

enfolding everybody within her Aadi perukku.

Aadi is here,

a regenerative time when the good earth

receives the roots

swells up the shoots

a time when green limbs tremble

with pearls of water

for it's a time for breeding, for growing

a time for living.

How could you strike such a discordant note

and so abruptly?

Were you claimed by Murugan

your six-headed god about whom

you sang in three languages

with the fertile glide of your tongue?

Did your Murugan

reap you up as a rich harvest

at a wrong time,

when it's a time for growing,

not gleaning.

From Unquiet Waters

copyright Lakshmi Kannan

(India)

 

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