Test
Download document

MAHAPATRA, Jayanta


Ash

The substance that stirs in my palm

could well be a dead man; no need

to show surprise at the dizzy acts of wind.

My old father sitting uncertainly three feet away

is the slow cloud against the sky:

so my heart's beating makes of me a survivor

over here where the sun quietly sets.

The ways of freeing myself:

the glittering flowers, the immensity of rain for example,

which were limited to promises once

have had the lie to themselves. And the wind,

that had made simple revelation in the leaves,

plays upon the ascetic-faced vision of waters;

and without thinking

something makes me keep close to the walls

as though I was afraid of that justice in the shadows.

Now the world passes into my eye:

the birds flutter toward rest around the tree,

the clock jerks each memory towards

the present to become a past, floating away

like ash, over the bank.

My own stirrings like the wind's

keep hoping for the solace that would be me

in my father's eyes

to pour the good years back on my;

the dead man who licks my palms

is more likely to encourage my dark intolerance

rather than turn me

toward some strangely solemn charade:

the dumb order of the myth

lined up in the life-field,

the unconcerned wind perhaps truer than the rest,

rustling the empty, bodiless grains.