Ganesh in Candlelight (closeup of a carved Nepali Sarangi) | photo by Taimur Khan

I rose and counted the carnations,
their numbers rising like their fragrance
to the lungs of wasps and drones

who know this sweetness –
the knowing feat which is
rewarded, and the favor

outlasts the end of season.
The hand I hold out is not
so helpful; although my eyes

brim with adoration, I pluck
a flower to foster some
sensibility, some other way.

The will is clumsy when it
bears fruit in my hands,
when I, for a brilliant moment,

want to make my views (not seeds)
prevail – views that are, inherently,
neither good nor bad, happy or sad.

It’s also true that insects
scent and seek flowers
not because they love them –

their lives depend on that…
Love, beyond the need of it –
to love and only that –

is not the sunbird’s thing,
that’s twittering even now
on my windowsill to mold

this April heat into
something else in me.
But that does not explain

the solicitude or rage
of elephants, or how,
when you hold a mirror

to them, they know it’s them!
How do they do that!
I spend so much time

as they make their way
to battlefields and temples.

3:41 pm Wednesday 14 April 2010


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