The rain speaks a million tongues…

Another book is born…Gratitude to Prof.Veerankutty for allowing me to translate some of his wonderful poems.

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http://www.deshabhimani.com/special/news-23-09-2018/752842

 

The Smell and Other Poems: Prof Veeran Kutty ( Translation from Malayalam)

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1. Fear

I am afraid of those

Who have woken from their sleep-

Might grab hold of a weapon

In the next second.

You can trust those

Who are asleep.

They will catch hold

Of a weapon

Only in their dreams.

The dead, of course,

Are the very best!

Because

They can no longer

Kill anyone.

*

2. Smell

The day my nose was clogged

I wandered everywhere:

In the sick ward,

Which did not smell of diseases

In the city,

Which did not smell of rot.

In the streets,

Which did not smell of gun powder.

In the crematorium,

Which did not smell of dead bodies.

As I sat reflecting

On the advantages

Of not having my nose function,

My lady friend stopped by,

And handed me a flower.

*

3.  Fly Away

You seem like a bird

Caught unawares

Inside this home!

Are you feeling helpless ?

Flutter your wings!

Make the air trapped inside

The room dance a bit,

And then fly away.

*

4. About the Thread

We speak tonnes about the needle,

Intentionally forgetful of the thread!

Even after the needle passes on

Leaving behind bleeding wounds.

Even when we know the thread stays on,

Holding it all together.

*

5. Shiver

The bow shivers,

After sending the arrow forth!

Perhaps it got  the news

Of the task

The arrow accomplished.

*

6. Embroidery

This beautiful embroidery

Of the bouquet

Holds within

All the pain

Endured by the thread

While crawling through the needle.

*

7. Witness

God!

You really mistrust me,

Don’t you?

Of course that is why

You send along

This shadow

To accompany me.

*

8. Remnant

The page dealt with compassion.

By the light of the page, charmed

By the brightness of the words,

The insect must have meditated.

The next person shall discover

The remnant of an insect

From a closed book.

He shall continue reading-

Charmed

By the light of the page,

By the brightness of the words.

*

9. Solution

Pointing at the bay,

As the parents argued:

‘Sea!’

‘River!’

‘Sea!’

‘River!’

The little child looked

Alternately at both of them

Giggling,

‘Water!’

How easily she mediated a compromise

In that war.

*

10. The Wait

Hey Time, thou great forest!

How many more leaves to drop

From my tree?

Knowing it not,

My mind shivers

In apprehension.

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner and Other Poems( Prof Veeran Kutty, Poetry Translations from Malayalam)

1. Flame of the Forest

That lone tree-

In the midst of the green valley!

Perhaps it bloomed suddenly,

Recollecting

A childhood memory:

Of being terrified at the sight of fire!

2. Word

I do not remember the day

I was born.

But the day I died

Was not like that.

It was the day

When I could not keep

The word

I had given you.

3. Haiku

Did love rain within?

Look at the sky above you

Resplendent rainbow!

4. Dinner

Apology!

I made an error

In the invitation I sent

Requesting you to come home.

Happened in my haste-

I have no home.

5. Freedom

Why bewail the withering

And falling of a leaf?

Betwixt the seperation and drop

It lives the life of a bird

For a moment

At least.

**

 

Touching Iron

“Raise your words, not your voice.

It is the rain that grows flowers,

Not thunder.” ( Rumi)

1.

Touching the hot

Iron

With fingers:

Some of us learn  about life

Like that-

Burn by burn,

Blister by blister,

One tear at a time

Falling silently.

Others touch  their fingers,

To cool waters

Tip by tip,

Love and friendship,

Trickling down smoothly.

But when water turns ice

Over the years,

It will burn too

When touched.

Skinning your fingers,

Right off.

Those who trained with fire,

Adapts faster in that game then,

And heal faster.

2.

White stood for simplicity

The nuns had preferred white.

Black, for austerity

Sacrifice had worn a black flag.

Green was for normalcy

And blue for the poets;

But red, it enflamed minds

With lust, life and  hope.

That was  probably aeons before.

Now,

The palette has

A golden yellow

Of a sun dimming slowly-

Austere, simple, normal, poetic

Red buried deep within,

Shimmering in the ebbing tides

Useful on occasions;

Especially,

When one has to smile

Or take a bow

Before interested eyes.

***

 

 

Ente Kavita / My Poetry : Vijaya Lakshmy (Translation)

To my readers who have given life to me, who have kept me alive- with a look, a word, a reading, an  acknowledgement, during my poetic journey.

As I present this compilation of my poems before you, I would like to reveal to you, only you, what poetry means to me.

All the Purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha) are poetry to me. Life and dreams are poetry. Poetry is my friend and my love.

Following the Dharma of the Living, I entered into Grihastashram too. To make a living, I worked for a monthly pay.I have failed in Dharma, in my duties;  I have been vulnerable to all human failings. Poetry was  my refuge during all these travails. The outer aspects unravelled slowly, from all experiences. Like a faded flower, that still leaves behind a perfume, the poetry of those experiences remain.

In a very ordinary life, my days are my footsteps. In a desolate garden, in a secluded corner, like a spider weaves its web with fragile, delicate threads, enthused by an instinct- I have merely woven together the sky, water, wind and the sunlight that I have seen;  creating this work- albeit with limited word power.Perhaps a few dew drops must have shone bright , caught in these web threads.  A mid night star must have occasionally checked its reflection in the mirror of that dew drop.The rare sun ray that crept in, must have dazzled the web with a magical rain bow at times. Enough. That is good enough for me.

From dust emergeth, to dust returneth…In this unending flow, unable to distinguish either the speed or strength of an ineffable Creation, almost falling into the deep void, one moment! This life is but that moment- uncoveted by me. And poetry, like a life-breath, has given this momentary existence a radiance. Poetry and you, my readers- my exclusive fortune.

With gratitude,

Respectfully,

Vijaya Lakshmy.

(In the preface to her award winning poetry collection (1980-2010)….my most favourite vernacular poet writes thus)