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Bharat Naik


Once more the rains

The soft mellow expanse
of the sky renders
the borderland of the dusty earth
aqueous, indiscrete
lightning flashes, once more
the rain-clouds rumble
once more swans and elephants on move
waters of springs, of falls,
of rivers, of oceans on move

Infantry parades
somewhere on borderland

At home, in the courtyard
not a single beetle-shoot
nor a squirrel in sight
Oh where are the frogs,
the peacocks, the chatakas?
Oh where is the bridal bed,
the castle, the manor-house?
True, this much is there:
a torso, like a potter's wheel
placed above is an urn
a river flows inside
nebulae swirl within

On the borderland warplanes hover

Moist eagles soar
Moist laden clouds heavy and dark
snow peaks effulgent
Deer leap in the greenwoods
A banana trunk snaps somewhere
jasmine and coral blossoms shower

Placid lakes once more pulsate
Subterranean lands ricochet
somewhere glow-worms gleam zigzag
intermittently glisten
A lion-roar rises from a cave
Foodgrains begotten once more
Burrows hollow somewhere,
refugee ants fall in a file

On the borderland
pitch black of the night resonant

In the middle of the sleep
sounds heard:
trumpet-blares conch-blows
A lighthouse wobbles
Sail-lanterns adrift,
Penetrate into arteries

In the womb a sky revealed
Pleiades, Orion, Sirius appear
Cosmos in slow gyration,
Spheroid space reverberates in whir

On the borderland
sounds of canons explode

Tear-filled eyes,
clouds plentitude glide within.
Mysterious lightning
whips intermittently.
Wings weak but beaks sinuous,
vultures swim in the air
One swoops below on pyrebed
ignites the pink toe
Breath whines at the palate,
gasping eyes watch:
the world quakes oceans sink
bubbles rock-high spew
Roof-beams cave in, columns crumble
tatters, peeling walls
and shubh-labh take wing
Homeward herds run amok
fields turn turtle
Rice-grains pop, stomachs sizzle
penises droop
Bellies bulge
carrying foetuses
blood throb infused
carrying a thousand spore-sun-virile
carrying on earth
carrying rupture
Rodents, roaches, worms
writhe within
Visceras entangled
Giant-wheels hurtled skyward
cradles crackle high above
screaming tots flung below
the rupture reveals an inside
An enormous desert deep below
Tanks, thorny bushes, gun barrels
Blood-wet uniforms
hung from bushes trickle
A rupture reveals a fissure
Arsenals explode from depths.
A roar.
Mortars bloom, fires speed up
a fierce roar:
children, females
and men masculine set ablaze
Towers, river banks
chimneys, roofs afire

Fire rains

Serpents and jackals
and parrots and forests roast
Fire below at roots
fire atop the grass
Veins of marine beasts ablaze

Lava rains

And trenches overflow with corpses
in black-yellow apparels
visages terrorised, arms broken
legs-contorted corpses
Corpses soak and melt
rot and break with a thud
Corpses hung down from treetops,
transmission lines and doors
angling they rock and stop.
Corpses, corpses
Helmets dangle, fingers dangle
locks of hair dangle
sway and fall one by one

Corpses erase the borderland

A rupture reveals a fissure inside
A fissure
instantly turns into a cleft
A cleft
instantly turns into a gorge
A gorge rips open swiftly
And a quake
The earth splits into hemispheres
tosses along
voluminous water dazzle
and the vegetation in slime
Fire flame of dust
caught in a whirlpool
tiers upon tiers of silence

O where is the bedroom?
O where is the bed?
And the borderlands?

Torrential showers of silence

What is it that still pants?
A breast or sky?
What is it that flutters inside?
An apple or a sun?
No. A bomb.
No. A bubble.
No. A sperm.
Yes. The sperm.

Translated by Karamshi Pir

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