Endless Tragedy, Poetry by Madathil Rajendran Nair

Genre:  Life

Endless Tragedy
by Madathil Rajendran Nair

There was a grand-father tamarind tree
In front of my ancestral home
Pointing a bare finger into the sky

In the grey of monsoon drizzle
Early in the morning
A brooding crow which had a hole in one of its wings
Used to perch on it

That was my pre-teen childhood
When I had two aunts
With two cows – one white and the other grey
Whose calves were my constant companions
As I wandered in surrounding woods
Watching birds laboring at their nests

We had kerosene lamps then
Under which I used to mug up lessons
When I looked askance at the sky
The orange Arcturus
Winked at me from Bootes
Leaves giggled in the wind

My dad took his pompous strolls
In the sprawling courtyard
Watching if I misbehaved
As mom garnished
Chutney for breakfast
Spreading dosas on the pan

Those were beautiful days
Which I took for granted
Would ever remain
Unchanged through to endless time

But, alas, as time sped
As I witnessed my body change
Through teenage to adulthood
Each of the things I loved
Vanished one after another

Mom and dad were washed away
In the tides of time
So were the aunts
Someone axed the tamarind tree
The crow made homeless perished
The cows and calves too disappeared
Into the hungry bowels of abattoirs

The house was sold
New ones displaced the woods
As I fled to distant lands
A wandering nestless bird
Ever on restless wings

Aging all the time
Into an insipid mass
Of failing musculature
Through pain and fatigue
Into the grey and wrinkles
Of a geriatric mess

When the wick of knowing fades
In slumber’s chamber every night
The mess does wonder
What is it that has remained
Unchanged watching the river of time
Displace the known with unknown things
Wash a body into bones and skin

Yet, the mess languishes in mess
Never ever able to accept
That it really is the witness
The changeless awareness
That remains ever untouched
Lo, my tragedy is thus abetted

 

    * * * * *

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This entry was posted in 2016 poetry, Life, new poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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