Monday, 21 July 2008

Barsana* by Ashok Niyogi

in the anemia of broken roads
the parrot call
is still as sweet as the red insides
of guavas in the afternoon
when she surely sleeps
beggars on steps that tumble
upon steps are not aggressive
and ripened corn through the view-finder
is parochial
so many widows whose begging
is like selling sex
so many hunch-backed cows
so much bramble
that black camels eat

her doors are beaten silver
and she is small
with big black eyes
that she will not blink
at this wind-swept light
merciless on the cornices
the monkeys travel long distances

to his conjecture
where beggars more aggressive
and therefore get
food and money
excess flowers
and even monkeys know
it is forbidden to climb
on cell phone towers

to your house or fort
or castle where you played
exuberant pre-menstrual games
to your wind-swept heights
I give you your small black idol
I give you
your incredible eyes

• Barsana is a village about a hundred kilometers south east of Delhi where Sri Radha (Lord Krishna’s consort and prime devotee) is said to have been born and spent her childhood.

Ashok Niyogi, California, USA

1 comment:

Crafty Green Poet said...

Ashok Niyogi is an Economics graduate from Presidency
College, Calcutta, India. He made a career as an
International Trader and has lived and worked in the
Soviet Union, Europe and South East Asia in the ‘80s
and ‘90s. At 52, he has been retired for some years
and has been cashew farming, writing and traveling. He
divides time between California, where his daughters
live, Delhi, Goa on the Arabian sea, and the Indian
Himalayas. He has published a book of poems,
TENTATIVELY, [ISBN : 0-595-33935-2] and has been
extensively published in print and on-line magazines
and in Chapbook form in the USA, UK, Australia, New
Zealand, India, Turkey, Canada and Hong Kong.