Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Green Poetry by Salil Chaturvedi


I take the cool water
out of the machine
and the cheese and the fruit
and the bread,
all these I take out of the machine
which has been keeping
them safe for me,
running quietly
on electricity that has
been entering my home
also quietly,
having been tapped from dams
that have large catchment areas
under which lie a cache of mud huts
dissolving quietly.

A River Until Smile

A river until smile
that’s dazzling until feather
flying crazy loops giddy
swimming deep being a bubble
hopping pretty flowers freaky
tickly raindrops on our traces
floating clouds until valley
tender sighs popping faces
twisty winds until giggly
dancing light liquid bodies
inside out until shiver

That Magnesium

That magnesium lies
at the very centre
where chloroplasts accumulate
and photosynthesis takes place
where poems are written
and symphonies composed
where people love and
murder each other
where dancers perform
and mothers bring up their children.

At the very centre
where the magnesium pulsates,
trees grow, birds fly,
tigers hunt, the moon shines and
deer come to take a drink.

That magnesium is what people mine
when they kiss,
and they kiss deeply
to get to the purest ore.

That magnesium is where the Dalai goes
when he closes his eyes,
where all questions bury themselves.
That magnesium blinds you,
because once you’ve seen it
you cannot see anything else.
That magnesium glows
at the very centre
of a story,
of a song,
of a life.

The Grave of Two Friends 

It’s an awfully
large tombstone
for a tree so small,
and the little bird’s call,
so big,
this mall.


I went into a forest,
in and in
and in
Where did
the soil end,
                             and the tree begin?
Where did
the tree end,
 and the bird begin?
                   Where did
the bird end,
and the sky begin?
I went into a forest,
I went in and in
and in.

Five Metallic Fingernails

Five metallic fingernails
A hollow palm full of mud
Shining steely ligaments
Caterpillar tracks skid and run
To bright yellow baby trucks
To open mouths, a meal of soil
Shining gold of setting sun
Ghetto kids cheer the toil
A mullah’s far away azaan
Wagtails on the sliced edge
A deep hole in the earth is pounded
Something’s lost when something’s founded.

These Trees

These trees,
these tall exclamation marks!
sprouting from the brown pages of the earth,
branching into lignin coated sentences.
Sometimes letting fall
commas of leaves,
em dashes of twigs,
full stops of berries,
and asterisks of flowers.
One of these days
I’ll ask the butterflies –
The close readers of this fine,
Oh-so-fine print.

Salil Chaturvedi is a wonderer and a wanderer. He blogs at saliloquy.


What do you think?