My Two-Tide Hour

By Nirajana Chakraborty

I. The Art of Now

The giraffe in my neck cranes,
peering, pushing, looking out at the rains,
not lifting a muscle more from the bed-sewn
self, quarantine body, so so tired,

no more jolts, moving to the evening
Raaga’s play by the windowsill, dropping
away mid-air, rain-waft strewn, this
and that, meticulous neighborhood acts.

Diagonal the olive house feeds pigeons,
on the blade of its roof Jasmines,
no-
Bel, Jui, Shiuli, Kamini, a Bengal of scents
my English tongue has one word for
those olive house flowers which invite
flocks each day, chirr of greys and whites-

There’s more to the day than bird-seed,
sheets of dust and wayfaring crows
bathing after the swans are done, a peck of clumsy.

There’s more to the day than being bird-spectator
measuring twig-wreaths here, on that drooping branch,
but look, there’s one of their nests, still half-built

II. So not a Word more, But this

Retiring into easy corners, the edge
is far off. The rhythm bare, lemon grass
and cakes all on the one platter of daily,
tasting, smelling the same- methodical.

Maa stitches flowers on the tablecloth,
handkerchiefs, bedsheets; and when outside
and inside are all in bloom, she waits for spring,
but spring doesn’t come, yet, and yet again.

Look for pockets where we kept time; once
hours came with grids and graphs, I’d plot
my lovers by the month; now by seasons I
braid more knots into my hair, tide waves-

Maa has her shares run, one whole life
loving one, all seasons rolled, all flowers
bloom and fall, seen. Then this comes
a quiet that grows over her mellow fields,
her home shaped settlements, potted seeds,
garden-soil- all which can still reach for the sun.

Nirajana will become a poet someday, but loves to look, study and talk to trees these days. She studies literature and writes about her travels, her stories about everyday people. She plays with her little dog, and like all of you is trying to get through a day at a time for now.

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