Of life and death we talked at length –
Let’s now talk of losses, my love.
Tell me not that you haven’t any;
Between smiles and beyond words
I see their glitter in unshed tears.
Me? I lost a deep green pool,
Some pink lotus blooms with golden hearts,
And dragonflies on glassy wings,
A large green frog with coral eyes
And grey rainclouds on azure skies.
Somewhere under an asphalt road
Are some sounds, much-loved, long-lost –
The tinkle of bells on oxen necks,
The thud of wooden wheels on rock,
And the muted strains of setting sun.
Once there were some heady scents
That I don’t seem to find any more –
Of paddy steaming on large wood stoves,
Of slushy mud and fresh cut hay,
And tulsi plant when rain has stopped.
I look around, but cannot find
The taste of drizzle on sunny morns.
The tangy bite of tender tamarind,
The bitter sweetness of raw guava…
Where, my love, have I lost all that?
The tentative touch of bare, wet feet
On mossy banks of a village pond,
The thrill of sudden, rain-drenched wind,
On burning face and weary heart –
They are gone, I know not where.
Some trees, some birds, a sunlit attic,
Some songs, some dreams, a heart-break or two?
Yes, there’s more, though I can’t recall…
And those, perhaps, are my greatest loss –
I’ve lost memories, my love.