Poems Omega Minus


Poems Omega Minus 
 
                     I
 
For once he banished all birds
from the air
       not just Mynas tick-picking
on twitching backs
       but all birds, unnamed
and high bred
with each wave of his contrived hand
extending the pelting rice on the shorn land.
 
Some came to sort the heedless grain
    in their hunger of disdain
Some fluttered from hump to hump
    from his total need
to his clambering might.
 
Each time they came and went
he let them alone
                          choked in their distensions.
 
He could not see their pain.
 
Perhaps their general nature – too
      grave to offend
saw in his absence
in his indifference to want
the chance of their malice
                             their frolicksome end.
 
 
                       II
 
Too late in the arboured rites
he careered with his adolescent fancies :
     the ghee-man
with his pails of souring milk
Working within his churning bones
           old rishis’ immolating ambitions :
the curious incantatory neologisms
the crowd-infused lusty prayer
the unsliced un-schismatic advaita piety
 
What should he take : the game or the adulation
both silently exploding buds
in the crammed clutch of mania.
 
Somewhere in the lambent miasma
Old age and the deep cloistered pining of chaste women
                                          roused out of season
make mud the surmounting of goals.
 
Must he not retreat then and melt
Fuse into a negating asana
Conniving at the self-raped
                    furtive orgasms.
 
That
       he could extinguish his cravings
with too much incontinence
   he saw
That
       he assailed entrances along marbled corridors
   with hardly a mindful push
he knew.
 
 
                           III
 
Kept out
   kept out he was: muzzled and shut out
from mothering social approval
    and the usual conning courtesies
 
Kept shut
  Involuting in the hippo-lipped paranoïa
from the darling eyes of his deriding kinsfolk
  from packed houses’ applauding mental aneamia.
 
The touch-me-not
   pricking even in the withdrawing shyness
no middle way in the eight-fold path
   piston-pummeled by the venom-limbed banyan
the unsuspecting aqua-anemone lashes
   bludgeoned from the bandit-fish club
 
the unhailed conquering hero
  without a hometown coming
  bullied by the brass band’s
trumpeting forgetful brashness
 
He bound his house using unseverable streaky tissue
  drained of the blood of lost causes
    propped his wordy-walls up with nervous sinew
and for want of laughter
  hung his loin-cloth up
    high on the mast posts
      of his fluttering shame
 
Something
In the nature of his coming to his senses
 compelled
the inviting of contemptuous laughter
something of the brazen sea’s encroachment upon land.
 
Would that he had
  in the Three Kingdom’s way been raised
he would
 hoist his sorrows in the public’s jaws
and sport his ennui by pleading laws.
 
 
                       IV
 
 
It was a time of year too that mattered
  not just the finite month
           disgorging
it was the time of doing.
 
Into the empty mouth of his
  scaling
he saw, not just wanted
the alien assault, the politicking manoeuvring mirth.
 
    It was a time too for waiting all alone
for the luckless voices belted to cries.
 
    They changed, not just moulting a tan
And dug and divided into splintering worms.
 
Was it the time of year now
  he bowed
       out and away
When the Chersonese
smote his pang’s worsted bile :
he lay there not daring to move
      nor just faking
(the least he could do)
unfret
          his ageing anger to work
his passion to a numb centre
and die there a shamed
and inglorious thing.
 
 
                   V
 
Once coming down from the mountain
to which he never went
there was no mountain
from the summit he never left
 
Once coming down the mountain
       to which he never came
he stalked down the leeward
 
  and said :
 
     ‘I am come from the mountain
         which in me shows no pains
      I am locked in the mountain
         my feet dug in the plains.’
 
Can you hide a water-melon in a plate of rice
Or a mountain under the earth without a rise
 
There where the lowly land barely humps
I beseech you seek my nuke, my knees, my lumps.
 
 
©  T. Wignesan, 1965 (from the collection: tell them i'm gone, 1983)
 

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