CELEBRATION OF LOCAL: MALSAWMI JACOB

Here and there

Gulmohar flames red overhead
under blue blaze of sky
fierce orange sun
scorches brown earth to cracks.
On some cool shore far away
white waves lap silver sands.

The streets are loud with traffic noise
cacophony of blaring sounds
muting music, silencing songs
thekoel’s melody muffled.
In some woodlands far away
songbirds warble on green trees.

Mister Raju middle aged
with a respectable paunch
sits a-snorting in his car
stuck fast in a jam.
O, that old guy in the hill
churning out tale after tale
to the delight of all.

Young man Martin on a bike
helmet in hand
wearing a workday-morning face
weaves in and out of vehicles;
he’s fashionably grumpy
gently, gently let him pass.

Madam Rita’s running for the bus
Oho, it leaves before she reaches!
Poor hassled frazzled woman!
Beside the cratered roads
on garbage heaps
cows and street-dogs feed.
In a far-away land
cattle graze in meadows.

Mister X in office
normal every way,
looks after himself and his own;
he’s moderately honest
but doesn’t mind a side income
when it comes his way.
Some darker by a thousand shades
hold our lives to ransom
O my people!

The mighty poet sitting in a bank
sees far and wide with eagle’s eyes
myriad appalling images
of highways and byways –
has seen them all, fore-suffered all.

My eyes are growing dim
memories are fading
yet I remember
violet hyacinth blooming in a pond
and I remember
wind blowing through pine trees.
In the bay the dolphins play
somersaulting in the air
over green water,
seagulls wait on the shore
for our coming home.
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[1] Ruskin Bond
[2] TS Eliot
[3] ‘The Wasteland’
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Malsawmi Jacob is a bi-lingual poet and writer, and an occasional translator between Mizo language and English. She has contributed poems, stories and articles to several journals and anthologies and has authored nine books, including a novel titled ZORAMI A redemption song.

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