Poetry: Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca

Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca
Social Distancing in Animals and Plants

Two squirrels
Running the fence length
In my backyard
Playing chase as squirrels do,
Tail of squirrel One
Touching nose
Of squirrel Two.

Two robins
Bathing in the Bird bath
Two beaks drinking
From the same fountain
Red breasts
Splashing feathers everywhere.

Flamingoes flocking
Near Mumbai waters
Pink reflections,
Parrots visiting
High rises in my birthplace
On seventeenth floor window sills,
Peacocks dancing in the streets
‘Like nobody’s watching.’

Goats taking over
Deserted Welsh town,
A kangaroo hopped down a street
In an Australian city.

A bamboo plant by my bay window
Wraps itself
Around the rubber plant

My cats
Roll into a wool ball
And bathe each other
With their tongues.

And we stayed home
And drew Zentangles
Andwrote Poetry.

The migrants have fled
Leaving the city streets empty
The animals will return to their homes
At nightfall
Where is home for they
Who sleep on train tracks
Because they thought no train was coming?

Breakfast at Sunrise

At the top of the mountain
The sun has a natural birth
The clouds have easy labor
To bring it forth,
To tip with golden tints
The distant snow-capped Himalayas
A joyous re-birth to celebrate

Those days we were sure-footed
As mountain goats,
Leaping from stone to stone.
No matter how steep the trek

Spurred on by the enticing smells
Of breakfast cooking
By skilled hands,
But more eager to pay
Our homage to the Easter sun
We made our climb of joy
To praise the Creator.

Stopping in stillness
To see a pair of pine martens
One solicitously waiting with concerned peering,
Looking down the path
To watch that the other was within sight
Not moving forward till the comforting
Brown-gold fur of his partner was visible,
Lessons for us humans.

We made the yearly trek
A little slower, as our bodies slowed.
Man is a creature of rituals and rhythms,
Of devotion to the familiar,
The comfortable, the natural.

Now, though with different mountains
The smells of breakfast
Memories of crisp shivering
In the mountain air
And the sun through dappled leaves
Is resurrected in present moments
Whenever Easter rolls around.

Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca was born in Bombay to Prof. Nissim Ezekiel and Daisy Ezekiel.  She was raised in a Bene-Israel Jewish family in Bombay, India. She attended Queen Mary’s School, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay University and Oxford Brookes University, U.K. She holds Bachelor’s and Masters’ Degrees in English, American Literature and Education.  Her career spanned over four decades in Indian colleges, American International Schools and Canada, teaching English, French and Spanish. She also held the position of Career Counsellor at the International School in India, where she taught Advanced Placement and other courses in English for sixteen years.  She is a published poet.  Her first book, ‘Family Sunday and other Poems,’ was published in 1989, with a second edition in 1990. She has read her poems over All India Radio Bombay, and her poems have also appeared in Poetry India, SETU Magazine, Muse India and Destiny Poets, UK, to name a few.She has her poetry page at https://www.facebook.com/kemendoncapoetry.  Kavita also writes short fiction.  Her work is strongly influenced by her father’s work.  (The late Nissim Ezekiel was an eminent poet, well-known in India and overseas). She lives in Calgary, Canada, with her family.

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