Summer 2024: Brindha Vinodh

Brindha Vinodh

The sun is the king of the empire of Summer.
In the red of his wrath, citizen-leaves go to slumber,
wrapping green blankets languidly.
Most citizen-animals and birds quench their thirst, tolerating
his heated-fury, hydrating themselves at an unusually high level.
So is with citizen-humans, 
sweltering, sweating, shedding some salt, 
spilling syllables cursing the king sometimes.

Ah! Does the king listen to those curses?
Do they reach his ears? 
For suddenly, he subdues his wrath,
becomes mild, mellow, 
gleaming in vibrant yellow
and happy citizens praise him in their own unique ways,
sweet chirpings, bleats, barks, roars,
the dancing tongues of humans, hailing the king.

Of Childhood and Summer

Those were days,
childhood as transparent as Summer.
Mornings would tiptoe quietly,
how nice of them to not disturb
me on non-school days.
Time was a lazy boy,
his pace as lazy as a cuckoo refusing to build a nest
and laying eggs on another bird’s built-home.

The wind would hum a slow song,
my uncombed hair would dance along,
and sparrows and mynahs would join,
Oh yes, how can I forget the crows?
Soon, a symphony of sorts,
the chugged baritones of trains in between

and the sky in its hue of a mixture of cerulean and sapphire blue
would look like a dry desert,
inducing a gastronomical urging to eat a dessert,
ah! would Amma do that?
No, and a strict no. Dessert in the morning was a strict no,
but in the evenings, yes, 
her coaxing yet strong voice from the terrace
while sun-drying home-made fritters
would reach my ears, knowing well she cared about my health.

I would quietly continue my laziness, 
and so would that lazy boy, time, 
until the sun mellowed 
and hurray! gatherings of neighborhood friends on the surface of the parched earth,
gatherings of birds on the parched sky, still that mixture of cerulean and sapphire blue,
temple bells melodiously ringing, devotees divinely singing,
neem flowers beginning to spread their smooth exuberance,
jasmines smiling with sparkling white teeth all around,
hibiscuses chuckling with their satin skirts, trees birthing mangoes with
that uniquely intoxicating scent,
oh! those were days, those were sweet evenings,
childhood as transparent as Summer,
time was a lazy boy,
don’t know when he became fast as an active athlete,
for when he did, I lost my childhood,
if only it could be found again,
like that lunch box at school.

Summer and beach

Last Summer, in July,
I went back to my roots,
to my country, city, Chennai,
where I was born and raised
to the beach where I used to go as a child,
the Marina.

Last Summer, in July,
I went with my two children
and held their hands,
jumped with them,
let the waves dance on our feet,
and jumped and jumped 
until our hands involuntarily went up and down
and it looked as though we were skipping 
between dancing waves,
twirling and swirling like ballerinas,
and our tired legs 
forced us to sit and build
sandcastles, our bodies beginning
to smell of beach salt and sand,
the evening sun embroidering
orange designs on our skins,
roots and sense of belonging being
the theme.

Bio: Brindha Vinodh is a published poet, writer, literary critic and the recipient of the Reuel International Prize for Poetry with an honorable mention and has been awarded the title of Poesis Award for Excellence in Poetry by Xpress Publications.

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