Poems Omega Minus
Poems Omega Minus
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.
Too late in the arboured rites
he careered with his adolescent fancies :
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
he could extinguish his cravings
with too much incontinence
he assailed entrances along marbled corridors
with hardly a mindful push
kept out he was: muzzled and shut out
from mothering social approval
and the usual conning courtesies
Involuting in the hippo-lipped paranoïa
from the darling eyes of his deriding kinsfolk
from packed houses’ applauding mental aneamia.
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
In the nature of his coming to his senses
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
hoist his sorrows in the public’s jaws
and sport his ennui by pleading laws.
It was a time of year too that mattered
not just the finite month
it was the time of doing.
Into the empty mouth of his
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
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)
his ageing anger to work
his passion to a numb centre
and die there a shamed
and inglorious thing.
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)