Variegated visions


I kissed a mermaid on land,

Then – later,

In her aquatic paradise,

She reciprocates it;


I see a mystic sit on a cactus pot and smile,

I see locked Mosques and Churches

even on Fridays and Sundays –

so too are the Temple doors and naamghars,

I see a crowd hurl stones at a saint

and embrace a prostitute;


I see the goldsmith with a bigger hammer

than the blacksmith,

I see a hare lose to a tortoise,

I see a mouse free a trapped lion from the hunter’s net,

I see a lion recognising the slave

who once helped him remove a thorn from his paw,

I see David defeat Goliath,

I see our Ahoms defeat the mighty Mughals,

I see underdogs win against tournament favourites,

I see a farmer smiling at his ripe corn,

I see a capitalist watch in horror

his factory go up in flames;


A poor couple

whose house is adjacent to a cemetery

had a child this morning,

An abandoned egg below a rose plant

had hatched this morning,

A rose bud above that egg

had bloomed during the same night,

I see a square-shaped roti

being served on a round plate;


I see humans scared of coughs and sneezes,

I see people refraining from handshakes,

I see civilizations distancing to civilize and stay alive.

© Sabah