Poet: CHRIS MOONEY SINGH
It stands outside my room
a ghost in the mist from the past,
this once-green hotel for bats.
They should be searching out fruits
like yellow-knitted pom poms.
The cold has chased them off.
There’s no life for fruit flies,
dead in their sarcophagi; neither gnat
nor pilgrim butterfly is hunting
kadam-bloom cups of attar,
sticky with oil. These days, no one
has time to distil the fragrance.
If only there was the hint of a flute
in the mist, yet no blue god
cavorts in his boyish amusement
to steal the milkmaids’ saris
from the river verge and drape them
upon the kadamba. I can only go
to the museum for a Krishan lila
with gopis, or a terracotta kadam,
modelled with monkeys and birds.
That tree of love, that youth and a girl
are symbols of what should be
climbing the life-force in the kadam.
Why do I look at the kadamba
and see the life-lines in bark?
I have climbed this tree before.