Saturday Poem


Seeing you off at the edge of the city, leaving forest trees behind
wandering about in neighbourhoods of an entirely different city,
on the streets
inventing the forgotten city in the layers of my mind, all over again
building new houses, new quarrels, doors and streets, all new
I think I’ve been leaving empty spaces in between

When I go back one day I see – in an empty patch
someone has dug a hole in the ground and in the rain
children of the neighbourhood could drown there
I grieve that I can’t quite invent
the city in the same way –
In every attempt some patches remain empty
where just anyone could come and dig a hole,
let thorns grow.

by Kamlesh
from Jaratkaroo
Satvahan Publications, New Delhi, 1985