Wednesday Poem


One might have been born for such sharp alignment:
The white curve of an arch quietly concentric

To the bowl of my skull, my knees midway
Between a pair of columns, the feet of a chair

In line with my palms, as walls and bookshelves,
Window, ceiling, lampshade and guitar

Converge silently round the axis of my spine.
Now couched on straw matting and niched in wide spaces,

The body might even be a hub of strong forces,
A pivot or a nucleus but for which

These walls might give way, these rafters cave in.
The stone Buddha on the shelf no longer

Asks me to probe myself; nor does the jug on the table
Urge the eye, to forage for any meaning

Beneath its jet black. The smooth curves
Of its sides would have me stay as I am,

Wide-eyed and becalmed by the surfaces of things
Willfully arranged to centre me;

And it might be wise, if I could, to stay true to their will;
But I have only to shut my eyes to know at once

That I am a vast frozen mountain thawing in the sun,
Huge, heaving chunks of me breaking off at random,

Crashing with a thud into the river below;
The strong, single-minded river,

That is always letting go of itself,
That may possess no single centre of gravity,

And knows no direction but downhill and seaward.

by Anand Thakore
from Elephant Bathing
publisher: Poetrywala, Mumbai, 2012