Madras


The ocean

Soaked in an aching

Crimson sunset

Heartless concrete,

Abrupt exclamations

In a sea of green,

Jewelled silhouettes

Of temple spires

Reaching into a burning sky

Of relentless blue.

Women with work worn hands

Coiled jasmine in their hair,

Drowning their care

In the temple tank.

People,

Young, carefree,

Hair flowing free

In the blue of faded denims

Jiving to discondant notes

From alien shores.

Monstrous

Smoke belching buses

Disgorging girls

To a day

Of typing their way

To a dowry

For an unknown male.

The traffic’s roar

Lost in the endless murmur

Of a distant sea.

Slums,

Festering sores

On golden beaches

Radiant in the sun

And naked babies

With limbs of burnished copper,

Whizzing automobiles

Whizzing past

A cow with limpid eyes.

Chewing cud

Unconcerned – a traffic island

On a busy street

Madras flows on

Meandering between the notes

Of the limpid veena

And the hypnotic guitar.

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