Under the street lights, spiders mend their webs
Today a tree was felled and now darkness dwells
The trilling crickets must hurry, for man begins the old flite in a flurry
They must not forget in whose hand the world is held
No one has caught sight of the end, so the old order is still upheld
No illness draws close the curtains and the world’s bend is yet uncertain
The people strain and fend for themselves and dare to learn a lesson
The crane flies low, dangerously close to the roofs of cars, so close that a careless truck could quickly knock it out of the sky. Everyday the swan swoops down, the same time, the same place.
The crane visits the green lawn by the bungalow, the dogs and inhabitants give him no mind. He feeds and makes his way across the street, slowing working his way up, towards the end of the patchy shrubs between the pavement and tar road. He moves methodically, disappearing and appearing on roofs, compound walls but never parked cars.
That is his afternoon, by evening when the sky turns grey and dull, he flies off. A fellow observer knew the cranes patterns and told me where to look for him. Their main takeaway was that the crane had a strict adherence to routine and that it was alone.
This was once a valley, named after the elephants who drank at the lake. Now the valley is flattened by apartment complexes, houses, roads and turns. The low storm drain was once a fast stream and maybe instead of the pigeons, kingfisher and hawks, between electric wires and dropping covered TV-dishes there was more to this valley for a crane.
Can you tell a crane to move? That the lakes are gone and that there may be one, but soon he’ll be gone.
And opening shutters
Late Summer winds
Visiting what had been.
Inside damp walls,
Rotten furniture and
My grandfather sees a name he can’t recognize and can’t believe it.
“Who is that? Isn’t that a Jain name? My memory can’t be failing me already.”
I can’t believe it. What a world he must have lived in. Could a man really have known every name in the city?
From the memory
of a power cut, of a starry night
before my cousins and I
knew how to fight
I have gone
For so long.
Alas! The crawl of modernity.
Even here, the orange night
Oh Mangalore how long
has it been
since you’ve know
that star gilded night?