Poems by Abhiram.S

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Translated from Malayalam by Ra Sh

 

Backwards, backwards

I walk
backwards
backwards
stepping on words.

Reached somewhere.
I can hear a river.
Light scattered here and there.
Can’t see anything.
Sharp pointed lances
Race by tracing lines in red.
Buzzards fly off with
flesh torn from corpses.
Sacrificial animals.
Sacrificial humans.

Now, there is some light
in this spot.
Inscriptions that ride over
meaning.
Murals on the rocks.
Unicorns, clay,
tigers, elephants.

A bronze voice:
I am that dancer,
the naked dancer.

Watched her dance
for some time.
Walked again.
Beyond Harappa,
Beyond Mohanjedaro.

Backwards
Backwards.


 

Hibiscus

When I spotted a hibiscus today
some old wounds smarted
and pulsated.

No,
they have not healed.

Hibiscus flowers
will blossom again.
When one withers
another will bloom.
Bloom.
Wither.
Bloom again.

During springs
I anticipate that.
That organic boom.


 

Wing

Those are wings.
Your ears.

A malformation
that was caused by
the speed of evolution
or, its rhythm.
You landed in
the wrong pupae.

The body became large
and the wings small.

The deluge of transferences
between epochs.
Evolution speeded up.
The wings became
Llstening organs.

Are you not convinced?

Forget your face for a moment.
imagine a pair to your ear.

A butterfly.


 

Inscription, bird.

Where the road takes a bend
near the milestone,
there is a an ancient stone structure
used by porters to rest head loads.
There were inscriptions on it
looking like birds.
They might have flown in
from palm leaves reduced to dust.

Without any remorse,
I stubbed out my cigarette on it.
Lining up the nestlings of that bird
which received burns,
I wrote an artificial poem now.


 

About the Author

Born in 2001, Abhiram S is a graduate student at Changanasseri NSS College. He is one among the promising young crop of poets in the Malayalam language.

About the Translator

Ravi Shanker (aka Ra Sh) is a poet and translator based in Palakkad, Kerala. He has published four collections of poetry, Architecture of Flesh (Poetrywala), Bullet Train and Other Loaded Poems (Hawakal), Kintsugi by Hadni (RLFPA) and In the Mirror, Our Graves, a chapbook with Ritamvara Bhattacharya.  Ravi Shanker is also a translator whose English translations include Mother Forest (Women Unlimited), Waking is Another Dream (Navayana), Don’t Want Caste (Navayana), Kochiites (Greenex), How to Translate an Earthworm (Dhauli Books) and The Ichi Tree Monkey and new and selected stories of Bama (Speaking Tiger).