Poems by Ammu Valikkat



Translated from Malayalam by Ra Sh


The vulnerable ones

The badam fruits lay
blushing red
on the ground
unsucked by the bats.
The kid took a stone
and tried to crush them.
Though the flesh
was battered
and scattered and its
bosom torn open,
even after the final
heavy blows with the stone,
a terminator seed
emerged from within

Try to hit it harder!
No, it can’t be broken
nor be crushed.
Throw it away, kid!
Throw it away.


Master of the Animal World

While teaching biology
in great detail,
the Master entered her body.

She let her heart slip
out of her body
after mugging up the lesson
again and again.

The functions of the breasts
were charted in a row
on a girl skirt spread like a bed
with white squares on blue.

It is an evolutionary beastly lie
that on isolated islands
even siblings made love and
couples turned polygamous –
the sky that was spread on the
naked light blue ocean
whispered in her ear.

Even an infant mammal
just born and molested
is anxious about the mammal
to be born worried about
a father to it who cares or not.

The lesson learned yesterday
was about the monstrous world
that slithered in between her legs.


Suicide by hanging

It is in the void
between us that
I hang.
Unrelated to any roof.
Without a question raised.

The noose was tightened in the silence
between loquacious moments.

Please reply any time to this message
of death that was passed on to the blank sheet
by the mind hinging words together.


About the Author

Ammu Valikkat from Kozhikode, Kerala, works as a software engineer in Oman. She is the author of the book Pen Vikramadithyam Pesa mandathayum mulamanthayum.

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).