Wound, My Companion

Origin (Telugu): Penna Sivarama Krishna

~

Am I following my shadow

or my shadow, me?

I know not.

When there’s light in front

my shadow follows me.

When I get past a lamp

it grows longer, walks in front of me.

When the sun turns a parasol or thorny tiara

the shadow becomes a dwarf

entwines my feet, plays fondly.

When I am on bed

it enters my body contour, becomes a bed.

When night befalls

it shrinks into me

like a sword in a scabbard.

It’s a soul protector,

looks like a body saviour though.

It burns itself on my pyre

like the woman of ancient days.

A shadow-like wound

A wound-like shadow….

All my shadows

are caricatures doled out

by a painting brush

 

***

 

I Should Cross the Road

 

I should cross the road.

For this moment

this is the only aim of my life,

my one and only ultimate goal.

 

Cautiously, I should get past.

Making my heart lake a motionless picture,

bestowing oneness to my soma and soul

I should transport this body to the shore yonder.

 

Crossing this road amounts to crossing dreadful hells

If I get past this road in a jiffy or two

I get instant emancipation from my life.

 

I should cross this fierce flood

that chews the cud – its shores that is.

Should get past the two giant reptiles

running in directions opposite.

Should visualise past, present and future

before I step next.

Should watch time and place not just in front

but on either side – right and left, too.

Should assess the speed of many a vehicle in split second,

prepare a stratagem, appraise the waves.

 

Before I reach home in the evening

I have to cross many roads.

Watching the two sides

of the highway too, is vital.

 

This thoroughfare is a Vaitarani.

I should get past it

making at least a commuter or something a shield.

The divider is akin to middle age

A half visible line of separation, it is.

Reaching it equals swimming half the life

outstripping all the vicious high-tides.

 

Sometimes

I am a restive highway of waves

as well as a pedestrian

***

 

Translated by:   Elanaaga

Elanaaga

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