Composed as I am,
like others,
of elements on certain well-known lists,
father’s seed and mother’s egg

gathering earth,
air, fire, mostly water,
into a mulberry mass,
moulding calcium,

carbon, even gold,
magnesium and such,
into a chattering self tangled in love and work,

scary dreams,
capable of eyes that can see,
only by moving constantly,
the constancy of things

like Stonehenge or cherry trees;

add uncle’s eleven fingers making
shadow-plays of rajas and cats,

becoming fingers again,
the look of panic on sister’s face an hour before

her wedding,
a dated newspaper map,
of a place one has never seen,
maybe no longer there

after the riots,
downtown Nairobi,
that a friend carried in his
passport as others would

a woman’s picture in their wallets;

add the lepers of Madurai,
male, female, married, with children,

lion faces,
crabs for claws,
clotted on their shadows under
the stone-eyed

goddesses of dance,
mere pillars,
moving as nothing on
earth can move &

I pass through them as
they pass through me
taking and leaving affections,
seeds, skeletons,

millennia of fossil records of insects
that do not last a day,

body-prints of mayflies,
a legend half-heard in a train

Page 2

of the half-man searching for
an ever-fleeing other half

through Muharram tigers,
hyacinths in crocodile waters,
and the sweet

twisted lives of epileptic saints,

and even as I add I lose,
decompose, into my elements

into other names and forms,
past, and passing, tenses without time,

caterpillar on a leaf,
eating, being eaten.

Elements of Composition by A K Ramanujan

0 views today | 53 total views | 199 words | 1.05 pages | read in 1 mins

Disclaimer: All the stories, poems and images used on this website, unless otherwise noted are assumed to be in the public domain. If you feel your image or story or poem should not be here, please email us to [email protected] and it will be promptly removed.
Note: We do not use any of our content for commercial purpose.