by Sudeep Sen

for PSC

Birds fly across the pale blue sky
cross-stitching a matrix in Pali —

a tongue now beautifully classical
like temple-toned Bharatanatyam.

Dialogues in the other garden
happen not just in springtime. Yet

you stare askance talking poetry
in silence, an angularity of stance

like a shot in a film-noir narrative
yet to be edited to form a whole.

What is a whole? Is it not a sum
of distilled parts, parts one chooses

to expose carefully like raw stock —
controlling patterns in the red light

of dark, a dark that dutifully dissolves.
There emerges at the end,

nests for imaginative flights to rest,
to weave our own stories braving

winds, currents, and the elements
of disguise. Fireflies in the grove

do not belong to numbered generation —
they only light up because line-breaks

like varnam keep purity alive —
enigmatic, disciplined, spontaneous.

Let the birds fly tracing angular paths,
let the dancer dance unbridled,

let the poet write unrestrained —
natural as breathing itself.

Matrix woven can be unwoven —
enjambments like invisible pauses

weave us back into algebraic patterns
that only heart and imagination can.

She walks porcupines — as you do — and
listens to the sound of the sea in a conch.