November

Image and poem copyright of Vibina Narayan

In the passing of the thin day,

In the midst of this whirlwind

where I stand,

An axis held by tutored lungfuls

of cold, hard, breath,

Presides over the leftover will

in my tortuous veins.

(Like an autumn leaf that refuses to fall)

My eyes,

Marbles of fading memories,

are guided to the tremulous stance of a robin,

her chest, an orange crescent

in this bluegray, beaming pride

of a relentless November.

(Like an autumn leaf that refuses to fall).

The moon rises early

Her soft cream of translucency

Diluting the pitch dark of winter-

The silhouettes of the night

A still reminder of

Seasons and friends

that come and go,

and the ones that remain to fill my home.

(Like an autumn leaf that refuses to fall).

And for this,

I shall stay,

Rooted to the changing firmament of time,

My young, forming, learning, oak

The visceral bearer of

Life and her slow disclosures.

The rings and lines upon this trunk of mine,

An adage of all the stories

seen and untold.

(Like an autumn leaf that refuses to fall).

The Little Brown Leaf

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She washed ashore

This little brown leaf,

Laying in a pool of

Sad salt water,

Looking up at me

Like an abandoned child.

 

She must have heard a million tales

From lands unknown, from winds afar.

Singing to her,

Were the shells thrown out

By the princesses

Who had treasures everyday anew

Galore and galore.

 

She must have seen

Sailors and prisoners,

Witches and their crafts,

Lonely men in their towers and

Women recuperating from love,

Who cried and thought they ruled

Their own lairs.

Ah, mankind!

 

Crackling nights deceptive of dawn

Bright in the middle of

Nowhere,

Nothing to dine,

Only to drink

Brine and breathe in,

The vacuum air of

Another sunrise.

 

Plankton,

Sweet child of mine,

Of another era.

Another kingdom, another sphere,

Who wrung  you

Off the green I hoped you were once,

Was it the harsh cold waters of

God’s own making?

Or dry currents that free will

Desired when smitten by

Glory?

 

I hope you make my red toe nails and

Hobbit feet

Your refuge.

Maybe I could give you a name

And you could tell me all your dreams,

And other forgotten stories of

Fame.

 

I will never let you out

Into the sea,

That mass of unknown

Again.

You frail and fragile body

With no fragments known to

Fate.