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Forest
           The forest is afire and slow is the flow of my song.
Birds living atop tall ebony trees of speech are beyond help now.

This ancient rain forest, parrot-green, full and broad.
Many monsoons have failed; there still is water under its floor;
Muddy and bitter.

These heavy thick woods wouldn't burn down that quick; flames
Would erupt, form canopies of sparks, stop, only to start again.
This fire wouldn't lie down, eyes shut, in any cool bed of smooth ashes.

There is water here, enough for the forest not to dry up.
Not enough to put out the fire.

With a slow cadence, this song too has lost its sense,
Cannot claim its suggestions.
Moans of beasts, men, birds and trees sound alike

A flock of parrots, a big flock with hundreds of parrots, is now flung in the sky.
Hovers, scatters, twists back to itself, and falls like gray stones
Hurled at the forest

If only I could remember the prosody preserved on the pages
Of the lost book of metres,
I could write the epic of tall trees of teak and ebony numbed by the blows of the
stones.

The thick broad pennant on the temple of the Forest-Shiva
Burns and flutters.
Where are the prosodic rules for the figures
Of speech I hear so well in the bubbling of water boiling
In the pitcher over the Shivalinga?

In the innermost temple, mere brilliance.

I am inside the white cool cliffs of marble,
I am inside multifaceted crystals,
Behind the stiff rocks of huge cut diamonds.


I see, all around, this forest lit up by the flames,
I am untouched by the fire.
I am singed.
I burn.