Sunday, 27 November 2011

I was once mountain

I was a mountain once,
and not too long ago,
but now I am sand.
Time and people
like wind and water took away.
I had lost myself in bits and pieces at a time,
and at times entire chunks,
but I remained a mountain,
a mass shaken and yet unvanquished,
until a massive explosion deep within
disrupted the known ways of movement and dissolving,
set fire to familiar transcripts,
washed away convenient equations.
Yes, that was after you took root
when your roots cut through clay
when your fires melted all shape-giving, identity-preserving adhesives, 
and your waters dissolved thought and memory.
Yes, I was a mountain once,
and not too long ago,
but I am sand now.
And as dust, I now move
with wind and water.
I settle on cityscapes and move with rivers,
I line pathways that are ignored or unthinkingly trampled.
I was mountain once,
and then was seen;
I am dust now,
and go unnoticed.
But from rooftop and leaf,
from riverbed and noonday clamour,
through breeze, with rain,
I walk this world.
Yes, as particle.
I was a mountain once,
and not too long ago either,
but now I am sand.
And somehow I do not feel diminished.

[From the collection 'The Underside of Silence', shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2008]


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