Thursday, 3 May 2012

This hour

This is the hour of the Lion Flag,
it flies from a thousand buildings,
from houses and vehicles,
bicycles and buses,
gathering dust
and the grime of the diurnal
but fluttering nevertheless in an eternal dawn.
Morning rain
dissolves tree and city,
traffic light and the early riser
billboard and shop sign,
and city maps get smudged
in a black-river spill.
Then there is a day-start rush
school books and lunch boxes,
the ritual repeat of a timeless whine:
brush-your-teeth, I-don't-want-to,
where-are-your-shoes, I-don't-know,
where's-my-kiss, budu-saranai-chooti-doo.
The skipping of meals
the frequent tea-breaks
the anecdotal hours pass,
the daily quota of conversation
swirls around work
and dreaming.
It is all wrapped
didn't you know,
by word and memory,
image and burning,
the coolest gaze
and a voice
from yesterday and tomorrow
a voice for moment,
from moment to moment.

[from the collection 'Some texts are made of leaves,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2011]

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