Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Prabuddha VI

This is the sixth part of the translation of Mahagama Sekera's epic poem 'Prabuddha', an exercise that has the permission and blessings of the immediate family of Mahagama Sekera. Parts I, II, III, IV and V were published in

From there,
that classy vantage point
he could sweep gaze
he could capture
the world in miniature
a teeny weeny ant-sized universe
corrugated lives
box-wood living
and peeping through these
human forms
wasted and miserable
spawn and breeders of squalor
ragged and wretched
marked with gutter stench
meandering by drain and ditch.

It wafted this foul odor
from those unnamed sewers
and birth revulsion
made head turn away
moved gaze toward feast.

In the visitors’ room
the guests made merry,
the well nourished and oversized
tie-coated gentlemen
doubled-chinned, wide-waisted chairmen
of corporate and corporation
and lawyers too,
covering pate with hair strands
carefully taken from one side to the other
in a delicate crossing,
entrepreneurs too
decorated with political patronage
who even wear the national dress
and even lubricate election campaigns.

There were women there
hair all done
high on fashion
neatly pinned
thickened lips and pointed fingernails
eyes half opened in allurement
flesh spilling at the waist
fanning themselves
chin up glances
from half closed eyes
and all these vanities
staying for awhile
the fading ways of beauty.

Then there was youth,
young men and women
long, unkempt locks
falling around shoulders
unisexed in hairstyle and wristwatch  
big belts keeping up
tight pants with countless pockets
miniskirts and bellbottoms
carefree in appearance
but seemingly lost

And into their midst
floated Yasodha
a swan surely
that descends upon
and glides along the water.

Something changed right then
a different buzz went around the room
he felt small
and shy. 

He felt a dwarf in a Gulliverian world
a stranger on foreign soil.


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