December 7, 2009

Some years after the tsunami

The sea conceals its secrets well,
Under its deceptively placid surface
Smooth like finely rippled glass,
In its churning uncharted depths,
Lurks a monster that uncoils
And rears its million serpent heads,
Famished, it devours dreams and songs,
And finally settles, satiated
With a million rotting bones in its womb,
For the famined hunger to strike again.

The secrets that the sea spills,
Strewn across endless miles of shore,
Are cryptic clues like broken toys,
A tattered shirt, the leg of a chair,
A tile from some roof, occasionally
Even a bloated body or two, also
The hushed tales of countless tears,
Whispered by moisture-laden winds.
And to make some sense of these,
A barren wasteland filled with mangled stumps
Of trees once proud, their innards uprooted
Into grotesquely twisted shapes,
Like dreams wrung into nightmares strange.

Some years after the serpent last bared its fangs,
On a summer day yielding to merciless winter,
I walked the shores, ruminating in the waste,
On the transience of life, its absurdity,
When from one such twisted stump
I chanced upon two tender leaves,
Sprouting their wings to reach the sun,
Till the vision filled my eyes and the air
Came alive with the wild chirping of birds,
Heard through the windchimes of hollowed trunks,
Singing of a serpent tamed, again, again and yet again,
By the sheer force, the unquenchable spirit of life,
Fecund, irresistible and unvanquished,
A song more melodious than any poetry,
As it rose unbidden from life itself.

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