Span: Journal of the South Pacific Assoc for Cwlth Lit and Language Studies
Number 36, 1992
Postcolonial Fictions:
Proceedings of the SPACLALS Triennial Conference 1992
Edited by Michèle Drouart

Poem: Leaving Aside All The Work

Sanskritirani Desai

The volcano has become lethargic,
Leaving aside all its work,
Trying to make rings from the cigarette smoke . . .
Has been standing in one place
For quite some time
Completely engrossed in it.
On the plain near the foot of the mountain
Stand small urchin-like palm trees
With their necks outstretched,
Waiting for the rings of smoke to come out.
So that the concentration of the volcano is not broken,
They stand for quite some time without any movement.
Their necks have become long.
Because of the special request by the volcano,
The spring has stopped flowing,
And having become a pond
Has adjusted itself properly,
Standing without any ripples
To take a photograph of the moment.
The semi-circle coming out at the very moment from the volcano,
The palm trees with their outstretched necks,
And the photographer-spring,
I captured in my photo-frame.
Closing the window very tightly
With a lot of effort,
I have stopped the darkness outside.
In childhood, when grown-ups would go to sleep,
Like a gang of naughty boys
Big fearless darknesses would whistle
And coming in the design of the window's grill
Would give a signal by flickering batteries
And call me away.
Gathering everyone of the gang in this manner,
Showing us the path in the light of the batteries,
They would take us to
The open field of the night,
Where small, timid darknesses
Would be sitting huddled up without flickering batteries.
Many a darkness by continuously giving signals with batteries
Would gather its friends.
In the vast open field of the night
We would sit in groups and have a picnic,
And when it was morning
In a way that the grown-ups never know,
We would reach our beds on time.
At night, regularly, flickering batteries,
Darknesses would come.
Now if sometimes I get up in the night,
And in the night sky
In clusters batteries seem to flicker,
I am not surprised.


New: 7 January, 1997 | Now: 19 April, 2015