Daily Archives: August 11, 2017

My Message

Cecil Rajendra

My MessageAnd now you ask

What is my message

i say with Nabokov

i am a poet

not a postman

i have no message.

but i want the cadences

of my verse to crack

the carapace of indifference

prise open torpid eyelids

thick coated with silver.

i want syllables

that will dance, pirouette

in the fantasies of nymphets

i want vowels that float

into the dreams of old men.

i want my consonants

to project kaleidoscopic visions

on the screens of the blind

and on the eardrums of the deaf

i want pentameters that sing

like ten thousand mandolins.

i want such rhythms

as will shake pine

angsana, oak and meranti

out of their pacific

slumber, uproot them-

selves, hurdle over

buzz-saw and bull-dozer

and rush to crush

with long heavy toes

merchants of defoliants.

i want stanzas

that will put a sten-gun

in the paw of polar-bear and tiger

a harpoon under the fin

of every seal, whale and dolphin

arm them to stem

the massacre of their number.

i want every punctuation –

full-stop, comma and semi-colon

to turn into a grain of barley

millet, maize, wheat or rice

in the mouths of our hungry;

i want each and every metaphor

to metamorphose into a rooftop

over the heads of our homeless.

i want the assonances

of my songs to put smiles

on the faces of the sick

the destitute and the lonely

pump adrenalin into the veins

of every farmer and worker

the battle-scarred and the weary.

And yes, yes, i want my poems

to leap out from the page

rip off the covers of my books

and march forthrightly to

that sea of somnolent humanity

lay bare the verbs, vowels

syllables, consonants and say

“These are my sores, my wounds;

this is my distended belly;

here i went ragged and hungry;

in that place i bled, was tortured;

and on this electric cross i died.

Brothers, sisters, HERE I AM.”


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