“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Jesus Bug Meets its End











Row, row, row
Up and down and right and left
Row, row, row
On the water with my legs
Row, row, row
Back and forth, forth and back,
Row, row - oh! oh! oh!
Oh bother, bro!
Strike me dead, am stuck in mud,
Ow, Ow, Ow!!!
********


Jesus Bug aka Water Strider, Wherever there is water.
Balachandran V, Silent Valley, 28.04.2018.

Resident Fairies











My home, oasis
in the middle of concrete desert.
'Still at the old house?', they ask me -
Little do they know I am so proud and smug
That I live in the hand- me-down decrepit
Where my grandmother and other ghosts linger.

I see them; there he is, my father, hopping down
From the coconut frond to nibble the leftover rice
There she is, my mother, the bossy Jungle Crow
Trying to edge out the squirrel.

Grandmother comes in the evening, hooting,
Espying from behind the tree leaves
Muttering to herself, uttering inaudible curses
At me, her grandson, that impractical dreamer.

They are all there, cousins and aunts
Maids and men, children and dogs.
They come as they wish,                                                                                                             as fairies and birds and butterflies.

Later, when the sun goes down
I hear them, flitting in and out
Silently, like flickering memories
In and out, of my old mango tree.

Who you might be, pretty Jay,
Quietly sitting, looking at me?

********* . Balachandran V . Trivandrum. 01.05.2018
Common Jay ( Graphium doson), @ home, Trivandrum 01.05.2018

Lord Toad




Why do you, Toad, look at me

So impassive, so self-assured? 

You sit - no, squat on all your fours

your warty skin, wrinkled and ridged

Your glands swollen with poison -

Think I didn't know?




Go forth, be not afraid of me! 

Go forth and procreate!

For you and your kind, here - 

A blade of grass, a dried leaf

A twig to play with -

The shade of the great trees - 

And over there, Kunthi, for your children!


****** . Balachandran V. Trivandrum 01.05.2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Amor sans Frontiers




Do, do, do do, do
Do look, do, into my eyes
Croo, Croo, Croocroo, Crukcroo, croo
Croon me to sleep, my little love!
Don't you see me nodding my head
Bobbing my head up and down?
I too am an Owl, just like you
I too am a bird of skies so blue!
Don't you hear me flapping my wings
Don't you see me soaring in the sky?
Croo, Croo, Croocroo, Crukcroo, croo
Croon me to sleep, my little love!
How lovely it'd be to hold you close! 
To caress your fluffy ball of a head
To rub my nose on your beaky beak! 
To look into your eyes and kiss them close!
Don't you see me , little Owl, 
Don't you feel that I am you? 
Croo, Croo, Croocroo, Crukcroo, croo
Croon me to sleep, my little love!
***** . Balachandran V, Trivandrum 10.04.2018
Barred Jungle Owlet, Owlet-in-Residence.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Blue and Black







Among a cradle of leaves
A frog sits facing away from me.
Green leaves, touched with faint morning dew. 
The brook by the side is dry.
A butterfly flitters, faint beats of the wing
Ruffle the leaves.
No flowers, no drip of water drops.
Even the wind is still. 

I peer among the bushes
Vainly for a glimpse of a damselfly
Blue and black, who should be here.
I, the man, who beat everything 
Blue and black. 

**** Balachandran V, Trivandrum. 21.03.2018

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Solitary Hunter




The solitary hunter, the red dragonfly
Focused on food and the female passing by.

He sits on the tip of the blade
Of grass, as if holding a spear
To be driven deep into the heart
of his victim.

He scans the sky above,
The ground around,
Intent, intense -
Nothing escapes him
Nothing shall be allowed to escape.

To eat, to mate and procreate -
What else is there in this life -
To do?
So let's bicker, spit, rear up
And bare -
Our fangs and claws -
And when the time comes
Reveal the dagger up our sleeves
And stab on the back, deep.

Let us smear ourselves with the blood
Of our victims,
Gorge on their flesh, clack our teeth
Clean our faces of the filth
As we wait for the next victim.

The solitary hunter, the red dragonfly
Focused on food and the female passing by.
*******
Balachandran V . 23.10.2017 Trivandrum

Sunday, October 15, 2017

In the Open




A deep sigh escapes my lips, as in the morning
I empty a full bladder, leaning to the coconut palm. 
Nothing more pleasurable than to empty oneself
Of urine and from one’s mind, yesterday’s thoughts.

I blush; a Black Drongo on the wires turns
Its head to look at me; a Magpie Robin trills a song.
The Kingfisher, hops down on a branch
Above my head and shakes his, as if in disapproval.

High above, against the darkening sky
The dragonflies swarm and circle
Bracing for the long journey ahead.
When do I, begin mine?

*********
Balachandran V, 13.1.2017

Friday, September 16, 2016

Looking at the Blue Sky sitting on a Terrace



Where you live, be it
By the side of the sea,
Or atop a mountain peak-
Both, though a fantasy
For most of us -

Where you live, be it
Cocooned in a cramped
Quarters or be it
a claustrophobic
One bhk -
Or like me
In an old crumbling
Dwelling about to fall apart-

Wherever be that you live
Or rot-
It would be good
To have a window
Or a space where you can
Look up
At the sky.

***** Balachandran V Trivandrum August 2016

Naught



Staring at the screen showing the folders,
Folders and folders and files and files
Piling up in the PC, in the laptop, in the netbook
And even in the external Hard Disks -
I am overwhelmed!

I grimace; how like my room, my house -
Why, even like my entire life -
Piling up junk, valuables irretrievably lost
in the mountains of files and drawers  and memories -

How frighteningly similar, for the hard disks to crash -
The house to crumble - and life to end -
And everything to come to naught!

*************   Balachandran V, 15.09.2016. Trivandrum

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Homo sapiens hirsutus


Happening to glance at my left forearm the other day,
Dark brown skinned and hairy
I notice that more hair have turned white. 
Someday, if I live long enough,
My left forearm would turn all white
The darkness of my brown skin,
but not of my mind, hidden, hopefully.

Looking at the tuft, the bushy growth of hair
On my chest ( ah, not on my head!), again white ( why grey?)
I wistfully remember how, dark, how black it once were.

I hardly need a mirror these days, having not much
On the head to comb and pat them down.

I cling on (and at times nips at)
The vestige of my manhood, my moustache
Bristling, drooping bicycle handlebars,
The beard I dare not grow
For fear of incurring my partner’s wrath.

I remember -
Hair, growing, dark,
In dark and exciting places
Darkening shadows
Of the emerging adulthood.

Shadows lean, now.
They grow oblong, as the Sun approaches dusk.
One day, my precious hair,
Would be the first to catch fire…

************** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 07-09-2016
Image: courtesy Internet. Sketch by Salvatore Bruno.