Dark Grass Blue (Ziseeria karsandra). courtesy Susanth Kumar
It was morning and the sky so blue.
Inside the walls, the giant trees billowed over our heads
Shielding us from the sun and the noises of the city.
The grass was still wet from yesterday's rains.
Holding a little camera, limited in its vision like me
I puttered around, an old man, his head bent
Peering at the little flowers, the bugs and butterflies
Wondering at the different shapes of the leaves
Of the creepers and bushes and trees.
Among the grass, I notice a flutter -
Was it little leaf, blown in the wind?
My mouth slightly open, I look hither and thither-
I can see myself, a gnome lost in a sea of grass.
She must have taken pity on me, for she settled on a blade of grass
And I believe, looked up at me, patiently.
Bending low - oh, how my back aches, how my hands tremble!
Bending low, I reach out to her gently, my fingers, a cradle.
'Oh, well', she said, ' if that would please you so much' -
And hopped up on my fingertip
And looked at me - 'Are you happy?'
I am silent – I think of Basho and his great master
Buddha, who lies head severed and arm ripped off
Buddha is smiling though, and I too smile at her.
“Wake, butterfly, it's late-
We have miles to go, together.”
It is summer; the people too have shrivelled like the land,
Of heat and lack of love.
Dark, our souls have become, for we will pull up the trees
Set fire to the grass and ravage the soil.
Dark, are our hearts, filled with hatred and greed
Light refuses to come in, afraid of the blackness of our minds.
We will cut down the trees, raze down this school
We will not see the Drongo's nest falling onto the ground.
We will not look up at the Kites and Herons
We will not listen to the Cuckoo
We will not feel the shade, the wind in these trees, ever.
My little one, my Dark Grass Blue, you too will be gone.
On this holy ground we shall build our last monuments
********** Balachandran V. 12.04.2014
Note: Dark Grass Blue-Ziseeria karsandra - A common blue butterfly seen in low elevations.Gardens and open places. The Attakulangara School campus of 5 acres of wooded land right in the heart of Trivandrum city with more than 100 trees is earmarked for a bus terminal and shopping complex. A beautiful statuette of the Buddha in the school compound was smashed apart by some miscreants.