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

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Narcissus


Eyes closed, I lie on my back
Following their arms mentally
As the masseurs run their fingers
Pressing, squeezing, rubbing in
The warm oil all over me.

From the sole of my feet, up
Through the ankles, calves, knees
And thighs, passing deftly
My privates and up to the torso
My hairy, broad chest, shoulders
And the nape of my neck.

The loincloth barely leaves me clothed.
As the masseur's fingers and then the pouch
Filled with medicinal leaves soaked in starchy fluid
Spread warmth all over me,
I wonder if I might get an erection;
I don't.

Turning me over, the warm oil and then
the slimy starch draw gluey patterns on my back.
My buttocks, rather big,
Now smooth, soft, rounded like melons.

The masseur squeezes that lump,
The inflammation still hot on my hips;
I squirm and groan, in pain and pleasure.

Eyes closed, I lie on the wooden plank
Like a slab of meat, fresh from the butcher.
Eyes closed, I imagine myself
Watching me from above.

This hunk of flesh that is me
That has been me, that'll me
For so many years!
We have been together ever since
The day I was born!

I love it; with all its shortcomings.
I adore my penis, how so well I know him!
Every strand of hair, every scar, every wrinkle -
This living, breathing being that is me!

There is nothing hidden, no secrets between us;
We took pleasure, pain we suffered together -
That is me, this me, together till the last breath!
I look at myself with great kindness...

***** Bala Chandran V. Trivandrum. 07/07/2020

An Incident at Myristica Creek




'It's impossible', said the ant to the fly
'To cross the stream in turbulence'.
Sitting on the edge of a leaf
The fly replied: ' Not if you can fly'.

'Ah, but you do have wings, pretty damsel,
Whereas I have only legs', mused the ant.
'Focus! Focus on the image of wings',
Said the fly, poised on the tip of a leaf
'And then you will gain wings, and fly'.

Wiser now, the ant focussed; he felt
The stirring in his heart and thought:
'Yes, yes, I can feel them growing, the wings
They sprout and fan rapid, they beat fast'.

The damselfly leapt; it flew, over the stream
And landed softly on the farther bank.
The ant dreamt; it jumped -
The moral is : only those with wings can fly.
****
Calocypha laidlawi aka Myristica Sapphire. Munnar, 2019

Coming of Age


The vine danced in the wind.
Swinging gently, the young one thought
'This is life; I will soon be an adult
I will take in many lovers
I will have offsprings in thousands
This beautiful land and brook mine'.

Above, on the low-hanging branch
Sat a Bee-eater, sharpening his beak
His eyes had a kindness one could not fathom
As he gazed on the young dragonfly.

*****
Epithemis mariae juvenile male, SVNP, 2019

Monday, August 26, 2019

Adieu





Darkness;  night has fallen.
In the distance, thunder rolls.
It is louder now; light flashes in the sky.
Rain pours.

I cannot hear anything but
The scream of the wind
And the screeching of the 
Lashing rains.

The thunder is louder now.
I am afraid. 
Lights have gone
In my master’s home.

I am alone in my cage.
I cannot hear anything
But the thunder; I am afraid.

I have to get out of my cage
And get to my master
To the warmth of his love
And the rug that I love. 

The thunder breaks my heart
I break out of my cage
I run to my master
But the door is closed. 

Where do I go, where do I 
Get away to?  I run, I run - 
I should have seen the well.

In the cold darkness
I think of my master
And I could feel his arms
Hugging me; he is kissing me. 

Looking up, I see the sky clearing up
The rains have stopped.
My master must be happy now
And dreaming of me in his sleep. 

******

Balachandran V, Trivandrum. 26.08.2019


Friday, July 26, 2019

Afterwards





The pain comes much later, first
in trickles, then in torrents
Washing off, cleansing
Wounds, hurts, the memories
The thoughts of should-haves
and should-have-nots.

First to heal are those
festering, anger for
What they did -
and did not.

Then, those of regret
of what you did -
and did not.

Then, like a sunbeam
breaking out through the clouds
The realization that everything
carried the fragrance of love
In spite of all
There was always love; love
lingering in the shadows.

Then comes peace
Within.

**** Bala Chandran, 24.07.2019
To Meera Nair, remembering your father, my friend, Murali Dharan
Painting: The death of Casamegas. Pablo Picasso

Friday, December 7, 2018

Stock taking



Once in a while on an autumn morning,
Take a walk.
Look up at the shady trees,
Smile at the dogs passing by
Gawk at the high rises
Cast a kind glance
At the rag picker staggering by.

Pause for the passing car
Gaze at the pretty lass
Look kindly at the world
Rushing by.

Winter will be here soon.
On an autumn morning
Take a walk
Taking stock of your life.

******
Balan strolling along. @ Indira Nagar, Bangalore. 5. 11. 2018

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