FACSIMILE OF BELIEFS
Fog of forgetfulness; hills lost
in the clouds lost in the hot breath
of the city. We watch our daughter
build a monster with legos; outside,
the sky has circled a crimson sun.
We move through roads familiar
with the itinerary of our imaginings
and stop at crossroads no one used
for centuries. The hill is distant,
and we can’t aspire to reach out
to its green loneliness; the hill
is distant, a night’s journey away
from the crossroad where our car
has broken down, puffing smoke.
Odd! It is the same white lotus
we saw in summer, on our way
to the stony Buddha at Ajanta.
We have seen the difference
between its whiteness here
and the navel of life there,
while the water gathers clouds
on its blue, cool reflections.
Imitating the local palms,
it sways in the rain-drenched breeze.
You teach me the myth of creation
enacted on the lotus, when the gods
danced and let the cosmos gossip.
You stare at the bee-cup on the lotus.
And looking at my face, the squirrel
charges into the night’s campfire crackle.
The dew has unsettled the history
of unending warmth on these slopes.
I miss myself in these woods;
it is so much more intense now
as I watch you snuggle into the wool
blanket on our tent’s breach.
A toppled paper-cup on the grass,
cries of the rain forest, an orang-utan
marking his territory somewhere,
sallow moon’s trail of surprises…..
We walk on mud not in our dreams,
an alien mud, fragrant with the gentle
bloom of hibiscus and orchids.
The hill we climbed is a spirit
we encountered at the airport terminal.
I know, you believe the moon has cast
a spell on me, you believe the river’s
gurgling is only water flowing.
If only you had seen the squirrel’s eyes
and the moon’s hideous wink.
Daybreak. All too familiar?
You would sweat too, if you
saw your face, looking hundred years old,
when you peer into mirror’s darkness.
Where is the vein that fed the flesh
last night? And the post-it note
you pasted on my forehead?
In the blue voids clouds forgot
to fill up, I see the sky create
tunnels into the riddles of universe.
The Brahminy-kites have flown out
of our eyes. The tigers have deserted
our inspiration and we have nothing
left to say, thankful we haven’t lost
the memories we carried along. You
hum songs in our mother-tongue. I touch
their strange melancholy coolness,
like a cat’s coat in monsoon.
Finally, the rains. Clear as glass.
Mirror of sights around the hill,
refracted through my dreams.
I touch its faded imprint on the soil.
And discern its coded music like drumbeats.
I don’t feel the pain, till I see
the rains pass by, without words
to kiss their drops and sense the
wet earth’s anguish. Finally,
the subdued trance awaits me.
I welcome the facsimile of my beliefs -
MK Ajay’s works have appeared in Orbis (UK), Indian Literature, Blue Fifth Review, The Little Magazine, Cerebration, Niederngasse, Ygdrasil, Crimson Feet, Chandrabhaga, Brown Critique, Montreal Serai, Poetry Chain, Muse India, Kritya and In our Words: A generation defining itself, among others. He has published a book of poems and a collection of short stories. Ajay was born and brought up in Kozhikode, India, and currently lives in peninsular Malaysia.