river’s lullaby


Chilika Lake
Chilika Lake (Photo credit: Damien [Phototrend.fr])
of rivers crossed
walking barefoot on their saturated beds
their vastness bound into a trickling ribbon
the pregnant swelling during monsoon
fish in baskets, fish in oil
dried fish rubbed with salt hung to dry
the roundness of stones beneath feet


of rivers exiled
burnt in heat, shivering in the cold
often looted, sometimes abandoned
bountiful triphosphate and cadavers
mean mouthed her hair entangled dis-tributaries
the smell of kerosene on the early morning trawler
Chilika you coughed the sun from your brackish lungs


of rivers gone wild
they swirl around pillowcases
watched marbled tombs, washed Kalinga
now home to rest my tired river
sunshine on your tide mokaish on a bride
put your bag on the table
set your stories by the chair
now time has come to run dry