The soil 

I now pick

contains fragments of the dead.

They once saddened and happied themselves here

turning to the sun and moon, quite puzzled

then taking things as they came,

for granted. This is hard brown laterite

that I turn,

to plant a few bright periwinkles

stolen from the mound of one long obscure,

dead. They should grow well

here. So I turn out

the millipedes curling up

ashamed of the sudden expose

into the dark ringstones of sapphire and topaz.

Pinned to sudden light they have all coiled up

in abject surrender. These things we bury back

with pushed up soil, crushing strange roots

going everywhere like soft nerve fibers,

sending messages of thirst to strange

destinations. Each scoop of mud

brings more life to light

lost like death underground

doing odd jobs, ordained like saints, salient

in dark recess drawing salary in kind.

Mud-work is a kind of worship.

A silent thanksgiving for a home, called earth.

The Zong

Gopikrishnan Kottoor's picture

Born (1956), Trivandrum, Kerala, India., Winner, All India Poetry Prizes, Poetry Society, India-British Council Awards (96, 97, 98), and other leading poetry prizes. Poetry published in Ariel (Canada), Orbis (UK), Nth Position (UK), Bluefifth Review (UK), Toronto Review (Canada), The Illustrated Weekly of India, Kavya Bharati (India), Fulcrum (USA), Verse, Seattle, (USA), Indian Literature, Arabesque Review, Plaza (Japan), Chandrabhaga (India), and others. Founder editor, Poetry Chain. Participant, MFA, Texas state University, (2000) Poet in Residence, Augsburg University, Germany (2004). Important works : Poetry : Father, Wake Us In Passing, (German Translation, Wolfgang Heyder) A Buchenwald Diary, Mother Sonata, Victoria Terminus, Poems Selected and New (2010). The Coloured Yolk of Love (2012). Drama: Fire In The Soul The Mask of Death. Novel : A Bridge Over Karma (Novel). Poetry included in The Bloodaxe book of Contemporary Indian Poetry In English, The Golden Jubilee Anthology of Post Independence Indian poetry In English, and Poetry Society, India anthologies.

Last updated June 08, 2012