for Nachiketas

Tether the cow to the post of your patience
and wait
First make ready the field in which you choose to let her loose
There where no lilacs grow
nor lotuses in the pond of your astrological gaze

If you haven't enough cut-grass in the loft
Make sure your sickle doesn't rake through touch-me-nots and lallang

You may only prepare the pasturing ground
You cannot make your cow browse in it
all her dogged years
her udder bitten
fangs sunk in stealth
milk mixed with venom
milched in terror
suckling in horror

You may not clear your fields
or centipedes

They are the legitimate heirs of the land
you plan to graze your cow
You may only tend to her when she comes home
if she comes
by her own will
acknowledging not a master
but an inherited contract
you may milk her but at this appointed hour
with this can
if you give her fresh grass and barley
before she goes
'cause she is bespoken to patience

T. Wignesan

If I might be allowed to say so, I think my "first" love was poetry. Unfortunately for me, the British curricula at school did not put me in touch with the Metaphysical Poets, nor with the post-Georgian school. Almost all the school texts after World War II contained invariably Victorian narrative poems and some popular examples of Romantic poetry. I chanced upon a selection of T. S. Eliot's and Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and a little later on Pope's An Essay on Man and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. That did the trick. Yet, I regret not having taken to prose in earnest earlier than the publication of my first collection: Tracks of a Tramp (1961). There's nothing like trying your hand at all kinds of prose exercises to come to grips with poetry. Or rather to see how poetry makes for the essence of speech/Speech and makes you realise how it can communicate what prose cannot easily convey. I have managed to put together several collections of poems, but never actually sought to find homes for them in magazines, periodicals or anthologies. Apart from the one published book, some of my sporadic efforts may be sampled at of Poems.htm

Last updated July 05, 2016