Learn More

A. K. Ramanujan

(16 March 1929 - 13 July 1993 / Mysore / India)

Elements of Composition


Composed as I am, like others,
of elements on certain well-known lists,
father's seed and mother's egg

gathering earth, air, fire, mostly
water, into a mulberry mass,
moulding calcium,

carbon, even gold, magnesium and such,
into a chattering self tangled
in love and work,

scary dreams, capable of eyes that can see,
only by moving constantly,
the constancy of things

like Stonehenge or cherry trees;

add uncle's eleven fingers
making shadow-plays of rajas
and cats, hissing,

becoming fingers again, the look
of panic on sister's face
an hour before

her wedding, a dated newspaper map,
of a place one has never seen, maybe
no longer there

after the riots, downtown Nairobi,
that a friend carried in his passport
as others would

a woman's picture in their wallets;

add the lepers of Madurai,
male, female, married,
with children,

lion faces, crabs for claws,
clotted on their shadows
under the stone-eyed

goddesses of dance, mere pillars,
moving as nothing on earth
can move &mdash

I pass through them
as they pass through me
taking and leaving

affections, seeds, skeletons,

millennia of fossil records
of insects that do not last
a day,

body-prints of mayflies,
a legend half-heard
in a train

of the half-man searching
for an ever-fleeing
other half

through Muharram tigers,
hyacinths in crocodile waters,
and the sweet

twisted lives of epileptic saints,

and even as I add
I lose, decompose,
into my elements

into other names and forms,
past, and passing, tenses
without time,

caterpillar on a leaf, eating,
being eaten.

Submitted: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Elements of Composition by A. K. Ramanujan )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. Winter Solstice, Jacqueline C Nash
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Alone With Everybody, Charles Bukowski

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A little while a little love
The hour yet bears for thee and me
Who have not drawn the veil to see
If still our heaven be lit above.
Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Hand on Stomach, Mae AC.
  2. I Still Read.........For Sandra Feldman, Michael P. McParland
  3. Slouches, Mae AC.
  4. My Keyboard Gentely Weeps, Michael P. McParland
  5. My Gift, Michael P. McParland
  6. Raises Eyebrows, Mae AC.
  7. My Friend Mee Too, Michael P. McParland
  8. My Dear Sweet Kira, Michael P. McParland
  9. My Angel, Michael P. McParland
  10. Sits up, Mae AC.
[Hata Bildir]