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

Form:


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. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
  9. WATER MUSIC, I. _ ['Musiche sull'Acqua'.., Fabrizio Frosini
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Communicating the Bird, Robert Ronnow
  2. Chinese Sonnets, Robert Ronnow
  3. Caterpillar fur, Robert Ronnow
  4. The One I Adore, Michael P. McParland
  5. My other half, Asit Kumar Sanyal
  6. Bird's View - Lincoln Park Zoo, Ima Ryma
  7. motherly love, Candymarie Nevin
  8. Random Thought, fletcher maddern
  9. Still Awake 2, Michael P. McParland
  10. Esprit de corps, Naveed Khalid
[Hata Bildir]