Morning Mist and Clouds
Moments before dawn I woke up
To the chatter of bulbuls,
And two koels whistling, replying
In counts of nine or ten.
Four coconut trees are sentinels,
Fronting the house across our block.
They are topped by clumps of fronds
Level with my fifth floor window.
The far hill of Chamundi
Is taking shape behind a gauze of mist
Across my window frame.
Sunlight pervades the darkened splay
Of leaflets, densely swaying,
Rippling in a lazy breeze:
Green rapiers flashed out of dark scabbards.
These palms remind me of my books
With pages by the hundred left unturned
Since as a youth, consuming words,
Poetic or prosaic, I never sought in nature's library.
I was curious for words in print.
But how can words replicate
The arrayed droop and bend of palm fronds?
A multitude of long leaves, tall and stiff,
Life-lorn, darkened to a dark brown crisp,
But faithful to their verdant mates
And huddles of ripening coconuts.
The pale-blue-sky is daubed
With smears of pink, fluffs of white and grey,
Dawn's palette lets outlines emerge
From the cresting haze of Chamundi's hill.
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