Dilip Chitre

(17 September 1938 – 10 December 2009 / Gujarat / India)

Prophets


Prophets have light
Screwed tight in their eyes. They cannot see the darkness
Inside their own loincloth. Their speech has grace
And their voice tenderness. When prophets arrive
Dogs do not bark. They only wag their tails
Like newspaper reporters. Their tongues hang out
And drool as profusely
As editorials.
Crowds in the street
Split up like watermelons
When prophets arrive.

But there are times when even the fuse of heavenly stars is blown
Space boils like a forgotten kettle
The screw comes off from the eyes
And the blinded prophet is stunned
It is then that he comprehends the spiral staircase of heaven made of iron
The complexity of its architecture.

It is the first time that he apprehends God's inhuman boredom
And the size of His shoes. The weight of His foot.
And the total monopoly reflected
In His every movement. It is then that he realises that
His journey so far is only
The space and time of His almighty yawn.

[Translated from Shesha: Selected Marathi Poems]

Submitted: Thursday, March 29, 2012

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