Isle of Brooders

From a jail in a far off island, boats arrive to

deport the sad. Grieving blood is tasty like the

legend of vanished rivers: an Acheron emptied

out by thirsty souls. This nab is a cakewalk,

says the detectives on the prowl, for the dead

roam around as if alone in a forgotten station

that sees the last train trail off from the dooming

universe. As if they are haulers of hurt on long

distance routes. Or worshippers of ants, the gods

of essence. What is pain, if not condensed love?

Which saga of kisses and hugs that cannot be

retold as a teardrop? The magic lantern holding

the Jinn is wasted in their cupboards, for they

harbor no wishes.  The brooders do not know

grief is funny, like the menhir induced backache

of Obelix. All grief is funny for certain gods

and men. The yowl of the prey dissolves in the

smile of the predator. The curse of grief shrinks

the mainland into dust. Soil is a door to time.


Are closed door meetings

on how to bloom into earth,

a head or a football that street

boys search in the bushes. To

float like a balloon and vanish

or to flaunt like a rainbow gulping

bubble and burst: each melon

seed is a desire charred in the

womb. Its wilted pedicel is an

abandoned door. You need

not come. Let me be a hidden

orchard bearing a solitary fruit

with the essence of pain: à la

Anne Frank. A mother guarding

the color of her secret gardens.

Body of tenderness, the solitary

old soul ambling across your

inner darkness is a well rounded

lost god. He seeks breath in the

slow rising fear that floods our

eye, as it watches a street

sniffed by the nose of a gun.

Aditya Shankar

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in literary journals of repute and nominated for literary awards, including Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India. Follow him on Twitter at @suncave.



featured image by Tony Bates