Taking Daddy's Photograph Daddy’, I said, ‘Stand by those shoe flowers, there are so many of them blooming this morning’. Daddy took a step back. There is a strange beauty, in the hibiscus sheen, when, from the fresh green the hundred shoe flowers mount red. Daddy now looked like he was some God coming to me in a dream of sacrifice. He puffed hard at his cigarette, its red butt putting all the hibiscuses to shame. Looking on into the camera eye, Daddy said, ‘Be careful, son, The sun is still in front of you. Don’t let in too much light’. I remember, I knelt down, so the lens could take the shade, holding him right. Dad smiled, as though in the camera eye Lay his only woman. And in that stained Hibiscus silence, Time built a riverside chapel around us. ** A Morning Rose There was one in my small terrace garden today. Garden, if you could call it a garden, A few pots, a touch of a bright Periwinkle drying, One sad looking sunflower And a bouquet of crimson Bougainvillae. Small blooms, as though a little shy Of their own blossoming. I haven't seen The butterflies hover here, Though there have been Many midnight executions Of waking seeds giving birth to their first leaves. And now I see the one small rose, white as the side hood Of a nun, Bending down in thankfulness, To the sun Rising, A resurrected Christ in the morning skies. ** Driving at 2.A.M. The macadam stretches brittle, rain-polished. Sudden light neonates the road studs, Jeweling them in their hundreds, as darkness feline, fans over, lactating. ** Home Front, One Morning The sun skis down a shaft of cobweb laminating a spider, closely examining its insect juice. Clouds courier the rest of unfallen rain over mountain tops in neat bouquets, delivering them to thirsting valleys instantly. Flowers fall away like faces off another youth, of another time. Wind-tapped, leaves move as quiet alphabets among the keyboard of lined trees, As the first of the priest-storks lands upon the pew dust in Bible finish, elegant, among the rising prayers of wet morning dew-grass. ** Bird on a Word Bird on a word Hopping over a sentence, She has come To take back something She forgot Searching an inflorescence Where She left a feather, the shining one. Taste the fruit, I said, Go on. No, not that, the coloured one. Word, waiting for your bird, To hop on a sentence And hide among the leaves of a stanza in the storm. Here she is. Every part, an art. Now she has come, She’s searching every petal. Must be the cataract of the late mist. Take your time, I said, She can’t see What she missed What she left there, Or why she came back; Bird on a word That returns to the moon, Her liquid memory Trembling every page, As leaves The night folds to late sleep Upon rain trees. ** Moon Metaphor The dark has its share of brooding, and firelights. All night, Caught in the still fur of leaves The moon metaphors A haunting brilliance of arrested light chained to the star skies. I’ve come this far And I must not turn, Though an angel flames In the burning bush. Slowly my thought Returns to you Like a lone meerkat to its home To find its nest gone.
About Gopi: His seminal work “Father, Wake Us in Passing” won him a Poetry Residency in Augsburg, Germany where he read his poetry along with his German translator. He attended the MFA Poetry program of the Texas State University. His New and Selected poetry The Painter of Evenings appeared in 2018 (Paperwall). His latest poetry collections Swan Lake and Descent have just been released. He edited A New Book of Indian Poems in English and Living Poetry: Seven Contemporary Indian Poets in English from Kerala. His plays include life portrayals of the Nationalist poet Subramania Bharati, and Devasahayam, the layman from Kerala who was recently conferred sainthood. For a while, Gopi Kottoor reviewed poetry for The Hindu Literary Supplement and was guest columnist for Manorama Online. He is based in Kerala.
You can view more of is work here.
He edits the online journal Chipmunk.