River Poem

Written by: Jeena Chacko

On the two sightings of River Nila * from the train
I. Summer

In summer, I saw you first,
in vacant peace hibernating.
You hid your raging soul,
under a barren facade of composure-
gushing ardor restrained,
shrunk into hollow circles of liquid shadows
for restless feet to paddle. 

Hands swirled your near-dead waters,
the abode of twitching larvae, slowly evaporating-
caverns, pebble-sprinkled-
tiny globules of mineralized memories,
shaped and sculpted by your infinite fingers,
the echoes of your monsoon tantrums,
sealed in their nadirs numb.
You now lay imperturbably under the noon sun 
dreaming of forgotten storms. 

As the wheels rattled over the arc,
I see the parched distances, 
your dormant veins ribboning 
away towards the April horizon.

In those fleeting moments, I see the succulent ache-
for your seasonal lover, monsoon, the heart breaker,
the liar, the playboy, the saviour,
in languid silence, you lay awaiting his footsteps. 
My gaze pulls away, I await our next encounter.

II. Monsoon

The pulsating air moist, wanting and wanton,
the stormy June skies tear apart, you awaken! 
Awed eye beholds you in womanhood flourish 
One moment reticent a wink later audacious, 
adorned with the enviable conceit
of a geological Voluptas, a fluid dryad.

Heart senses the hum of his arrival-
his entrance, the grey messengers proclaim; 
luminescent temper streaking across eyes wild.
His breath stirs your soul, trailing finger tips linger,
the first teasing kisses sting the arid rocks-
careless caresses leaving delightful dimples, 
goose bumping your stirring waters, pitter-patter.

Angst and rapture churn within
Filling your roiling loins, rushing currents, 
you shriek to the sky, sway to the primordial rhythm.
Lashing, throwing a grandiose paroxysm,
the ineffable mating ritual, the ancient invocation. 

Baneful and benign, You, my whimsical goddess! 
You the poet's pathos, the elusive mistress,
reborn in words, fashioned by generations- 
of writers sprung from this soil- 
How I long each time, in those transient seconds,
to stand by your banks, absorb the chimeral depths-
of your magnanimous glory, the intricacy,
the mystic performance, of your anguishes and elations.

Yet our encounter is brief, once every season,
for a few fading seconds.
In brief mortal-time, I live-
a mere second in your timeless being.
You wax and wane as seasons move
I flicker and fade, witness your song-
your great celebration, oh mighty river!
My muse, my madness, my yearning.