On Felling a Vazha


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Roseate sonnet : This one is for our bird woman Santosh Bakaya

Strict-eyed, a jungle babbler sits on the fallen banana stem
Scolding me as she lets the whole world know what I have done
“Cut the tree and stolen the fruit?” Ready to flee, I hitch up my skirt’s hem
A dew shower from the tall aanjali and she leaves on a hopping run

The kakka thampuratti doesn’t consider it an act done naughtily
Gleaming black, straight-backed, she stiffens down to the tips of her elegant tail
Cocks her smooth head and looks at me and the dying plant haughtily
I stumble and retreat, bananas forgotten in face of her trilling gale

The backyard teems with accusing yellows, browns, brilliant blues and black
A kaleidoscope of mynas, kingfishers, orioles and sparrows arrive, help! it’s a trap

Round bird eyes accuse me of de-fruiting slender trees
On every branch, flapping wings denounce my act of treachery
Sounding me off in every musical tongue, to their ire they give lease
Enchanting everyone for miles around but bird-lashed, I slink away guiltily
©Reena Prasad

Vazha                           :Banana( the plant)
Kakka Thampuratti  :racket -tailed drongo
Aanjali                          :wild jack/jungle jack

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