mantra review

Spring 2018


Stopping by an Abandoned Tree Farm

after Allen Ginsberg’s Sunflower Sutra

I sat under the shade of a banyan tree & heard the myna sing as the oval sun shone like a bowl smeared with the juice of sunflowers. A car-tyre tied to its branches sprawled over the wide hectare of land.
A thick ribbon of oil flowed within the small rivulet, still visible in the faint light of dusk & I looked at an ancient storehouse damp with the sawdust of relics—museums erect themselves without prior permission.
Lofty mountains do not make a hermit out of you but sow bewilderment in mirror-pools of the soul.
Carriages, steel pots & pans, rusted windowsills, faded dusk jacket automobile guides piled loosely, old receipt bills with signatures of people long dead—
Abandoned house, peppery with smells of rain locked long—one silhouette pressed against the dark as a falcon taking flight.
The sfumato veiled into shreds of leaf & fungi-carbuncles on barks of trees, my back pressed against long hair, pressed against the bark of a tree speckled with moss—the kind of classroom Wordsworth & Coleridge would put up & offer their voices to the numinous.
Physis talks to anyone that listens to the sermon of its silent solitude & then offers sounds of wild winds, creaking bamboo shoots & migratory birds. The flowers bloom in silence. Plants takes root without noise—
I hear Eastern myths rouse into the atmosphere with a red sun. O soul, you have suffered. I am learning to love you here among the immortality of things & someday I shall illumine you as banyan roots peddle in the gentle breeze as happy children.
I shall learn to adore your multiplicities & worship you as non-monolithic.
Someday, I shall learn to stick sunflower stalks into my heart instead of thorns & grow paddy & sugarcane fields & learn the song of harvest.
I shall rise to Imbolc as creepers climb the breadth of red-bricked roofs & watch bullfinches perk upon apple-trees with a risen sun, slant from the eastern rim.

Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, and has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. Her chapbook titled "Synecdoche" is forthcoming with The Poetry Annals (Oxford, England). She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal and loves horses and autumn.

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