Sunday, June 21, 2009
Choices have been made that I had nothing to do with---
Mistakes have been made,
And, worse than that,
Death has been served tea and fresh figs.
I was not present in that room,
At the table polished with citron oil.
I did not take part in the extended discussion
Whereby the decision was refined.
So don't point your finger at me someday.
I was here by the crib, looking at you.
Chewing your toes
Blowing little thought balloons
With your labials, fricatives, glottal stops, and retroflexes,
Your mint condition neurons firing.
(the languages can't be understood,
but the purpose is plain.)
I was here advising you that even though
All the women want to stroke you
And all the men want to be your pal
You should probably start developing your own resources.
Popularity like that never lasts.
I was saying how difficult it is to be
Courteous, loyal, thrifty,
Brave, cheerful, obedient, and wise
Separately, let alone all at once.
I was pointing you far into the future, to the day
You go down to the river
And wade out deep into the sacred element
And turn and see on the river bank
Seven luminous beings lined up and looking at you.
To which will you put your question
When you wade back? The Christians say
The story of the universe is the story of a boy and his dad.
They are absolutely right.
I can see that now, waiting here
For the smiles I'd kill for,
Watching you sleep curling your fist,
Which, in a time I can barely recollect
Did not, or maybe did, exist.
by Vijay Seshadri