My poetry asked spring its name ♠ Poetree ♠ Kuzhur Wilson

poetree / kuzhur Wilson

I’m waiting for her under that tree 

this tree would grow big
and bear fruits

crows would come
ants, centipedes and all

then the wind, rain
and sunshine would come

savour the taste,
in one way or another

the tree would grow again

when the branches
grow beyond their reach
children would leave the tree

then comes the contractor,
and the chopper and carpenter
arrive in their turn

when the chisel touches
the same branch, where
the crow used to sit,
there arises a sound, cawing

hearing the sound
the remaining children
would fly away sturned

when the nail pierces
its windblown shoulder
there ‘ll be an eerie silence

desolate like the midday
of friday without anyone
going to the church

gradually it becomes the door
and enters inside
and sits as a chair,
then lay down-
as a cot, tired

I am waiting for her
under that tree

(translation  : Rajendran Cherupolika)

Two trees

 Curry Leaf Tree

It must be because
I have not seen a lush curry leaf tree
For the last 6 years
That I always watered
A curry leaf tree
In my mind of minds

Daily it flourishes,
Getting greener and greener

There is no distinction
Between strangers or close ones, Everyone who saw it
Used to take its leaves

It will bow down
In front of those
Who cannot reach the branches,
So that they can snap the twigs again and again

When the smell of curry spreads,
All houses, along with the kids,
Will become strange,
Spreading a lot of happiness
Let them call my darling leaves ‘curry leaves’

Don’t cry, my children

Neem tree

For the last 6 years,
What is observed with a full heart
Is neem trees
Standing row upon row

Whenver possible,
I will fit into its shade
If no one saw me,
I Give a kiss
You should see the smile
Exposing its light green gum

How many came,
How many went
Feel sad
When I see the detachment of the graying leaves,

“Come if you must,
Stay if you will,
Go if that is what you wish”
Isn’t this what your body language speak
Standing there?

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

The strange ways of God – again

The task God gave
Today morning
Was bizarre,
And amazing moreover.

Get out of the room

When you turn right once more
After you go right,
On the thousand and thirteenth leaf
On the fourteenth branch
Of the first rose apple tree you see
Is the stain of a migratory bird’s dropping.
Wash it with saliva.

Did it.

Walk left
On the eastern boundary
Of the 16th villa
Stands a date palm.
Except for  twelve fronds on top,
The rest have lost their green and are dead.

Or tears
And make it bright green.

That too got done.
Walk straight.
On the underside
Of the waterway,
A little banyan tree
Has germinated and is growing

Give her a kiss and make her a mother.

The quaint ways of God,!

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

Tree kiss

This tree was the very picture
Of a pair of birds
Who had a fight after mating.

You will never understand
The eagerness of this tree
In making every morning a new one
Or daily showing me a new movie,
However I try to describe it
One day
Leaves, that cry
“don’t go” “don’t leave”
To the wind
That passes by

Another day
Of shooing cats feasting in the shade,
On fish bone, from someone’s leftover meal,
After dribbling pigeon-droppings from a branch,

Another day
The tear-filled eyes
Of its own branch
That cries
And supplicates the sun
To heal its wound

Another day
Of its own sister branches
Or, in human parlance, wooden chairs
That have become prostitutes;
On which strange people sit casually.

One day
The Bihari
Who is scared stiff of his lord,
And who runs every time a wind blows
To sweep away the dried leaves
Which the wind has killed,
Having made violent love to them.

On yet another day,
The fruits that laugh their heads off
Along with the little blossoms that laughed once |
At the silver-blue sky

On still another day
The tap root
That suddenly burst into tears
Gazing at the dusk
That draped golden strands on boughs and twigs

On yet another day,
The aged middle-portion of the tree
That unveiled the hitherto unexposed
Moss-green nursling
And prayed that it be named
Another day before this,
Had made me sad
By asking
“Are you wont to see
the other tree-friends
Throughout the countryside ?”

Had made me heartsore
By asking me
“Would you forget me?”

Once, have asked
Whether I would point out
The mother-bird
Who sowed the seed after she ate the fruit
I have made myself broken-hearted  |
Where or how mother was.

At the moment
When the mind gets shaken up
And becomes even more fragile,
In the memory of
Some trees
That have helped some lives thrive,
Have given shade,
Given oxygen,

O tree,
I am hugging you,
Giving you
A frozen, but still very passionate kiss
With the Alloyed numbness of death and life :
A tree-kiss

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

Trees in life , poetry

In life

Walking through
The rows of trees on either side

Then, the standing trees
Walk backwards
I ask them to walk along with me
They walk backwards still

Walked a bit faster
The faster does the trees
Walk backwards, away from me

Tried running

I decide I will run along with the trees,
And went back

They go in the opposite direction
To mine

In poetry

It is because I feel sad
About eons that you have been standing
In the same position,
That I make you run like this,
Even though backwards..

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

 Coconut  trees

Date palms asked

Why are you staring?
We are the coconut trees
After you translated us.

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

Otherwise , a banyan tree by the wayside

I do not belong to anyone, leave me alone
I do not belong to anyone, leave me alone
Please, leave me alone.

When I was born, Father and Mother said
My son, my son
Our son

when I cried that day
I was loudly repeating
“Leave me, let me be, I do not belong to anyone”
No, I do not belong to anyone.

It was for the same reason
That I cried while getting baptized
Leave me alone, leave me.

I do not belong to a Christian, nor Hindu, or Jew or Buddhist
It was saying “let me be, free me” that I cried that day
I do not belong to anyone.
I do not belong to myself.

I do not belong to anyone,
Not you, not anyone

A kiss, or marriage or death
Has no right over me.
Not belonging to anyone is, life, for me

The phone in the public booth,
The computer in the cafe, the Russian girl on the road,
The cup in the teashop, the pen in the complaints register

The bus which plies from village to another village
The doctor at the clinic, the flower by the wayside, the river that flows south,
The sea which counts waves
Rain, sky anywhere, sun, moon,

A Tree by the wayside.

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

That  tree

In the villa in Sharja,
A banyan tree stood, stuck to the wall of the building.
Mind throbbed as soon as it caught sight of it,
Touched it to my forehead in reverence,
Remembered my father who understood trees.
In the book she has kept closed,
It should be possible to still see
The memory veins of a leaf-
Plucked after touching its soul and seeking permission.
‘It is a sign of prosperity,
It cleanses the atmosphere’, Mary too said.
New tenants came in the room vacated by Priyan and Anjana
Jaya aunty and her husband said that they wore skull caps
Narayanan, wearing sacred thread and sandalwood paste on his forehead,
Anthony with rosary and sacred amulet
After them,
Youngsters of this type were not seen so nearby
One night, when I went out of my way to touch that tree,
I heard speech of a rhythmic nature
From the room of those who wore caps
It passed through my mind, ‘these are times when words become music.’

It was a Friday.
While watering Basil plants,
Saw the branches of the banyan on the ground.
Its leaves, like heart shattered..
Whitish veins drained of blood
my eyes hurt
As I ran to it,
Saw the tree,
Looking like a worshipper whose hands were cut
While crying, beseeching the heavens , arms outstretched.

You used to say that there were many types of trees
Which tree is used to make crosses to crucify humans, Father?

(translation  : Anitha Varma )

Varghese has no home

Varghese has no home.
Stays in his workplace.
Jesus’s very own man.
Big rosary around his neck.
And a matching wooden cross.
He gardens around the yard
On days of no work.
Holds a deep grudge
Against the trees around.

Doomed are they the moment
His eyes settle on them.

Asked him once whether
His rancor was because
Jesus was crucified on wood.
Or, was it the wheezing that
the Acacia trees caused?
Or, was it the itchy worms
from the soft wood trees?
He said time and again
‘Brother, I love the trees
More than you love them.’

Have seen many times
The birds from the trees
Chopped down by Varghese
Looking for their nests.

Clearing the bushes along
The road to the office was
Varghese’s job for the day.

When I went out for a smoke
Glowing was he about
How the place gleamed.

Midnight, after work,
Was driving along the path
Shorn clean by Varghese.

In the blaze of the headlight
A hare dashed frantically
Looking for its bush.

(translation  : N. Ravi Shanker )

My poetry asked spring its name

My poetry, which knew it was
the cry of a lonely bird
on a solitary tree
in my village,
asked Spring its name.

Spring began to speak –

The fruit laden Vayyankatha, her thorny pangs, hijab-wearing  Guf, her minarets, Thondi  blushing red with kisses,  her moist lips, orphaned Adalodakam, Nellippuli in a polka dotted dress, Pulivakawaiting for the breeze, Anjili   head towards the south, yawning Cherupuuna, Pera with the names of grandmas scribbled on her leaves, Ilantha blowing into the hearth, Ilapongu rubbing his eyes, Irippa, Atha laughing noisily,Cholavenga in tattered clothes, Irumbakam, Padappa catching his breath after running, Pattipunna wagging his tail, bare footed Pattuthali, Thekku the noblest among them, Thekkotta, Neervalam  recollecting her last birth, Neeraal, sobbing Neelakkadambu, Pathimukam, lazy thanal murikku, Karimaruthu, Karinkura, Asttumayil, Velladevaram, Kattukadukka, the gluttonous Badam, amnesiac Vazhanna, boredVarachi, Nangmaila, Eucalyptuswith a sprained back, viscous red Rakthachandanam, saffron robed Rudraksham, Vakka, Vanchi,  Parangimaavu nostalgic of his ancestral home, Vari, Nedunaar, Marotti with a hundred offsprings, Malangara, Malampunna ,Nenmeni Vaka trying his luck in a lottery, Nelli with a sour smile.

Kadaplaavu doing sketches with leaves, Kari straying from the queue, Kattuthuvara buying things on credit, Kattutheyila boiling over, Kattupunna with a pus-oozing sore, Kumkumam putting a bindi on her forehead, starving Ventheku, Vellakadambu making a missed call, Kattadi standing aloof, her feeble hands,  flowering Ilanji, her fragrant trunk, sighing Aalmaram, Pachavattil, Pachilamaram  gossiping with the chameleon, Panachi,Pamparakumbil, Kadambu memories adorning her head, Kudamaram carrying provisions for the home,  Punnappa,Poongu, gray hairedChuruli, Chuvannakil  singing a folk song, dark skinned Vattil, Kulaku, Karinjaaval, sozzled Pamparam, Chorappayir, njama, Njaaval  tempting the birds, Njaara, Alasippooscratching his palm, Ashokam  humming a sad song.

Ezhilampala chewing on a masala paan, Peenaari wearing a tie, Peelivaka, Pulichakka with a broken leg, Pezhu demanding his wages, Kumbil, Kurangaadi, Kasukka with a dislocated elbow,Valiyakaara, Vallabham, Chavandi, stunning Chinnakil , Chittal with a failed brake, Vidana, Sheemappanji, the loan shark Odukku, Oda  on musth,fatherless Kadakonna, childlessShimshapa, Sindooram with a flushed face, Karinthakara singing the thannaaro, Vellappayir high on grass, Poothilanji showing off her blossoms, sour faced Kudampuli.

Wet in the rain Kulamaavu, Kudamaavu circling around himself, Pari from the netherworld,Poopathiri in a priest’s robe,  Poochakadambu on all fours, Kulappunna covered in a blanket, Kundalappala checking his astro forecast, Pachotti, masturbating Perumaram, Perumbal  thinking of the sea, phlegm clogged Anathondi, Anakkotti, Cheruthuvara, Ilavangam, Thanni,naughty Thirukkalli,  Karappongu, embracing Kattadi, Thudali, Thelli, Kara, Malayathi,Malavirinji, shameless Kashumaavu,mud slinging Karuka, Vedinal, suicide prone Attumaruthu,Attuvanchi  who glides on the stream like a fallen shadow.

Mandaram  dressed in white, Vanna, brazen Mahagani, Karivelam doing the accounts,Jakarantha, Koombala, friendless Koovalam, Kattukamuku with his hands around friends, Kolli, Paruva,Krishnanaal with a crooked smile, Cocoa with no one to turn to, Cork,Palakapayyani, Pavizhamalli wearing necklace and bangles, a lonely Mazhamaram, Mangium, Mathalam exposing her nipples, Chemmaram, Pashakottamaram, Malavembu, tearful Chamatha, Vatta, Vattakoombitired of running around, smoking Pine, Porippovanam, Kaaluvnthatherakam, Thembaavu, grinningDantaputri, Narivenga, Navathi, grumbling Mazhukkanjiram,Arayanjili,  Arayal playing a game with the wind.

Choola kissing the sizzling wind, Arinelli, Maavu reciting sadly the poem Mampazham,  Chandana vembu, Peraal stretching its back, Pulivaaka, Unnam, Naythanbakam,Karpooram in a slow glow, Naaykumbil, trumpeting Pongu, outcast Pottavaaka, bursting Poriyal, vagabond Ponthavaaka, Plaavu lost in some thought, Pootham  head covered , Ethappana  greening while yellowing, Manjadi, Mullanvenga, Mullilam lifting his dhoti to expose his genitals, Mullilavu hopping around, Moongappezhu, Neermaruthu saying enough is enough, withered Neermathalam ,Moottikkay, Ithi, Ithiyaal, Vella velam, Kalppayir, Kallar, Majakkadambu singing a lullaby, Choondappana wary of fish bones.

Stooping Punna, Matti scared of her big brother, Paarijaatham watching the midnight movie, Paalakal, Paali,Paarakam doing cartwheels, Viri, Athi showing off  her seeds,Ampazhammassaging his chest, Ayani inlove with her son, Manjakkonna, Manjamandaram in search of something, Chullithi with eyes closed, Kallilavu like an oozing rock, Malamandaram eyeing the vultures,Velleetti cursing the thunder, Venga,Veppu, Vraali, Akil, sighing Acacia,Balsa, Blanka, Beedimaram with a rattling cough,  Agasthi, Cherukonna with a sheepish smile, Kambali, woundedNagamaram.

Pathiri, touching his forehead to the ground, his eyes heavenward, Ankolam ruined by debts,Kattumarotti, Kundalappala, Aattumaruthu,Poovam, Erumanaakku, Karingotta, Vediplaavu his salary still unpaid, Venmurikku, Manjanaathi, Manimaruthu jolted awake, Mathagirivembu, Karaanjili  escorting his daughter, Karakongu,Karappongu, Ilippa on her way back, Ooravu half-awake after a dream and with a sucker smile, Ennappana about to immolate himself, fattened  Ennappine,Azhantha waiting for someone, Chorapatri with a cracked head,Sheemappoola,Poovankara, Malampuli, Puli with sharpened stakes.

Obese Theettipplaavu,Malambongu, Chorimathimurikku, Irippa bailing out his friend, Irumbakamwho lost his job, Kunkumappoo, Karinthaali, Scoot, Rose Kadambu, Aamathali, Aarampuli,Attilippucaught in the crowd, Irul  blessed by the elders, Vellavatti, whistling Mula, Kattukonna in a hat, Kaniiram learning the alphabets, broker Cheru,Kattuchembakam exposing his arm pit,Thandidiyan, Neeroli, Ezhachembakam waiting for her bus, Karimbana in a newly constructed house, Karivenga,Karivali writing a poem, Ungu in a baby frock, Udi, Plasha, Elamaruthupromising to meet later, Chembakam dying to hug.

Vellakil who bathes the kids, Vellavaaka who forgot his umbrella, Attuthekku who failed the exam, lustful Aattunochi,Malanthudali with her legs spread, Malanthengu with chest thrust up,Malamanchadi who is learning to count, Malambarathi exposing her breasts, intoxicated Aval, Arana reciting the poem Karuna, insane Alakku who dashes off to the temple, Cheru who cannot stop washing clothes, Kudappana ready to elope, irreligious Jaathi, Silver Oak laughing boisterously, Kattuveppu waiting for the kids, Sumami sucking on a toffee, annoyed Parappoola,frightened Pinar, Ithi stopping her ears at swear words, Ithiyal with lots of smiles, Kovidaram with music in his mind, Ilakkali showing her belly, blossoming Ilavu, Chadachi who fucks sadistically, cool fingered Chandanam.

dominating Charakkonna, office going Cheelanthi, Gulgulu glued to Kochu channel, Gulmohur with dyed hair, Irul with a fuming face, early rising Kanikonna, Kanala who has a sound sleep, Karingali  who pees standing, Kambakam with an erect prick, Kallavi  beseeching to stuff her up, Karanjili  quivering in lust, calm Karaal, Kaari who hums while fucking, Kaavalam who naps after the toil,Thannimaram showing off her petals, Thambakam kissing the cunt, Thellipayar savouring a prick,Neerkurunda in post-sexual languor, Malaya breastfeeding her kid, bullying Kathi, mad hat Eetti,Cheeni  not remembering his mom,  Kunnivaka showing his gums, Kuppamanja who laughs in sleep, Othalanga swallowing poison, blooming Poovarasu.

Spring went on,
reeling off names to me.
The rain the sun the wind and the cold
Rolled in one after the other.
Spring kept pulling out
names from its memory.

People got scared of
my poetry gone wild.
They stopped passing that way.

A snake goes slithering away.
A hare finds its own path and dashes away.
A poothankiri, from a bush, flies away.

(translation  : N. Ravi Shanker )

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

Kuzhur Wilson

Born in 1975, Kerala, India, Kuzhur Wilson is one of the major voices of the new generation Malayalam poetry. His is the voice of dissent and the break off point from the generation that preceded the present. Wilson’s first book of poems was published at a young age of 24. A very prolific writer, he is active in poetry from 1990 till now. To him goes the credit of launching the first blog for Malayalam poetry.

‘Kuzhur Vilsonte Kavithakal”, his poetry  collection by DC Books in 2012, got wide recognition. India Today selected it as one of the 10 best books in 2012. He has since published 5 volumes of poetry and a collection of essays. He is the recipient of N.M Viyyoth Smaraka Kavitha puraskaram and Arabian Sahithya puraskaram. He has visited 7 countries with his performing poetree. His poems have been translated into English, German ,Arabic and Tamil. Thinthatoo is his first collection of translated poems.


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