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by P C K Prem
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The village deity is kind, keeps everyone calm and satisfied.
An aged tale I hear and this we must learn in prayers
in little smiles, hushed breathings, a grey-haired woman tells.

I walk silently with a home-sewn satchel along the narrow path
fill burrows many with earth and pebbles
and naughtily irritate mice running about
and watch village women singing some old folk song
as if musical tunes and humming continue to reverberate
as they bend as if worshipping and thinning out lines of paddy saplings
with pulled-up trousers up to the knees white and…I feel thrilled,
a sensation arouses, for I knew the song and loved its tale.

‘You sing, you laugh, you are sad and you recall
and bear in mind intensity of the man and woman
who jumped into the river and died’ she was pensive.

You are a good storyteller, a woman says, I hear.
Because it makes you live together and feel for each other
so live each moment, forget past and future
It makes the world good, old mama told and I hear and laugh
in songs and smiles, men and women live
together and happy thereafter.

02-Oct-2016

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