again thinking

in sunburnt youth, already old in thought
we bought from the evenings only darkness;
love, risen too early, eclipsed without warning

when others played unconcerned in rain,
there was for us only sombre avenues walking
by themselves, enmeshed by overhead branches
that locked their arms against the sun

today we talk of old love, already uncaring
like old men remembering the patches
of branches netted against coming light,
while those first thoughts of love fence
against the calm words spoken, goodbye

we talk of the sea, that echo, lost voice,
claiming its hurts for our shoreline, its tears
for our eyes, adoring the violence of waves
against the rocks of our hearts.
we talk of the sky, that mute artist
whose brushes we wielded to paint
this deepening darkness into our lives

one day we will have to return the sea
to its voice, the sky its colours.
one day we will have to find the sea and sky
in another human face.

by Chandran Nair
from once the horsemen and other poems (1972)


SELECTED POEMS: "if i am cynical blame the sun" >