A depression in the bay
A sea possessed – swirling, churning, spewing and raging,
there’s a depression in the bay.
A murky colloid of nauseous grey-green froth
reaches across the huge expanse of sand.
Rippling rivers on the tarmac,
as the wind sweeps with ferocious intent.
The monsoon is a genius percussionist,
complete with intermittent blasts of thunder.
Thrumming the soundtrack to my childhood,
drenching unknown anxieties,
hinting at a renewal,
a subliminal promise of release.
The sandalwood tree in the garden is down –
a rare sighting of a female koel, with its hawk-like beak
protesting at having its lodgings destroyed.
She’s deceptively predatory, this cousin of the cuckoo.
A reedy croaking from the puddles,
a fitting finale after the deluge.
Carts that sell juice of aloe vera, roasted corn,
fried fish, kebabs and spicy chaat
lie upturned, on the soaked sand
Above, a murder of crows,
after a mystery morning forage,
I expect a murmuration that doesn’t happen.
Police patrolling the promenade shoo all humans away.
On the other side of the wide road,
a graceful square-cut outside Lady Willingdon block,
fielders move, as if perfectly choreographed.
I turn back, with memories of sapphire blue water
under a blazing sun on a scorching beach.
This poem was written as the rain was thrashing against the window of my childhood room. So many memories of monsoons past – especially of the frog symphony that used to follow the heavy rains. Their croaking en masse from the flooded puddles is something I missed this time, when all I did hear was one reedy voice marking its presence.