Artwork: Garden Therapy by Riddhi Desai
“What do I grow?” is the question to brave,
or so did I think.
As the last ones I wanted climb up the way,
To invade my terrace; its endemic refuse.
Lightweight lethargy or itinerant itching,
what will work well with my make-believe soil?
Leafy with vegetables or fruitful for later,
Which ones will survive and look their age some day?
Erect, languid or climbing the parapet,
How do I rear them to stand up to the sky?
And accost its colours with
Wait for the rains or water the waiting
until the first sprig laces the moonlight?
Uncertain I before all the seedlings,
A weed-like flourish cracks up the lining
laid down to protect, lest things get too heated.
Gardeners can only rest like farmers.
To underwrite in green
an inherited lament, annotated by air,
One needs to invoke a legion of elders
inured to summons.
Plants often pampered by undulating silence
Murmur the methods of imagined rivulets.
Some of them used to thriving on slopes
Negotiate the newness of horizontal heights.
Elevations from the past, enumerated by roots,
probing the surface, a depleted depth.
Tended at random, the garden untangles.
Deferred gravity on deracinated Sundays,
Obstinate tendrils on oblong objections
Terrace is the square of one’s putative earth.
If the parts around my estranged interiors
Sparkle with green; a newfangled vigour
Where will I discard my glowering summer?
Folded and frizzy and shrouded and sulking
Drooping and daring and sticky and stunted
They have invaded with inimitable intent
Taking their position for battles unforeseen,
Underground soldiers on upended orders.
Sajan PK writes poetry and prose. His writings in English have appeared in The Hindu Magazine Open Page and The Bombay Review, among others. His Malayalam writings have been published in TrueCopy Think, Madhyamam and Mathrubhumi.. He is a communication consultant by profession, living in Chennai. Facebook: Sajan Pk / Twitter: @pksajan / Instagram: sajanpk