Ratnagiri 2001

In the mountains you remember the sea
Mountains are thrust up from sea-bottom
                                    like memory
Memory of a tree, a forest, fruit trees
A Fruit forest: A lifetime of rewards for a sown seed
I lead my boy into the terrain of my childhood
                    The sea west of our continent
                    And the hills wrinkled up from it
There are wrinkles too in my memory
Time warps        chasms like within hills
Some tower over others
And all runs down to sea
Where my boy gambols
Now a dolphin        Now Arion
Arion rode a dolphin to safety
I am Arion
The sea is my element
I was stranded and saved there
My boy is from the hills
But we are all born in water
Death too must be a voyage
                            into eternal spring
Venus was born from water
My mother rises up from the foam on a shell
It is a vision I've never abandoned like my poor father
Mother is the sea-borne Mary
and all of us her sons
These are the saving graces
The sea churns everything else
Flotsam and jetsam
And from a promontory the bay
Where ships like seeds diverge on urgent errands
And on the long way home
The transforming rains come
The same scene of morning transfigured suddenly
My boy takes snapshots locking memory
He sees only moments in time
I see the rain swell into a river
flowing down to sea
The glow worm is born
Thr ripe mango rots
And the crane flies inward from sea

I have to bid goodbye to my child
As my mother did to her child
A lifetime behind me
                        And all time before me
What can I say of the Arabian Sea?
-- That my ghost came to greet me
                        A young boy with a whole life before him.

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