Fair-faced, generous, gifted. You could tell her
Abundant, dexterous yet not swift enough
To flee from vulture’s god desire;
This deftly raped virgin marked whatever we’d do.
She was my first mother. I imagine,
She would have been friends with Dido,
Whom you know as Elissa,
Had they not been parted by water and time.
How gracefully she disappeared
In the distance
Of shadowy days
Of the seven hills.
Her sons crawled the land
Until able to lift their heads
And look the monster they had created
In its only eye. There they glimpsed
A hungry soldier’s arm, raised,
Four generations ahead,
And shrugged their rotund shoulders.
To find my second mother I needed not seek
Palatial palaces and placid places.
She had a hostile hand and violent eye,
Her sons learnt not from her.
Cradled in her wizened arms she carried
A sagacious snake, asleep, ready
To wake the world her steps wished for.
Tanaquil, already a four-time-mother, forgot I was
Next in line. This would have sent me back
Hundreds of years, I had to decide on her
Swiftly. In waiting, time passes
Faster than life; you are pressed to opt knowing
You can’t afford an unwise choice of a mother.
And so I chose Flora, a harlot, a safe bet
To walk erect like a stalk and not fall any lower.
She cared for me, loved the twilight, wore nothing
But purple. The sterling queen of April, the second month,
The opening of diamonds and meanness, she sees your soul come
Into the house of your prayer.
Next two mothers were of noxious nature –
Tradition hated Talent and with further worries
Penetrated the unsuspecting mind till it bore
No semblance to what it might become.
The snide hag recites that none is born
Uninfluenced. Trite and stale, she never felt
She was spat at by the other,
Who every morning knolls her end.
Sinless Agon was troubled by her virtues.
She knew us, learned and well-read creatures
Devoid of opinion, who purchase what others conceive,
Until tedium and lack of belief owns us.
What we truly lack is understanding, a sterling shield
Against inability to tell. Sightless, blindfolded ghosts
Creep across their christendom of progress.
To us she scribbles on a yellow leaf:
Give me a virgin and a young boy
And I will take my eyes off your land,
Leave you in peace. Do it not
And all will be hypnotized,
Led into the forest, and perish.
Weak, we fear nothing and turn to the past
For inspiration. The falcon is blinded, heeds
A different falconer; all around us
Bodies drawn long ago float like autumn leaves.
The starless town is lost among the eastern deserts.
Strutting the balcony edge the fool hums
The land’s favourite mantra. All your endeavours will acquire
Your soul a splendid funeral pyre.