my black bird

 c achuthan unni
          My dark bird! A distant dream
In thy deep-dark wings!
          My black, beautiful bird!
A rare, time-tested raga
          In thy bitter-sweet notes!

It was a mere mute void,
An aching emptiness,
This tragedy the brooding horizons
Brought out of a pitch-black ovum.

Didn’t I reclaim this dark melody
Churning many a time and oft
The seven seas
With the churner, my bruised soul
Rounded with the hoops of spinal cord?

I designed thy dainty head
With the hungers where
A thousand fantasies of drifting day-dreams
Writhed and wriggled.

I gave unto it glowing eyes
Wrenching blue-bright stars
From the flaming immensity!

I fashioned shapely beaks, lovely legs,
Carved them fine with blades of swords
That gained glitter by slicing
Virtue and Vice
Through countless births and deaths!

I gave shape to the wings
With the sable clouds of Death;

I made picturesque plumes
Distilling the hidden hues
Of a thousand rain bows!

I tightened, I tuned up
The thunders of the nether world
Just upon thy Adam’s Apple
Its echoes whetted on the
Layers of ageless granite.

O, black-shaded bird
I reclaim, I salvage, this instant,
Your very being lost
In the rubbish heap
Of countless obscurities!

My bird, my bird,
The bird of my deathless longings!
The bird of my mist-laden mysteries!
 I shall reach out
To the farthest limits of the unchartered skies
By freeing you
Fly with thy sooty wings
Into the blue expanse of useless immensity.
 I shall reclaim
Sooner or later
The basic beats of this baffling universe
Through thy notes, harsh and grating
Resounding the valleys
Soaked in silence!

I shall hatch
as numberless colours
On the flanks of thy black being
the ever-throbbing Nature
that goes grey
In its endless gyrations.
My black, black bird!
Thou art my white, white bird
You cleanse with your sturdy beak
The rotten, stinking births bygone
Waking up in the dismal lanes of memory.

My cute, black bird
A soul-sweeping raga
Throbs in thy sweet-bitter throat!

Translation: V. Sukumaran
A-5, “Surabhi”
Giri Nagar, Kozhikode- 10
Kerala – India
Ph: 09349101262

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