Two Poems | Deepa Onkar

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There it is, the Baobab tree
squatting in the sun, folds of skin shining,
fruit like animals hung on their tails.
Surprise dawns: the Baobab
should not be here; this is my old school
playground. It grows dark, there are crowds.
That singer: I recognize him among
the silhouettes of faces pushing past.
He smiles his thin intelligent smile,
points to the Baobab. I look, and we
wonder, talk, laugh. Inevitably
I come to that sudden swing in the road:
into the shaded afternoon light,
my feet wading into orange and
brown stones. The singer
and the laughter and the hum
of images fade.

In this woken-up light, I know
the Baobab nestles in
the woods among Neem and Peepal
trees, I want to see it meditating again
see that quiet drop of fruit
as if they were unwanted thoughts.
I will meet a better quiet there,
than this room filling up quickly with the world:
outside, the chatter
at the breakfast table rises,
voices begin to eclipse each other.


You like safe sounds
~ Carol Ann Duffy

You like infinities
the sheer bafflement of reckoning
with galaxies, numberless stars
distant suns, wild, coruscating.
Numerals scooting to the edge of a page
textbook definitions: degrees
that map the mind off world’s mundaneness. 
For the flesh to thrill to – the sound
of wind through trees,
like a sea. Long aalaaps, lying on moonlit lawns.
The humming away into the background
when the song ends,
when words are exhausted.

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