Saturday, September 8, 2018

Nine Paintings

This is a portrait of a dying plant,
It stands in agony, shrivelled;
A drought consumed its dreams,
And wayside it lay, no one to tend,
On soil red, ground for a year barren.

We know not who she was,
But her beauty persists like a childhood memory;
Her lips were red, eyes blue,
We recall- she was beautiful surely?
Five nights you think otherwise, but let her be.

It could be a nightmare, but you stayed awake.
It lingers on for days, and when your red-eyes shut,
You are woken up by the very image.
Your love bought it for you to keep, a parting gift,
And it haunts like a fateful night, the clock stuck at half past eight.

The war ended a few years ago,
But the memory of violence remains still,
The child lies dead on a mother's lap,
The field is red, and the sky a grey,
We can remember if we will. But we can forget.

You want it to be something,
But did the artist care to mean?
There's a riot of colours, a splash of green and red,
This is art we concur,
But our education isn't enough. Maybe despite it, we can.

The king ruled for a hundred years
He was a fat man of red vengeance.
He killed a million, tortured more,
In his name men raped and ravaged,
But he built these temples of old stone, with no concrete.

It is your city ninety years ago,
A tram line runs on Mount road,
Men wear turbans and carry a stick;
There are no other oppressors in sight,
Except for a name board in bright red. Can you read?

Agape, bright pinks and reds, made up and blown,
Neon light highlights, do you want to buy some more?
Maybe sell your soul or your house,
For a scratch of ecstasy, a bit of debauchery,
Or maybe a house built on a lake to drown your dreams.

For the third step there was nowhere,
Except for August on the calendar;
Will Mahabali comeback and stand upright?
There's an umbrella, there are signs,
You note the date in red and decide to sleep in late.

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