What I miss
Burdens of the world not on their shoulders
Themselves wrapped in modesty
Their hearts content in their bosom
Neighbors, friends, and family
Gathered that night like on nights often
Hand woven cotton around their head
Finely tempered tobacco to be hand rolled by their side
In the first quadrant of the night
They sat on benches
in reflection of the calamity outside
Tiles from local kilns,
Crescent in shape,
Robust reddish brown in composure,
adorned the roof above.
15 foot in depth and 60 foot wide,
A fair expanse sliced bamboo.
At that hour of the night,
to cots, of wood and hibiscus threads, in line,
The roof had been home.
A thin blanket spread, a cotton pillow, a sheet to cover,
Children laid there listening to the dance outside
and to the hum of rain on the roof, continuous.
Never a sound more soothing was heard.
Down the eaves of faithful tiles,
rushed waters in a silver curtain,
Descended the 7 feet clearing
with a noise only falling water can make,
A rustle, a din,
incessant, hurried, many toned,
parting comfort from calamity,
parting safety from chaotic churn.
Single but not lonely
A kerosene lamp of concave glass
A protected flame in its womb
hung on the wall.
In lamp light, in the shimmering silver,
There come to be on that night, like nights often,
Ruminating men and resting mothers.
A child's heart took wing
in a cocoon of security.
All the world seemed approachable.
In skies above a war was on its way.
Arjuna, Archer of the skies was on his chariot of fearsome wraiths.
As the wheels rumbled and ascended
Lynch pins fell, scorching heavens in stripes of fire.
From under the blankets pronouncements came: "Arjuna" "Arjuna"
Like a flock of birds, in a cackle,
Streaks of water currents rushed out the front yard
and out gushed from the compound wall
To the observant ear
near by yet faint
there drifted the sounds of cow bells
from the rhythmic sway of nodding heads
of young calfes, of mother cows,
of work horses the prized bulls,
all a family of gentle giants
satisfied in their element
Hay dry, Corn stacks juicy,
in handsome ways gathered, broken and consumed
Among nights such a night was special
Empty and nill a night usually is.
Like a true friend came rain, unannounced,
Morning would be sad when there would still be rain no longer,
when living beings would stir again in unrest
when attended burdens would take their seats on bent shoulders.
However on that special rainy night
Guiltless rest was what seemed imposed in measure ample.
Men talked, not of their work, not of their worries
Women talked, not of them, not of their worries
They both wondered of things simple.
Of life they discovered for a night, on that rainy night.
Like the tiled roof above, like the ground just outside,
The living come to feel what it is to be alive.
Cattle fed, in rain,
Drinking water carried from wells, in rain,
Muddy feet, wet hair, damp clothes,
Children bathed in steamy hot water, in rain,
All tidy in the end,
When all prevailed in the midst of difficulty
"Thanks for the wrestle" the mind said to an otherwise calamity.
Company of surety,
Hum of rain on the roof,
Silver curtains of rain,
Cackle of the running waters,
Cow bells just beyond the courtyard,
Rumblings in the belly of the sky,
Moments when neighborhood when washed walls lit in white,
Difficulties, the challenges, the calamities,
These I miss