Do You See?

>Whispers in the Attic



That’s a place
Where I saw
Summer-grown sunrays
Sprinting through a
Colored pane half-shattered,
Not fallen though
Glass not scattered,
Holding time in their hands
Like wooden strips
Chewed by termites
Pockmarked, tattered.

That’s a place
A little cubbyhole
Crammed with crazies
Inhabiting my dreams
From where a child me smelled
Fried eggs sticking
To the pan when
Forgotten in the kitchen
To answer the cat’s mew
For morning milk or
The mynah’s harsh reprimands
For householders not meeting
Her shrill demands.

That’s a place
I grew up dazed
Learning shimmering tales of
Fairies and grandmothers
Waving through photo frames
And crumbling old books
No eyes can decipher.
Memories rose from garden ferns,
Stuck to attic walls
Compelling me to hear
Their endearing calls.

That’s a place
Where days became
Empty unused vessels
Wherein I kept
My loose change
Of imaginations wild.
Surprise, nothing got lost!
Dipping my hands
I would bring them up –
A diver counting cowries,
Lost rings and treasure maps.

That’s a place
From where I heard sounds:
Cautious footsteps leading
Up to hidden stairs,
Screeches of vehicles
In the jolted street,
And derelict shouts;
Rankle of tin cans
Pulled by tiny unruly hands,
A distant roar through the sky
When airplanes flew
Knocking crying birds down
Aged and new.

That’s a place
Where time
Grew in an overarching vine
Leaves peeped at
Knick-knacks strewn
In that crowded spot:
Soiled sunset copper plates,
Sooty ceramic toads
Jostling with broken statues,
Dusty rugs, glimmering pellets –
To me all looked like gold
By the attic window,
But never old.

That’s a place
From where tender
Earthy vistas begun
Unfurling as home or hearth,
Before it all ran away quick
To ride a worldly ship and swim
With dead shells on a salty beach;
Where names became
False while the day sank deep
Down in a valley
Called mind
Inviting afternoon sleeps
And mighty high winds.

That’s a place
From where I did not ever
Want to leave,
Slip out of the broken pane
Like the impudent cat
Or a dusty feather floating off
To be caught
In other cobwebs
Inside aloof homes
And garden troughs
That sudden rains filled.
I needed that attic window
To stay with me
Like my deserted doghouse,
A veritable spot of glee.

That’s a place
I don’t want to go away from,
I don’t want to forget,
I don’t want to forfeit,
I don’t want to be released from
My seat by the broken
Berry-hued pane and junk
Shining like
Accidental fireflies
When the day departs
Breathless with a song,
And the attic window yawns
Like an ancient gong.


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This entry was posted on January 14, 2008 by in attic. whispers. window.
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