10 First Flight

Glimpses of India

The Trees


The trees inside are moving out into the forest,
the forest that was empty all these days
where no bird could sit
no insect hide
no sun bury its feet in shadow
the forest that was empty all these nights
will be full of trees by morning.
All night the roots work
to disengage themselves from the cracks
in the veranda floor.

Most of us put beautiful plants inside our homes for decoration. As you know trees are also living beings. The poet has tried to describe their emotions in artificial forests. The gardens we make inside our drawing rooms are like artificial forests. This is same as putting an animal in a cage. No matter how much facility that animal is given, it will never be able to enjoy the freedom of the jungle.

The trees are kept somewhere else during the night, where they try to escape through the cracks of the veranda floor. Every morning they are moved to the artificial forest. The forest where no bird can sit, no insect can hide and where the sun can not hide behind a tree. It is like putting an animal away from its natural surroundings.

The leaves strain toward the glass
small twigs stiff with exertion
long-cramped boughs shuffling under the roof
like newly discharged patients
half-dazed, moving
to the clinic doors.

The leaves are trying to push through the glass window pane as if trying to escape the captivity. The branches are feeling cramped under the roof. This reminds the poet of a patient who is being discharged from the clinic and is moving with tired gaze and steps towards the clinic door.

I sit inside, doors open to the veranda
writing long letters
in which I scarcely mention the departure
of the forest from the house.
The night is fresh, the whole moon shines
in a sky still open
the smell of leaves and lichen
still reaches like a voice into the rooms.

Outside the captivity the night is full of freshness and the moon is shining. The smell of leaves and lichen is reaching those inside the captivity like a voice coming from far away. If you ever happen to travel through the jungles of Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand You may recall the musty smell of the flora. This distinct smell can’t be replicated in the drawing room gardens.

My head is full of whispers
which tomorrow will be silent.
Listen. The glass is breaking.
The trees are stumbling forward
into the night. Winds rush to meet them.
The moon is broken like a mirror,
its pieces flash now in the crown
of the tallest oak.

This is like a dream come true for those trees in captivity. The glass pane has broken and the trees are escaping. Now the moon is shining on top of the oak tree. It seems that the moon has broken like a mirror and its pieces have fallen all over the head of the oak tree to give it a crown of shining silver.