Friday, April 10, 2009
Worked Late on a Tuesday Night - Deborah Garrison

Midtown is blasted out and silent,
drained of the crowd and its doggy day.
I trample the scraps of deli lunches
some ate outdoors as they stared dumbly
or hooted at us career girls—the haggard
beauties, the vivid can-dos, open raincoats aflap
in the March wind as we crossed to and fro
in front of the Public Library.
Never thought you'd be one of them,
did you, little Lady?
Little Miss Phi Beta Kappa,
with your closetful of pleated
skirts, twenty-nine till death do us
part! Don't you see?
The good schoolgirl turns thirty,
forty, singing the song of time management
all day long, lugging the briefcase
home. So at 10:00 PM
you're standing here
with your hand in the air,
cold but too stubborn to reach
into your pocket for a glove, cursing
the freezing rain as though it were
your difficulty. It's pathetic,
and nobody's fault but
your own. Now
the tears,
down into the collar.
Cabs, cabs, but none for hire.
I haven't had dinner; I'm not half
of what I meant to be.
Among other things, the mother
of three. Too tired, tonight,
to seduce the father.

- From
A Working Girl Can't Win (Random House) by Deborah Garrison.
posted by Kripa Nidhi at 10:06 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Dove Orchid - ONV Kurup (Translation)
The Dove-orchid - ONV Kurup 

There are the man-made wonders of the world, and then there are the natural ones. Like the Dove-Orchid (Peristeria elata).

The Dove-orchid is the national flower of Panama and has been rarely spotted elsewhere, although it is an endangered species even in Panama now. Dove-Orchid, is also called the ‘Flower of the holy ghost.'

The original version in Malayalam is by ONV Kurup, the doyen of Malayalam poetry.  My translation.

The Dove-orchid 
A virgin flower
meditating on the Sun
became a mother to a
white dove-like infant. 

She hid her little one 
inside her petals, 
and sat sleepless 
contemplating, “What now?” 

She didn’t put her child in a basket
and let it afloat on a river. 
Instead hugging to her breast,
her folly - her dearest- she sat.

She pondered in the
silent depths of her sorrow -
her shame, her fear
her anxiety.  

The moment of dawn arrives; 
for its father’s eyes 
she hoists 
her infant on her petals 

And unfurling them, she chants, 
“O Surya! Take her in your arms.” 
From somewhere in the empty sky
a voice beckons, “Come, my child.” 

But it didn’t fly anywhere -
that little dove.
With a deep breath she sat firmly
on her virgin mother’s breast. 

Original Mallu Version
kapOThapushpam - ONV Kurup

kanyaamoru pushpam
antharvathniyaayi: oru
veNNpraavinroopam poonDa

kunhine nijadhala
pudangaLkkuLLIl maRa-

lozhukkeelathine, than 
thettine, thaannOdaNa
cchirunnoo thadhvaathsalyam. 

lajjaye, yavamaana
majjanam cheythaaLugra
maunatthin kayangaLil. 

avaLA SiSuvine
savithAvinu nErE
yuyartthi, dhalapudam

vidarthhi manthrikkayaay: 
“he, soorya! kaikkondaalum!” 
viLicchu, “kunje, varu!” 

paRannu pOyillengu
maa kaapOthika: gADam
amarninrunnu kanyaa
maathavin mArilthannE! 
posted by Kripa Nidhi at 8:35 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Origin 4.1.2009 - Kripa Nidhi
Drinking beer
in a badly-lit bar,
I inform Frank:
‘At school today
my daughter learned
about the origin
of mankind.
How in the beginning,
there were two;
and then the apple
and the snake too.
Before the two
were exiled
out of paradise
down to earth.’
‘Good,’ says Frank
sipping long.
‘And I’m telling you
this global warming
is one big fat
The earth was hot
and humid
then too.
Why else would the two -
Adam and Eve - run around
bareassed and naked?’
‘And you didn’t hear them,’
he adds,
‘complain about
emission standards
and what have yous.’

‘True,’ I nod my head
and add,
‘You know what else
would make sense -
that the world must ‘ve
been made this day,
the first of april,
three thousand whatever
years ago when it was created.’
Frank agrees,
‘and you know what’d make
even more sense?
That we should
talk about
this today
- the first day of mankind.'
‘But,’ he says standing up.
‘I must go home now
else I’ll be late
to shoot down
some alien spaceships
with my online pals.’
posted by Kripa Nidhi at 8:25 PM | Permalink | 0 comments