Poetry | ‘A Temple’ & ‘Can I tell you a Secret?’ by Karthik Keramalu | Issue 37 (Jan, 2021)

 A Temple

Then they came, then they came in droves
Shouting and chanting some lord’s name
Wearing tilaks and bhagwa 
Poleaxing as though it’s a game.

Loudly, loudly, we – macaques – cried
Up, they eyed the shrinking branches,
Howling and stoning from the side
Guzzling the jungle in batches.

To the sea, to the sea we ran
In tatters, we looked for ripe hope
While they savagely coined a plan –
Temple for the tailed-devotee. 

Then they made, then they made a fool
Of us all, and the latter
Prayed and marched as a cutting tool
To muzzle the dissing-scatter. 

Can I Tell You A Secret? 

I woke up on a farm not too far
from the scene of the crime with
purplish blood on my hands and a strange
sound of déjà vu. Yes, it was almost like
this had happened before, but I
couldn’t recall the events chronologically,
so I let my amnesiac mind rest. Now all I
need to do is wash my hands thoroughly lest
I get caught, and come up with an excellent,
four-tiered plan to shift the blame to the
enemy that’s bantering on about the death
of democracy and once again prove him
right. Anyway, who can stop me when a flock
of rim-horned mhehh-mhehh is behind me? I’m
the King and the Counselor, the Weapon and
the Wound. 

Karthik Keramalu is an Indian film critic and writer. His works have been published in Film CompanionThe HinduDeccan HeraldThe Quint, etc.


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