Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Dept of Environment and Climate Change

Coconuts and Waves, and More

Coconuts and waves


Cups of steaming hot tea, good while you talk sense

Or otherwise you just enjoy it

In fours or fives as much as a pot can hold

I shop for colourful loneliness

Which I find in the streets

Wherever I went it was there for me

Waiting as I waded through

Trying to find something new

Something of a message I found

Long-time back when nothing was truer than truth

For whoever I met I fancied was free

Free to own himself

Rather listen, rather not speak

Like a woman whose man is

Beheld by a few on the foreign street

By admirers who wouldn’t let them

Escape their friendly speech

So much to tell them who are rarely seen

About winter, vegetables, fruits and fish

The roads are a good place to talk

You get time to wonder what it’s all about

Since you’re here it’s worthwhile

Time passes by anyway everywhere

Coconuts would be tastier if they’re on a tree

There are no roads where they grow

But from the crossroads of your mind

You would be set free, free to wish for more

The rest you find, nothing could be surer

Something that happens when on the street

You have some time to speak

To find fantastic men there

Who are quick to understand you just live

It’s not the beach but you are tempted not to leave

Like a gathering homely street

Ima market is a place just across from your room

It’s better on the roadsides, the quietness,

A breach of their loneliness and poverty

Some money’s exchanged though it’s not much for me or for them

I don’t come from a land either where there’s much

Truly yours, when we meet each other in spaces we need

At other times it’s not just hearsay

That we did enjoy as it all carried on and on

Somebody we loved somebody we spoke to

It taught us a lot about how to live life

About how words leave you when you

Stretch your imagination far and wide

Do you miss their company?

You can meet forever in the small busy streets

Such as, it’s against nobody’s wish


Mind transformations

Transition at Nambol, the houses next to the road

Drawn back towards the neighbourhood

A mind equally divided, the road and farms overweighed

In the winter cold stocked up with grains

Just harvested the stubble left neatly and the hay

On patches which were reason for delight

Dry to the core now all brown before the plough is set

Don’t know what to expect on the turn at Bishnupur

But there were the hilly mountains before

To show you it exists reddish brown

And the short grown green trees

Mixing it up well, the farms at short distance

With the rising hills and the speed on the bus’s window seat

Only forests and miniscule Kabui villages up the greenish brown rise

Enough for the cold times, bananas, firewood, and oranges when you are high

And the sky was a small milky way, the mist formed

Like nothing before a moving sight

Khoupum would be nice I believe

There’s a river now and a bridge hung over it

You keep seeing it on and off for quite a while on the meandering drive

The trip to the waterfall is on your mind

But there’s a lot more happening inside the bus and the window seat

With the gutsy girls and boys who are thinking but calm

The water’s near and the earth’s mountainside is blackish wet

Topsoil and a dam for the fields

Here it’s dry too but the earth’s wet and provided

The stubble of dry paddy rising up above the watered mud

On the way before the valley small green parrots to meet

The stature of the short rising hills

Every now and then firewood tracks into the hills

And the occasional few houses is all you see

Nothings busy except the hill and the bus through it

Cascading down meant only for a few visitors

The pool it formed cool for the blood running in the open feet

Where’s the life here except work that’s for a road muddied

Quietness a catch word nothings found wrong in men

When there’s nothing but children and a winter to live through

Yet it’s in the world and apart from it too

Like many Himalayan mountains that don’t leave you

Once you have been through a few

This fag end is mostly undergrowth

The nearness of city and towns

How soon you forget it all once you reach down

Downward you go again

And you want it all again once you are sitting

Or getting tired of working the day’s job

The cold seeps into your heart, mind and body

Till it unfolds all of it that your life is about, that not this not this

There’s turbulence in my mind but

Gaan Ngai drums are sweeter for them

How different we are close to each other

When will I find the time so much dear

When they have it all with or without the work

A life that combines both home and the forest near

I seek them as they must be seeking me sometimes

I believe this must be true cause for a moment

I found the years and seasons passing by too

First Nambol and then it might be all lush green

Or light brown caked when I find you

A thought for all seasons I keep for me



Such a beautiful place

All green with grass and trees

And the people nice and polite

My friends told me so what if

They get on your nerves sometimes

Maybe it’s something in yourself

Which you don’t like

How could it be that you

Like the land sometimes

And find fault with it

At other times

My friends maybe right

I haven’t looked too deep

Could be that I haven’t seen

But further on

There could be a light

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