Birdies Read Poetry at British Council – November Session
The theme for the poetry reading was ‘BIRD’ and guess what? Three birds turned up. All females. Ha! Ha! Maybe, the male birds just did not feel like writing about the birds and the bees I guess.
We tarried a while before beginning our poetry session. And when we knew that the others could have been delayed or might not come due to other engagements we started off with our reading. And you know, when women get together they can bring the roof down. It is a different fact that the roof legally belonged to the British Council Library and we could not attempt such an act.
So, we tried hard to keep our poetry chatter as subdued as possible.
But then, birds of a feather flock together. And flocking birds don’t lie low. So, we just went about our business of reading, writing poetry and indulging in some healthy criticism on how to make our poems better.
So, here goes…
Pankajam Kottarath, a poet with many books to her credit read out her poem. It reminded me of the times I studied Keats and Shelly in school. It had a feel of times gone by.
Just quoting a few lines for you from the poem, I Know Why The Birds Sing.
“Perched on trees by the rivers’ rim
dazzling in robes of ornate hues
rainbow wings and glossy bills
gushing notes you sing in tuneful voice
like a midnight choir from afar
to awake me from ardent dreams.
in the silence of wastelands
you sing to flowers wild
like a fragrant vile
with a beating heart
for nature to hear your secret ails.”
I know why the birds sing.
Sivakami Velliangiri, poet and poetry activist for the past 30 years read out her poem, Jade. Such a sentimental poem, it was touching to say the least.
“Two hand-hatched eggs confined
to space-less cage like Andaman cellular jail;
wing span stubbed,unable to throb
unused cholesterol , into my care, on my lap
meant to sing in the Silent Valley
deserted by your mother parakeet at Moolimangalam
a lightning bruised topless coconut tree,
you were meant to eat grains, fruit and chilli
not a paste of dhal rice that blotted your throat-insides
on the floor of your cage. When I rushed from the Airport
there were a hundred parrots already on the telephone wire;
my children had you cold in their arms.
You came, stayed with us, finished your Karma
then left us with emptiness.”
Finally, I read my poem titled, Soaring In the Skies.
“How much higher can I fly.
There will be a dawn
when I shall have to fly low
when my tired flapping wings will slow.
The feathers in my wings, faded.
the colours in them jaded
no longer resembling my earlier self
I close my tired wings.
reflecting on memories
of an era I cannot savour anymore
I shiver in nostalgic pain.
My birdie mate beside me sits
pecking, healing my worn out body.
Looking towards him with gratitude
I ready myself to soar the skies once again.”
We are meeting again next month. Those interested, please do come. The day and date will be put up at the earliest. The theme for the next month is ‘Edges/ Edges’. Write a poem based on the theme or if you wish to read out a poem written by some other poet on the same theme, you are welcome to share the poem by reading it out to us.
Until then, be good and stay blessed.