You are wind

You are wind short poem

I believed you were a tree,
the way your hair flowed in some evenings.

I believed you were a bird,
the way your eyelids fluttered,
when you looked at the sky.

but now, I know better. you are no tree or bird.

you don’t stand forever
as a tree, rooted in one place.
nor do you walk, clueless as a bird,
inside glamorous cages.

you are wind.
you can’t be held by cages or roots
or poems as this one, with beautiful phrases.

you are wind.
you are wind.

you come and go as you please
and nobody knows where you come from
or where you go.
you have no postal address.
you have no time-tables.
one can only meet you suddenly
on certain hilltops, on certain windows.

but, one should be ready.

for you can’t be seen by those who come with a box
to catch you, to label you, to put you away,
as the scientists, to forget.

you can’t be seen by those who stand at a distance,
hands folded, as a critic, passing confident judgements.

to see you, to hear the messages you carry, one has to surrender.
one has to learn to see with other things, with skin and bones.
one has to learn to decipher the rustling of leaves,
the singing of bamboos, the stutter of windows.

my love, I know all this.
for this alone, I became a poet.

now, I come to you as I must,
with a mouthful of kites.

now, I come to you as a leaf,
as a bubble, without clothes.

now, I come to you, to make love to you,
as a bird in its flight.

my love, once you entered me every evening
as a gentle breeze, through every pore in my body.
now, you visit me as a cyclone, as and when you wish,
causing havoc in my heart.

I understand. I could never own you.

you belong to no one and everyone.
you belong nowhere and everywhere.

I understand, you are wind.
you couldn’t be any other way.
I wouldn’t have you any other way.

but, just go on visiting me,
as a breeze or as a cyclone.
for without you, I am nothing.

my love, when you don’t come,
no poems emerge from my lips.

when you don’t come,
no melodies rise from my flutes.

when you don’t come,
no boats leave my shore
and I lie, sad as a sea, without waves.

my love, go on visiting me,
for you are my breath.

This poem is part of the Poetry Book Oblivion

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Balaji Gopalan

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I owe all of my poetry to the influence of Pablo Neruda. Reading him 10 years ago on the beaches of Goa, gave me the permission to be who I am and write what I feel. My poetry has never been the same after that. All that I write is an offering to Neruda.
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