K N Shivshankar



Translated by Kamalakar Bhat

(Translated from Kannada) 

Prayer

The girl holds
a syringe in her hands,
and the old man
a pair of scissors:
Let no naughty thought
cross their minds.

The Child's World

He stacked a few stones
in a row, and said
lo, Ma,
a train.

Stacking them one upon the other
he said,
lo Ma,
a rocket.

Forming a circle with them
he said,
lo Ma,
a swimming pool.

Thus sprang there
many a world
momentarily
glittering in
the mother's moist eyes,
while the father sat
with a pen and a paper.

And a caravan of digits in his bifocals.

Clown

A dot
in the sprawling sky…
you are a star;

On the tall
flowering plant
you are a tiny bud;

A roaring tiger,
a wiggly worm
What not?

Trying to imitate you
I turned into a clown.

No Joy

The pup that does not wag its tail
The cat that does not climb our lap
The calf that licks not the hands feeding hay
The girl that throws not a coy look
The flag on the pole that does not flutter
Spring no joy.

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