Poetry at Sangam



MISPLACED OBJECTS by K. Satchidanandan

(Translated from the Malayalam by the poet.)

In a flash I recall all the
misplaced objects of my life:
the ten lambent marbles
forgotten under the dry leaves
beneath the mango tree,
the umbrella left behind in Apu’s saloon
the day rain failed to turn up,
the pen that dived from the pocket
while climbing the cashewnut tree
on the way back from the village school,
the sky-blue shirt remaining
in a hotel wardrobe in Riga,
the long list of books lent, never returned,
some unredeemed debts, a few unrequited loves.

Forgetfulness alone never forgot me.
As I fell in love I began misplacing my heart,
metaphors as I began to scribble poetry.

Later, looking at the hills, I began to feel
the sky had misplaced them and
the clouds had misplaced the rainbow.

I have recently begun to suspect
this very earth with us on it
has been misplaced by God.
In the order He recalls, He claims back:
woods, rivers, us.