Poetry at Sangam



UNDER THE EARTH by K. Satchidanandan

(Translated from the Malayalam by the poet.)

You did not believe me
when I said there were bells
under the earth, but now
you hear them. There are
trees under the earth, beasts,
forests, rivers, an entire ocean,
streets, cities, pillars with edicts,
monasteries, memories laughing
like children, dreams we on earth
have never seen, unsung songs,
tales unsaid with Mahabali
at their centre. Lions’ dens,
fire’s dens, hermits’ caves,
earth quake’s caves, mountains,
snow, winds, whirlpools,
bells. And beneath the bells
someone waiting for us,
his eyes without pupils,
and arms white like snow.
Under the earth.