I watch a seedling sprout. The way it bids adieu to the grass and morning dew, almost unnoticed, outside the concern of the world. The seedling could spread its arms, graze the electric line, get tangled in the passing grief of the creeper. On this parched concrete strip, it could imagine itself to be a hand pump —the trickle from its lip quenches the thirst of sparrows. A possible easy chair for wary crows. An engineering marvel for adventure-loving squirrels. That the seedling might reach me is hope. The eye merely peeps; It knows its cage. I find my fruition in shadowing a seedling in my garden.
My B&W dream is a tree. From its nest, Jacques Tati says: A postman in haste is the pupa of a cargo jet. My technicolor dream is a hill. From its slopes, Neruda says: A postman on the ascend is the struggle to know a poet. The rhythm of soft pedalling challenges the crickets, reinstates an older silence. A paddy field resurfaces, along the contours of the rolling wheel. The shadow of whistling dissolves in the shadow of birds. A pond without kids to dive, the calm dial of time— it longs for its lost hands. Yet it lets the shadow of a postman glide through its belly like a fish. Will the postman be a dove that returns with an olive leaf to Noah’s Ark*? Will they deliver a longing, the calligraphy of an erstwhile alphabet?
Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author and translator, with multiple nominations for Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His work has been published and anthologized widely and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. His latest work can be read at Singing in the Dark from Penguin Random House, Collective Realms from Lazy Adventure Publishing. Books include: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.