Incinerate your Love                                         

                                                                                     For T. Ruthiran (1937-1996)

 

                                                                                                            T.Wignesan

 

                               plots lined with cypresses

silence of respect

                                    pebbles levelled with care

    in lined walks

          in rectilinear angles

 

slabs of slate 

               of marble

 

          fading posy of flowers refreshed

   a framed dageurrotype now

     the glass cracked by hale stones

                                                     

dried leaves of pine forsythia rose

      drifting in the inturning autumnal gusts

                                                        the caretaker sweeps the debris of yesterdays’s solemn descent

            paper cups   spilled soil

                                 cracked flower pots

                        chewing gum wrappers

 

     all the rectangular plots    dark cutting-edge smoothness of polished finish

                                          low arches  plain chiselled stone  names  years

of the to be remembered siblings parents children

                                                                                  remembered by whom

       whose bodies post mortem

  stink of medicinal cleansing scent

                                              brains dissected

       hearts expunged

                                   livers sliced

  intestines evacuated  dumped together with failing pancreas  kidneys in grey plastic bags

       sawed bones held together by adhesive tape

     gashed wounds   pallid crinkled skin   robed in Sunday best

              the face a mask    the undertaker’s camouflage

 

She said somewhat apologetically: He went peacefully.  R.I.P. Looked like a god in repose! 

 

     the last rites of holy scented water

  the casket lowered in worm-proof cement caves

          the underground in-vasion

 

 

     the perfumed corpse coming apart from wet kisses tear-stains blood-clots diseased parts live roses nose phlegms ear-wax the last act still unflushed from vaginas the motion still stuck in the rectum

 

little by little

        even before the week is over

    even before tears curdle in dearly bereaved bosoms

  bacteria turn to worms  viruses perhaps to white ants

        eating eyes tongues lips cheeks ears brains wood skin and putrid flesh

 a symphonic moving feast of simmering violin murmurings

     villous worms growing nosier thornier

   fat worms gorging on fattening worms

              and the wrenching stench festering from pulsating orifices

      drive even worms for cover in the acidic marrow

 

little by little

         even the bones rot

    the best suit   strands of worms   war ribboned medals on the bony cage

the skull shiny from polished pickings

      eye-sockets   two cavernous dens for voracious slithering things

 

the monkey’s unclaspable full-kernel hand stuck below the eye of the coconut

 

overskull the lamenting ones come hugging flowers week after week

       lamenting the loss of an armful of live mud

 

                   from earth you came

                   to earth you descend

                                                     any fool knows

                      from suns we rose

                      and in fire we’ll glow

 

what rancour drives these ritualistically scented shamans to commit degrading murder

         towards their loved ones      

 

would that by law all graves were topped by transparent glass

and troops and troops of tourists brought in to survey the merry moveable feast

 

plant fruity trees where the worms had supped

and sell the produce at the gates of cemetries

 

for these law-makers to realize

that nothing purifies like fire

                                               even their mighty minds

 

the fired remains

ashes mingle    united

                                    before time’s end

 

T.Wignesan 1997

June 22/23, 1997

[from the collection: longhand notes (a binding of poems), 1999]