South Indian poet

South Indian poet

South Indian poet, Syam Sudhakar, has recently sent Sydney School of Arts & Humanities (SSOA) a cache of poems from which we’ve taken three to share with SSOA members, as well as Sydney Writers Circle and Sydney Storytellers meet up members.

Sudhakar, who is an assistant professor at St. Thomas College in Thrissur, Kerala, is an award-winning poet who has previously been published by SSOA: Drenched by the Sun (2015), a collection available for sale here.

Hope you enjoy these excerpts from his latest crop of tales in imaginative verse based principally on landscape and emotion.

Keeper of the Sea

Loneliness will show you infinity.

Who can speak of one
who was destined to watch over the sea
for a lifetime?
The sea moving beneath his eyelids,
the salty wind,
an endless desert of water.

On the shore I have seen the sun
shuffling across the white sands
without shoe or shade.
In the dark, in the sea,
while men and marine creatures were sleeping
I have seen the earth rising from slumber
to quarrel with the stars. …

From the origin of language
until their lives shrivelled away,
my ancestors,
keepers of the sea,
stood here between the stars and the deep —
in rain, in wind, in salt.

Now, it is my watch:
a conch in one hand, fire in the other,
heedless of day and night.

The Valley of Buddha

In which language should I say
to these fine golden hairs
fallen last night from you
onto my white bed sheet
that there are many things at home
which were brought by my grandmother
when she exiled from Rangoon?

The Silent

Is it necessary that all the silent are calm?

An eye-like lake

a bare pregnant hill

a crane that flies towards the desert

stretching its lean legs behind

the fingers of a sleeping prostitute

the lantern that the night left among clouds

How silent they are.

Yet are they calm?


(The Keeper and the Sea translated from the Malayalam first publication in Mathrubhumi Weekly, 2016)

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