The Bulbul


In the greenery of the courtyard
Nested the Bulbul
Always in hide, but at times
A shine of the black beak
The crested headgear
Or a glowing red garland.

A flash now and then
Of the crimson tail-vent
The bird of menstruation
Of the rustic legends
Said old granny
The sight of the bird brings
Cyclic periods to woman
‘Bathe bathe bathe’
Babbles the bird.

Before the tomcat wakes up
From the ashy hearth
Into the nest everyday
I steal a peak.

Soft and tiny, dotted pink
Two cute eggs…

Later with slit-open eyes
Open beaks sticking out
But with no wings…

Today the nest is empty
Slaughtered by the cat
Or the wings bloomed?

The sound of ritual *‘kurava’
Announced a wonder news
The neighborhood twin girls
Have attained puberty together.

The crook tomcat
Should be exiled
In a gunny bag
Out of sight afar
Across the river.

*kurava- the ritual musical sound made by women together to announce any auspicious happy occasion.

by Sivakumar Ambalapuzha

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