Once on a Summer Day – Shaan

August 15, 2008 at 6:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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That summer in the west I walked sunrise

to dusk, narrow twisted highways without shoulders,

low stone walls on both sides.  Hedgerows

of fuchsia hemmed me in, the tropical plant

now wild, centuries after nobles imported it

for their gardens.  And I was unafraid,

did not cross to the outsides of curves, did not

look behind me for what might be coming.

For weeks in countries Kerry and Cork, I walked

through the red blooms the Irish call

the Tears of God, blazing from the brush

like lanterns.  Who would have thought

a warm current touching the shore

of that stone-cold country could make

lemon trees, bananas, and palms not just take,

but thrive? Wild as the jungles they came from,

where boas flexed around their trunks–

like my other close brushes with miracles,

the men who love you back, how they come

to you, gorgeous and invasive, improbable,

hemming you in.  And you walk that road

blazing, some days not even afraid to die


– Shantan Nethikar


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