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 Jan 2015
Kuzhur Wilson
In the villa in Sharja,
A banyan tree stood, stuck to the wall of the building.
Mind throbbed as soon as it caught sight of it,
Touched it to my forehead in reverence,
Remembered my father who understood trees.
In the book she has kept closed,
It should be possible to still see
The memory veins of a leaf-
Plucked after touching its soul and seeking permission.
‘It is a sign of prosperity,
It cleanses the atmosphere’, Mary too said.
New tenants came in the room vacated by Priyan and Anjana
Jaya aunty and her husband said that they wore skull caps
Narayanan, wearing sacred thread and sandalwood paste on his forehead,
Anthony with rosary and sacred amulet
After them,
Youngsters of this type were not seen so nearby
One night, when I went out of my way to touch that tree,
I heard speech of a rhythmic nature
From the room of those who wore caps
It passed through my mind, ‘these are times when words become music.’

It was a Friday.
While watering Basil plants,
Saw the branches of the banyan on the ground.
Its leaves, like heart shattered..
Whitish veins drained of blood
my eyes hurt
As I ran to it,
Saw the tree,
Looking like a worshipper whose hands were cut
While crying, beseeching the heavens , arms outstretched.

You used to say that there were many types of trees
Which tree is used to make crosses to crucify humans, Father?
(trans from Malayalam by Anitha Varma)
 Feb 2014
Roisin Sullivan
Two trees they stood far apart
Across the waves of grass.
And although these trees grew apart
The two became friends fast.

Until two men had decided
That there must be a line
And these trees should be divided
Would happen to be fine.

Eventually, arose a wall
And the men were content
The trees could not be seen at all
Pleased with good effort spent.

The years passed by and time went on
The two men aged and died.
But the two trees remained fond
And every fall they cried

Meanwhile the trees grew and grew
Spreading out their branches
When one day there came something new
And what were the chances?

That pollen drifted from the tree
And came to the other
Caressed it in the warm spring breeze
Like an eager lover.

In the summer a tiny sprout
Had grown near to the wall
Each day it grew more stout
But it neglected to grow more tall.

The days and weeks and months passed by
Until the tree grew strong
And all three trees were intertwined
Where all of them belonged.

The great wall crumbled, then it fell
Just as the three trees swayed.
All three let out a joyful yell
As none there were dismayed

But time passes as per always
And winter came at last
The two trees passed into a phase
Where neither tree could last.

But the youngest one did not fall
Instead it grew *****
By far the greatest of them all
But doesn't love have that effect?

And then one day a tree did grow
A place along the way.
So graceful did her branches flow
Always ready to play.

Two trees they stood far apart
Across the waves of grass;
And although these trees grew apart
The two became friends fast.
 Feb 2014
Carsyn Smith
One road splits two trees
The leaves will forever reach -
Cursed with desire
 Feb 2014
Kuzhur Wilson
Curry Leaf Tree

It must be because
I have not seen a lush curry leaf tree
For the last 6 years
That I always watered
A curry leaf tree
In my mind of minds

Daily it flourishes,
Getting greener and greener

There is no distinction
Between strangers or close ones, Everyone who saw it
Used to take its leaves

It will bow down
In front of those
Who cannot reach the branches,
So that they can snap the twigs again and again

When the smell of curry spreads,
All houses, along with the kids,
Will become strange,
Spreading a lot of happiness
Let them call my darling leaves ‘curry leaves’

Don’t cry, my children

Neem tree**

For the last 6 years,
What is observed with a full heart
Is neem trees
Standing row upon row

Whenver possible,
I will fit into its shade
If no one saw me,
I Give a kiss
You should see the smile
Exposing its light green gum

How many came,
How many went
Feel sad
When I see the detachment of the graying leaves,

“Come if you must,
Stay if you will,
Go if that is what you wish”
Isn’t this what your body language speak
Standing there?
Translation : Anitha Varma
 Feb 2014
CA Guilfoyle
Ever twisty they climbed - the vines
the tree was speaking low, so slow - the breathing
roots were diving deep, so deep the breath, the depth of grieving
concentric soul, go within to flow, letting go, it's time the past was leaving
born a child, wild as smiles, dance in meadows green
with joy your heart is weaving
and when the night starless looms, you'll bloom  
your heart, open as a flower
 Jan 2014
CA Guilfoyle
In childhood days of dream, with grassy greens,
and swings we soared the warmest breeze,
in blue skies of laughter.

Under a canopy of wonder,
we laid under, O' the hours of summer slumber,
the lazy slow of watching meadow flowers grow.

Spring it sings in budding greens and seeds
with rain and sun, the days you've grown
acorns planted for rebirth

I press my hands to your trunk
and feel myself divinely rooted to this earth.
 Oct 2013
Jesse Bourque
Majestic spires
towering above the ground
like green sentinels
I wrote this in grade 6 and just found it again a couple months ago.

(c) Jesse Bourque
 Sep 2013
Chelsea Anne Palmer
your veins are in your earth
my veins are inside me
the years are old in you and your leaves are fresh
you remind me of the tree part in my right foot
My bedroom's in the bushy head in my mind in my solar brain,
my ankle is the shoulder to the stumpy central branch of my leg
heavy layers of red aged mountain, my earth is the most pages
the place where nerve lines swim again young immortal creases through thousand piles
a networking for only the soul, the mind, the heart
geometric thoughts that string out the tongue
making crosses between finished rock, hardness too late and fresh like skin
I am more inner than stone, thinner, longer, loopier
nerve lines tiny things turn into staffs in the air in my arms
different than tree parts I am rimmed and mudding with water
my rippling veins at the bottom of my foot, is the surface of my sea upside-down
I bet you feel good I'm calling your earth the sky
I am full of stuff, the way dirt packs together to create things without hands
and your earth is where some of my veins should stand up too
I am always alive like you
the lines in the earth of me and my earth holding up the living wooden door
standing from my ankle
walking on the earth like my veins are not there
like you stand on the earth like your veins aren't even there
yet you are the earth, brown and green
and you base the earth starry
swimming in the deep black earth
Copyright Chelsea Palmer, Early Spring 2013, redone May 22
 Sep 2013
Kuzhur Wilson
My poetry, which knew it was
the cry of a lonely bird
on a solitary tree
in my village,
asked Spring its name.

Spring began to speak –

The fruit laden Vayyankatha, her thorny pangs, hijab-wearing  Guf, her minarets, Thondi  blushing red with kisses,  her moist lips, orphaned Adalodakam, Nellippuli in a polka dotted dress, Pulivakawaiting for the breeze, Anjili   head towards the south, yawning Cherupuuna, Pera with the names of grandmas scribbled on her leaves, Ilantha blowing into the hearth, Ilapongu rubbing his eyes, Irippa, Atha laughing noisily,Cholavenga in tattered clothes, Irumbakam, Padappa catching his breath after running, Pattipunna wagging his tail, bare footed Pattuthali, Thekku the noblest among them, Thekkotta, Neervalam  recollecting her last birth, Neeraal, sobbing Neelakkadambu, Pathimukam, lazy thanal murikku, Karimaruthu, Karinkura, Asttumayil, Velladevaram, Kattukadukka, the gluttonous Badam, amnesiac Vazhanna, boredVarachi, Nangmaila, Eucalyptuswith a sprained back, viscous red Rakthachandanam, saffron robed Rudraksham, Vakka, Vanchi,  Parangimaavu nostalgic of his ancestral home, Vari, Nedunaar, Marotti with a hundred offsprings, Malangara, Malampunna ,Nenmeni Vaka trying his luck in a lottery, Nelli with a sour smile.

Kadaplaavu doing sketches with leaves, Kari straying from the queue, Kattuthuvara buying things on credit, Kattutheyila boiling over, Kattupunna with a pus-oozing sore, Kumkumam putting a bindi on her forehead, starving Ventheku, Vellakadambu making a missed call, Kattadi standing aloof, her feeble hands,  flowering Ilanji, her fragrant trunk, sighing Aalmaram, Pachavattil, Pachilamaram  gossiping with the chameleon, Panachi,Pamparakumbil, Kadambu memories adorning her head, Kudamaram carrying provisions for the home,  Punnappa,Poongu, gray hairedChuruli, Chuvannakil  singing a folk song, dark skinned Vattil, Kulaku, Karinjaaval, sozzled Pamparam, Chorappayir, njama, Njaaval  tempting the birds, Njaara, Alasippooscratching his palm, Ashokam  humming a sad song.

Ezhilampala chewing on a masala paan, Peenaari wearing a tie, Peelivaka, Pulichakka with a broken leg, Pezhu demanding his wages, Kumbil, Kurangaadi, Kasukka with a dislocated elbow,Valiyakaara, Vallabham, Chavandi, stunning Chinnakil , Chittal with a failed brake, Vidana, Sheemappanji, the loan shark Odukku, Oda  on musth,fatherless Kadakonna, childlessShimshapa, Sindooram with a flushed face, Karinthakara singing the thannaaro, Vellappayir high on grass, Poothilanji showing off her blossoms, sour faced Kudampuli.

Wet in the rain Kulamaavu, Kudamaavu circling around himself, Pari from the netherworld,Poopathiri in a priest’s robe,  Poochakadambu on all fours, Kulappunna covered in a blanket, Kundalappala checking his astro forecast, Pachotti, ******* Perumaram, Perumbal  thinking of the sea, phlegm clogged Anathondi, Anakkotti, Cheruthuvara, Ilavangam, Thanni,naughty Thirukkalli,  Karappongu, embracing Kattadi, Thudali, Thelli, Kara, Malayathi,Malavirinji, shameless Kashumaavu,mud slinging Karuka, Vedinal, suicide prone Attumaruthu,Attuvanchi  who glides on the stream like a fallen shadow.

Mandaram  dressed in white, Vanna, brazen Mahagani, Karivelam doing the accounts,Jakarantha, Koombala, friendless Koovalam, Kattukamuku with his hands around friends, Kolli, Paruva,Krishnanaal with a crooked smile, Cocoa with no one to turn to, Cork,Palakapayyani, Pavizhamalli wearing necklace and bangles, a lonely Mazhamaram, Mangium, Mathalam exposing her *******, Chemmaram, Pashakottamaram, Malavembu, tearful Chamatha, Vatta, Vattakoombitired of running around, smoking Pine, Porippovanam, Kaaluvnthatherakam, Thembaavu, grinningDantaputri, Narivenga, Navathi, grumbling Mazhukkanjiram,Arayanjili,  Arayal playing a game with the wind.

Choola kissing the sizzling wind, Arinelli, Maavu reciting sadly the poem Mampazham,  Chandana vembu, Peraal stretching its back, Pulivaaka, Unnam, Naythanbakam,Karpooram in a slow glow, Naaykumbil, trumpeting Pongu, outcast Pottavaaka, bursting Poriyal, vagabond Ponthavaaka, Plaavu lost in some thought, Pootham  head covered , Ethappana  greening while yellowing, Manjadi, Mullanvenga, Mullilam lifting his dhoti to expose his genitals, Mullilavu hopping around, Moongappezhu, Neermaruthu saying enough is enough, withered Neermathalam ,Moottikkay, Ithi, Ithiyaal, Vella velam, Kalppayir, Kallar, Majakkadambu singing a lullaby, Choondappana wary of fish bones.

Stooping Punna, Matti scared of her big brother, Paarijaatham watching the midnight movie, Paalakal, Paali,Paarakam doing cartwheels, Viri, Athi showing off  her seeds,Ampazhammassaging his chest, Ayani inlove with her son, Manjakkonna, Manjamandaram in search of something, Chullithi with eyes closed, Kallilavu like an oozing rock, Malamandaram eyeing the vultures,Velleetti cursing the thunder, Venga,Veppu, Vraali, Akil, sighing Acacia,Balsa, Blanka, Beedimaram with a rattling cough,  Agasthi, Cherukonna with a sheepish smile, Kambali, woundedNagamaram.

Pathiri, touching his forehead to the ground, his eyes heavenward, Ankolam ruined by debts,Kattumarotti, Kundalappala, Aattumaruthu,Poovam, Erumanaakku, Karingotta, Vediplaavu his salary still unpaid, Venmurikku, Manjanaathi, Manimaruthu jolted awake, Mathagirivembu, Karaanjili  escorting his daughter, Karakongu,Karappongu, Ilippa on her way back, Ooravu half-awake after a dream and with a sucker smile, Ennappana about to immolate himself, fattened  Ennappine,Azhantha waiting for someone, Chorapatri with a cracked head,Sheemappoola,Poovankara, Malampuli, Puli with sharpened stakes.

Obese Theettipplaavu,Malambongu, Chorimathimurikku, Irippa bailing out his friend, Irumbakamwho lost his job, Kunkumappoo, Karinthaali, Scoot, Rose Kadambu, Aamathali, Aarampuli,Attilippucaught in the crowd, Irul  blessed by the elders, Vellavatti, whistling Mula, Kattukonna in a hat, Kaniiram learning the alphabets, broker Cheru,Kattuchembakam exposing his arm pit,Thandidiyan, Neeroli, Ezhachembakam waiting for her bus, Karimbana in a newly constructed house, Karivenga,Karivali writing a poem, Ungu in a baby frock, Udi, Plasha, Elamaruthupromising to meet later, Chembakam dying to hug.

Vellakil who bathes the kids, Vellavaaka who forgot his umbrella, Attuthekku who failed the exam, lustful Aattunochi,Malanthudali with her legs spread, Malanthengu with chest ****** up,Malamanchadi who is learning to count, Malambarathi exposing her *******, intoxicated Aval, Arana reciting the poem Karuna, insane Alakku who dashes off to the temple, Cheru who cannot stop washing clothes, Kudappana ready to elope, irreligious Jaathi, Silver Oak laughing boisterously, Kattuveppu waiting for the kids, Sumami ******* on a toffee, annoyed Parappoola,frightened Pinar, Ithi stopping her ears at swear words, Ithiyal with lots of smiles, Kovidaram with music in his mind, Ilakkali showing her belly, blossoming Ilavu, Chadachi who ***** sadistically, cool fingered Chandanam.

dominating Charakkonna, office going Cheelanthi, Gulgulu glued to Kochu channel, Gulmohur with dyed hair, Irul with a fuming face, early rising Kanikonna, Kanala who has a sound sleep, Karingali  who pees standing, Kambakam with an ***** *****, Kallavi  beseeching to stuff her up, Karanjili  quivering in lust, calm Karaal, Kaari who hums while *******, Kaavalam who naps after the toil,Thannimaram showing off her petals, Thambakam kissing the ****, Thellipayar savouring a *****,Neerkurunda in post-****** languor, Malaya breastfeeding her kid, bullying Kathi, mad hat Eetti,Cheeni  not remembering his mom,  Kunnivaka showing his gums, Kuppamanja who laughs in sleep, Othalanga swallowing poison, blooming Poovarasu.

Spring went on,
reeling off names to me.
The rain the sun the wind and the cold
Rolled in one after the other.
Spring kept pulling out
names from its memory.

People got scared of
my poetry gone wild.
They stopped passing that way.

A snake goes slithering away.
A hare finds its own path and dashes away.
A poothankiri, from a bush, flies away.

(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)
1.      Mampazham (Ripe Mango) is the title of a famouspoem by Vyloppilli.
2.      Karuna (Compassion) is the title of a long poemby Kumaran Asan.
3.      Poothankiri – A white headed babbler.
4.      Thanaaro - An obscene devotional song.

— The End —