The White Shirt

(To Vinayakan, cine actor)

I set out to buy a white shirt.

The man in the shop took out two-three white shirts together and put them down before me.
It’s Rs.1050/- This shirt fits you well.
For this one?
Rs.800/- It’s good, too.
That one?
Rs.450/- All are smashing!

Aren’t there anything costing less? In the range of 150--200?

An odd expression on his face.

Is there?
There is, but…

An odd kind of laughter on his face…
Where is that white shirt?

It’s not here. It’s there. Near that flower shop. In that corner.

There’s some problem with his smile.

What?

Sir, its what the dead wear!

Aha
Because it’s cheaper, those who wear that
Will die before their death?

Will those who were the more expensive white shirts, live even if they are dead?
Will the dead come alive, if they were more and more expensive shirts?

The dead white shirt
And the non-dead white shirt
Hung before me.

Finally, I bought a black shirt.
What’s it’s price?
No. I don’t like to tell you.


Kuzhur Wilson


Translated by: A.J. Thomas.
Vinayakan, An Indian Actor who loves Black
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 29
Was crossing the road
It is not like crossing anything else
A Trailer
Might partition into pieces
Or a Hummer,
In a second, make one a nonentity
Or a tin can of a vehicle
Take away your hand or leg.
Even if your last wish,
In case you have to die in an automobile crash,
Is that it should be the red lancer car you are very fond of,
Which court will listen?
On the other side of the road, there is a neem tree
Its dark green leaves are visible.
No, cannot see the bitterness,
But it is possible it is.

I have to cross the road.
Then
I have to stand a bit under the green on the other side
Those birds have to run away (no, not fly!)
And come back just the way they went.

What then? It is, after all, the road that was crossed,
Which is something!


While crossing the road, came a Trailer
Whose driver was a Tamilian

A Hummer came,
In which there was a father, his friend,
Mother and two kids

The kid was singing loudly
The friend was thinking about his girl friend

A rickety old tin can of a vehicle too came
It was full of wine bottles
For the next century

What then?
Trailer was divided into many pieces
Hummer made one a nonentity in a second
The old vehicle took away two hands, one leg, and two ears.

Now the one who looks this way from the other side:
Is it the one who reached the other side,
Or the one who was standing here,
Or the one who crossed the road,
Or the one who has to return?
Translation : Anitha Varma
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 21
We have a family tomb. Elder brother bought it for dad. I renovated it when mom slept for the last time. It is pleasant to go there and stay for a while.

I have never seen dad and mom in bed together. Now, it’s nice to watch them do so. A tranquil feeling.

If I do not die in a distant land I too will sleep in this tomb. Gives me a nice kick to think so. Also a sick feeling that I cannot be there to watch myself.

I picked up a candle and lit it on my tomb. Gathered some flowers from the ground and strew them on it. Stuck incense sticks all around, Knelt down before the dead me.

Then, The familiar ones in the cemetery rose up To ask me when I had come over. Someone from among us got up and left without answering.

Behold, a girl runs along the alley in front of the cemetery.
Kuzhur Wilson

Trans by Ra Sh
Kuzhur Wilson Sep 2016
one morning
Sunilettan came
with a puppy.

i was writing a grand thesis on the orphaned existence of discarded people.

when the tether was removed
i gave her a dry fish.
did not eat it.
gave a fulsome bone.
did not touch it.
gave the milk from the ad.
did not even regard it.
kissed her.
did not show any reaction.

because she came on a monday
i named her luna.

whenever i called her
she wagged her tail.
wagged her ears.
luna luna luna
i whispered thrice
in her ears.

like the golden peaks
of mookaambika,
he sharpened his ears.
me and he did not play
any game.
before we could,
she came under the wheels
of a vehicle.
without autopsy
without a second look at the body
i buried him
under the hibiscus tree
with many blooms
falling to the ground.

two of the flowers
went to a  karnataka guy’s
father’s death rites.
some turned into hibiscus juice.
some were visited by butterflies.

frequently,
the earth where luna was buried
forgot her.
me too.

another noon,
a german dog named adi
was found playing a game
of placing fish bones
on luna’s tomb.

no dog will
cease to play
till the question hung in the air
“my little sister, you have forgotten me?”*


Kuzhur Wilson
Translated by Ra Sh



(( To S. Sithara who memorised  Khasakkinte  Ithihaasam (The Saga of Khasak) when she was still a kid)
*This is an original
reference from the novel ` The Saga of Khasak’ by O.V.Vijayan, translated by the author.
Kuzhur Wilson Aug 2016
Looking through the window
There
A maadatha
A kulakozhi

You narrate

The maadatha
Trails
In the silhouette of
The kulakozhi

The kulakozhi is swift
The maadatha callow
Unable to reach
Anywhere near

The kulakozhi flees
Abandoning
The maadatha

Poor maadatha
You narrate.
How unkind
Can a kulakozhi get?

Tell tales
And then
I saw the picture
In the window square

In my picture
It was the maadatha
Who flew away

Must have had
Enormous wings!

The guileless Kulakozhi

There it is
Hiding behind that wild bush
Terrified

You,
Beside the window
Me,
Behind the bush here

Janus faced
Anguish
With wings
And without.


Translation :  Shyma . P
Kuzhur Wilson Aug 2016
Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
I forget words
I forget
I am a poet
Once again

Like a farmer
Who wishes to plough
The whole land
But doesn’t
Even an acre
Who doesn’t finish
Sowing seeds
Even in a cent
Like the many seeds
That don’t sprout

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
I fail
More miserably
Than that farmer

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
I require
The ink of a thousand seas
But my seeds of blue
Fall astray
Unsow-able
Even in a single page

How many of them will sprout

See
Even my greeting
In this poem
“The source of my happiness”
Is stolen
From
My prayers in childhood
To the Holy mother

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
Dear source of my sorrow.


Translation :  Shyma . P
Kuzhur Wilson Jul 2016
The past
Arrives with the fragrance of leaves
The previous life
And
The lives before
I’ve maintained personal relationships
With trees

A tree
Had a hollow
And in the hollow
Was a bird
Who had
A boy friend

I remember
Feeding them
Wheat grains
Once

Why say this now
You wonder?
Had wanted to tell this
To you
All along
But, forgot

A bird
Was squawking endlessly
From a nearby tree
When you had called me
For the first time
Remember?

It was the same bird
Which died
Even after
I fed it
Wheat grains

All my previous lives
I had inquired to the leaves
A thousand times
About that lone bird

Will say tomorrow
Will say tomorrow
The birds
Teased me
Everyday

I was distressed
By that bird’s cries
That had interrupted
Your talk.

Had forgotten
To share that then.

Translation :  Shyma . P
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