One by one we throw a handful of sandalwood dust on the funeral pyre. There is nothing much to say and a damp stillness hangs heavy over the pale morning. In the end, it’s just nine maunds of wood for his sixty-eight summers, for the laughter that was spilled, the tears that were shed and memories we plucked from the air around his cold-stiff-silent body wrapped in a white shroud that would return to elements with lumps of jaggery, ghee and Kush grass.
teeming city . . .
a rip in the soul
sounds like silence
The sun is setting when the fire burns out. Dusk spilt cold across the almost-dry lake. The mourners have left long since.
Come tomorrow morning we will sift the ashes of his frail bones and immerse them in the gentle flow of the Ganges. Maybe on some far-off bank they would nourish the roots of a young
plant testing the strength of its newfound life.
cityscape . . .
the flight of a raven
About the author:
Paresh Tiwari is a writer, poet and a cartoonist in the body of a Naval Officer. He has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. The first collection of his haiku and haibun, An Inch of Sky, was published in 2014. Currently the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a journal by United Haiku and Tanka Society, USA, he was also commissioned for thirty-five illustrations for the December 16 edition of Frameless Sky. Tiwari has been invited to read his works at various literature festivals, including the Goa Art and Lit Fest – 2016, and has conducted haiku and haibun workshops at Hyderabad International Literature Festival – 2014, SIES College Mumbai and British Council Library, Mumbai. His second book of haibun, titled Raindrops chasing Raindrops is likely to be in the bookstores by Jun 2017.
He can be contacted at [email protected]
Image: “Exodus, Untitled Sunset” A3 Bristol by Olivier Fonteau. Acrylic iridescent, volcanic sand and China ink on glass.