I don’t think we write poetry. We merely discover it. Poetry is everywhere; nude, unpredictable and evocative. We run around in circles, with hand mirrors pressed against our chests. We don’t create it from scratch. Breathe life into words. Or dig deeper within ourselves, past the festering muck of human drama, to find serenity in language.
Poetry sniffs us out. Then it hunts us down. It’s always either a pleasant surprise or a rude awakening. It occupies our throats. Rattles our bones. Blurs our vision. Fills our heads with delusions of inadequacy. And our hearts – with finger-plucked music and wet autumn leaves.
It can be beautiful yet empty. Melancholic but hopeful. It can be as confusing as it is comforting; as caustic as it is fragile. Strangely, it always makes us feel better about ourselves.
What isn’t the least bit strange is that the Malabar Whistling Thrush is more of a poem than it is a member of the Muscicapidae family of birds.
Bathed in blue, no matter the time of day, they are residents of the Western Ghats in south India. They look especially gorgeous during the monsoon. It’s when they get louder too. Known locally as “whistling schoolboys”, they offer songs, not words, for free every morning.
I ended up spotting the bluebirds for the first time.
Birds write such beautiful poems, don’t they?
I follow many poets on WordPress. I haunt them like a jungle cat’s ghost, with my claws out, trembling in excitement at the beauty they discover. Thotpurge and Butterflies of Time – two of my favourite poetry blogs – frighten me as much as they rain-harvest me.
Our hearts absorb bruises,
as long as they appear in
shades of blue; our words
aren’t glue sticks, they are
beautiful, albeit rather
(Photographs: Munnar, Palani Hills, Kodaikanal, Valparai)