Sunday, July 12, 2020


Deep in love

cheek leaning on cheek we talked

of whatever came to our minds

just as it came

slowly oh


with our arms twined

tightly around us

and the hours passed and we

did not know it

still talking


Love-hut of reeds hidden in


birds flying up from it

clatter of wings

young wife at her housework

hears it

feels all her limbs melt at once


Her eyes in sleep


her body my love

sounds she uttered then

without meaning

yet not meaningless

my heartbeat even now

echoing them


Neighbor please

keep an eye on my house

my husband says the water from the well

is tasteless

so even when I'm alone

I have to go into the forest

where the Tamala trees

shade the river-bank

and maybe the thick reeds

will leave marks on my body


My husband

before leaving on a journey

is still in the house speaking

to the gods and already

separation is climbing like

bad monkeys to the windows


When he comes back

    to my arms


    I'll make him feel

    what nobody ever felt



    vanishing into him

    like water

    into the clay of a new jar


translated by W.S. Merwin
and J. Moussaieff Masson
Love poems from Ancient India
The Peacock's Egg
North Point Press 1981