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Easterine Kire’s Six Poems

By Easterine Kire

The Body is a Map

The body is a map
It remembers every abuse
And every caress
Each time it was loved
Each time it was hurt
Each time it was fed
Each time it was starved
Each time
Each time
It carries the marks on its map
It is haunted
By the bad
But it rememorizes
The good
The body is a map
It carries
It carries.

***

Dreams

I dream of boats
I dream
No not true
I dream of skylines
I dream of sparrows
The one that fell
Down the chimney
The one with its leg
Tied to a thread
That my brother and I played with
When we were very little.

***

Just be

Watch the water
Let the sun make diamonds
On the shimmering sea
Let the boats go by
Light glancing off their sides
Let the miljokoster
Eat up the gravel in the city
Just listen
To the dying tones fall away
Just for one day
Be
No need
To even write a poem
Just be.

***

Riddu Riddu
(Indigenous people’s festival)

There are mountains behind the mountains
Under this arctic sky
Primeval men cast in ochre
Rise out of the dull earth
To the sound of the didgeridoo
There are mountains behind the mountains

King eagles hover
Guide
And guardian
Before soaring up again.

There are mountains behind the mountains
Wind and rain collude
The cycle is completed
The harvest of man-seed begins
At this gathering of the nations
This Riddu Riddu.

***

Lullaby

Trees don’t grow up straight
in Nord-Norge
They are not supposed to
They grow gnarled
Snarled by the wind
Into gargoyle shapes
Gamle men I skogen.

Look at that rock
Jutting out to sea
Gagged coastline
Ragged ends
Against which the waves
Cut themselves
When they’re cast at berg og crag.

Trees don’t grow up straight
In Nord Norge
Trees can’t grow up straight
In Nord Norge
Ge
Ge
Ge
A norsk ge.

***

Narcissus

Last night the shadows chased me
And the wintermoon screamed in my ears
Ah Calcutta, I could not sleep.
I watched
Your silent city weave
A tapestry of poems, songs, dead roses
And a pair of deep brown eyes.
I saw
A thousand gipsy summers
Ride down Midnight avenue
I travelled
National highway 37
And spoke to the wild geese at dawn
I heard
The paddy-birds in the rice-fields
Singing Ave Maria.
And when the thorn-bird brought me back
You did not hear my goodbye
Farewell Virgo
I leave you
Part of my eveningsong
And the dreams autumn borrowed last year
Take care
Of your solipsism
And give my love
To Dylan on the twelve thirty
He’ll be wearing an Arabian night.

Art-work: Her Head by Reetuparna Dey

Bio:
Easterine Kire (Iralu) is a poet, writer, and novelist from Nagaland. She is one of the finest story tellers from the region and has written several books in English including three collections of poetry and short stories. Her first novel, A Naga Village Remembered, was the first-ever Naga novel to be published. Easterine Kire has translated 200 oral poems from her native language, Tenyidie, into English. She is also the Founder-partner of the publishing house called Barkweaver, which publishes Naga folktales, children’s stories, and real stirring stories of ordinary people. She bagged the prestigious Hindu Prize for her novel, When the River Sleeps in 2015.

***

For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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