That Evening in Goa

I think he said he was one of those minor gods,
no miracles, no judgement, no crown,
just here doing his job, though he never quite mentioned what,
sitting there in the sands of Candolim,
eating curry and rice with our fingers,
the waves too loud for my frail, half formed thoughts,
still I asked him about souls and consciousness,
about karma and rebirth,
he seemed to think it was alright,
not to understand things like that, not to know,
his voice so gentle,
light bubbles strung on a silken smile,
do you think about us, humans fending
for ourselves on this little rock, that was either question or plea,
the wind wrapping it in a strange falsetto
that couldn’t have been my voice,
do you think about quarks, he asked,
I nodded, like I had that all figured,
a speck of dust, dithering in a beam of borrowed light,
all that mattered then was that one cloud
homing in from the lost distance,
fine, just tell me why I am here,
now, with you, trying truth out for size,
the rice gone cold, the beer flat as the limp horizon
without a sun to centre it,
he turned to the water,
polite maybe, just hiding the laughter
that shook his shoulders,
or why I will still be here tomorrow,
after you’re gone,
you will be gone, won’t you, with your job,
and being a such and such god,
he rose abruptly, brushing the sand
off his jeans,
his eyes were the colour of the night
that was still an hour away,
I’m not sure he replied then,
or maybe I just heard it later,
who knows what happens with the sea and the sky,
or maybe I said it myself, afterwards,
where else would you rather be now,
the gulls were singing as they flew
in formation away from the curling surf,
their day was done.

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36 thoughts on “That Evening in Goa

  1. Well surprise surprise; another masterpiece. 😉

    Love these sections:

    “his voice so gentle,
    light bubbles strung on a silken smile,
    do you think about us, humans fending
    for ourselves on this little rock”

    “being a such and such god,
    he rose abruptly, brushing the sand
    off his jeans,
    his eyes were the colour of the night
    that was still an hour away”

    Like

  2. Never trust a god no matter how minor!
    I love the colour that seeps through your writing, even though you don’t use colour words. So much suggested. For example:

    ‘sitting there in the sands of Candolim,
    eating curry and rice with our fingers,
    the waves too loud for my frail, half formed thoughts’

    ‘his voice so gentle,
    light bubbles strung on a silken smile’

    ‘a speck of dust, dithering in a beam of borrowed light’

    and
    ,
    ‘the gulls were singing as they flew
    in formation away from the curling surf’.

    Like

  3. A wonderful write Rajani and I love that there is still so much left to discover. ‘his eyes were the colour of the night that was still an hour away’ is such a beautiful line.

    Like

  4. Wow, this is a gentle stunner, like the god you sat with. I love the smell of metaphysics in the afternoon–it smells like infinity. There is so much packed into this poem, it would take an essay to explicate its inferences.

    Liked by 1 person

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