September First

It is that crease in the crumpled paper of
time folded inside the envelope of listless

improbability, everything before it unreal, thereafter
a breathless race to the end of the year

through festive lamps and fireworks and the
sensuous rustle of woven silk, everyday reminders

that we are still packing rectangular burfis in oval
cardboard boxes. Now damp memories begin to

leech into skies freshly wiped of the grey monsoon,
remembrances tied up like fat goats in impromptu

markets, primed for sacrifice, of Dussheras when
truth was pink and green and yellow and the

clouds were the colour of spilt burgundy and words
were heavy with sighs, of that Diwali when doors

slammed louder than crackers the kids set off
inside old Bournvita tins and neighbours peered

through the window with eyes lit up like burning
flowerpots. Everything is reset on September first,

the sun is hanging out to dry on the line, her mellow-
mellow light with its sound of breaking boundaries and

shattering smiles paints the air with a strange
sanctity as if every molecule of the universe is visible and

quivering and even you and I know that without the
rain, we can no longer pretend to be waiting.

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49 thoughts on “September First

  1. You take me to your side of the world, where I’ve never been, where seasons are distringuished by rain/no rain instead of snow/first flowers/heat/leaves falling. The ending is especially wonderful. With our more gradual seasonal changes we don’t get the sudden “kick in the pants” that you do.

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    1. Very different rhythms indeed.. the rain will (hopefully… though the climate has been changing in recent years) taper off now and in October depending on the path of the retreating monsoon we could get more rain…then the dry season. I think there’s room for lots of poetry to be written about how life revolves around the seasons in these parts. But the time I lived in the northern hemisphere, I just loved seeing the changing colours and the snow as well…. πŸ™‚

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    1. Ha ha..thanks so much Colleen…the little flowerpot firecrackers produce fountains of fiery light…very pretty, very toxic also perhaps…but seen on every street during Diwali…

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  2. I love the idea of a ‘crease in the colored paper of time.’ That really expresses a unique thought about September. Also like that the sun is hanging out to dry, which expresses so well being in the midst of a rainy season. This entire poem is the work of a very talented poet…beautifully metaphoric! Smiles.

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  3. ‘shattering smiles paints the air with a strange sanctity as if every molecule of the universe is visible and quivering and even you and I know that without the rain, we can no longer pretend to be waiting’.. this is so incredibly poignant. Unforgettable write!❀️

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    1. True… this year has been a bad one with the flooding. Unfortunately all parts of the world don’t get the same media attention, nor are they able to take either preventive action or provide adequate relief… and so many lives are lost each year unnecessarily.

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  4. The vividness of the imagery is just so lovely. And that last stanza, one wonders at where September second will find the “you and I” of the piece now that there is no excuse for pretenses.

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  5. I am not sure to which festival you are referring to but it all sounds lovely and happy…everything resets September 1. I like that…a new beginning for everyone. I like the fat goats but not that they are for sacrifice. I can see them now. I love goats.

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    1. Goats are sacrificed for Eid, then we have Dusshera and Diwali leading up to Christmas and New Year and then the harvest festivals in January πŸ™‚ Now we just wait for the rain to stop… though climate change seems to have everything going a little crazy.

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      1. Okay. So now I know about the goats and festival. Is this when they set off those wonderful candle filled paper lanterns? I think that is a lovely custom. I am thinking of doing this for my parents for Christmas this year in their memory. Thank yu for telling me this. I hope the rain stops soon for you. Floods and flooding cause so much harm.

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  6. Your poem evokes memories of the monsoon. Mould on everything, wet, steamy and lots of mosquitoes the monsoon seems to go on forever. Good idea to have all of those festivals to distract you from the weather conditions. Your year is packed with celebrations…a nation of colour and movement:)

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