Red trees

in evening’s

darkening

glow.

Breeze,

cat-footed,

stealthy,

alert.

Like

an ashen bird’s

first

awakening,

your

eyes

take in

the night.

Eight

night herons

voyage on.

Eight

silent

pilgrims,

or

prospectors.

In the distance,

mountains

loom,

like destiny.

With

the bitter

reluctance

of a waking child

a star

begins

to blink; the

landscape

blurs.

No more

the song

of the cicadas —

here let us

part.

And

peel off

the pearly

flowers

of rainy

afternoons,

one by one,

only to move on

like

night herons.

Note: This poem first appeared in Chandrabhaga in the early eighties. Later it was included in the poetry volume titled Night Heron: Poems and Sketches (Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1998)

About the author: Dr. Murali Sivaramakrishnan is a Professor and Head of the Department of English at Pondicherry University. Click here to visit his blog.