A poem by Kamala Das – an Indian 20th Century poet


All around me are words, and words and words,       

They grow on me like leaves, they never

Seem to stop their slow growing

From within… But I tell myself, words

Are a nuisance, beware of them, they

Can be so many things, a

Chasm where running feet must pause, to

Look, a sea with paralysing waves,

A blast of burning air or,

A knife most willing to cut your best

Friend’s throat… Words are a nuisance, but

They grow on me like leaves on a tree,

They never seem to stop their coming

From a silence, somewhere deep within…….