बिटवीन बर्थस- Indian treescape -गौरी देशपांडे

Trees are like people only much more indifferent
So much more beautiful
They stand unheedful of own stand or fall
We care about their leaf or limb
Or fruit or flower and observe the gap
And their departure.

Cassia is a sketch throughout his life
(A mere symmetry of charcoal lines in early spring)
The temple tree is lovely without a flower
And plush and luscious in monsoon mists.
The vast banyan a king tree
Supports his espanse with disdain
And is thunderous in his decline.
The Indian poplar a giant conquette
Waving-wishpering, bedighting-denunding
Always beckoning.
A cluster of lithe bamboos, smooth
Tall and vicious and straight,
The silk-cotton a poem of passion and restraint.
The jasmines that start as younglings
Grow into stately martrons pervading
The world with their strong smells.

And last we come to their emperor
Whose smells and tastes and presence
Are woven in our dreams and hours.
He is supreme in flower, supreme too
In fruit in this tree the mango.
Snowflake shaped flowers make us drunk in youth,
The firm and sour flavour of pleasure's in his early fruit.
And his ripe maturity fills our mouths
And runs in saffron rivers down
Our summer-soaked trunks.
He drinks and blossoms and yield the Indian sun.

-गौरी देशपांडे


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