Monday, April 18, 2016

The singing fish of Batticaloa

Signals deep not dim
Within the watery edge
In full moon's light they wonder:
Is anybody out there?
Is anybody up there?

Buzz buzz beep bleep their kine
In schools and spools they leap in time
Whirr whirr whirr ticktickticktick
Like lightning fast the singing fish

Beneath the bridge
Out in the open
We sailed at ten
Sincerely hoping
Would they swim tonight
And would they sing?

Spectacular symphonyish electric bling
We wait and quieten 
Our voices, oars
And listen, chastened 
As their crores
In their mighty multitudes try
To tell us something, these slithery fry

Oratorio of syncopation
We have heard the fishy nation!

Buzz buzz bing tick
Soprano high notes barely swerve
Among the clicks and clicking more
Unfolding messages of the crore
Are you out there? Are you up?
Can you hear us? Is there hope?
Can you read our message brightened
In the day that you call night-end?
We are here! And we are waiting!
Hear our voices! See our plaiting as traversing lagoonish depths
We call to you as if to pets
Are you up there and can you hear us?
Will you come tomorrow dearest?

At spots we stop we sport our oars
The pesces Pisces sing in crores
And millions more we cannot hear 
Their species' songs upon our ear

We sail anew upon their surface
Their world's end, their edge of darkness 
We explore but cannot say if reflecting, we have come away
With any message we can keep
Buzz buzz bling click the fishes peep
Their peeps and buzzes fill our souls
Our ears attaching to our toes
We seem as conduits for their sound
As we take the boat aground

We stagger home in rife amazement 
The ride we took, this new attainment
Hearing depths of songitude an affront to primate rectitude?
Thavarajah was our guide
And over salty water glide
We bid adieu 'til next full moon
And climb the staircase to our room

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