'Gold' by Jim Davis-Rosenthal
Gold, Jim Davis-Rosenthal, 1999.



How Spring Arrived This Year
K. Satchidanandan


"Shame is a revolutionary feeling."
—Antonio Gramsci


It was not thunder:
Our warhorses were coming back
under the rainbows of vultures.
Bound to each horseback was
one soldier: with his head cut off
or with a spear in his chest.
Some horses carried
bundles drenched in blood:
of thumbs and male organs.

This was the last battle.
Now our thoughts will be taxed.
Each of our breaths
will be a hymn to the aggressor.
We will hear alien tongues
echo in our bedrooms.
All our children will
look like the victor.
They will grow up ashamed
of their impotent fathers.
Shame kills none and so
we too will survive
along with the tongueless cuckoos
in the city of the apes
in the colourless spring
of the yoked bulls
—where there is no tomorrow.





Translated from the Malayalam by the poet.

Text © 1995, 1999 by K. Satchidanandan
"How Spring Arrived This Year" first appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Volume 1, Number 3. The work appears here by permission of the author.

Original Graphic Image, "Gold" © 1999 by Jim Davis-Rosenthal

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