701 | Words – Kamala Das, India

ithaca 701

Drawing by Satish Gupta, India


All round 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 paralyzing 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…

Kamala Das, India 1934–2009