The house of my childhood stood empty
On a grey hill
All its furniture gone
Except my grandmother's grindstone
And the brass figurines of her gods

After the death of all birds
Bird-cries still fill the mind
After the city's erasure
A blur still peoples the air
In the colourless crack that comes before morning
In a place where nobody can sing
Words distribute their silence
Among intricately clustered glyphs

My grandmother's voice shivers on a bare branch
I toddle around the empty house
Spring and summer are both gone
Leaving an elderly infant
To explore the rooms of age

Previously published in the collection of poems, Travelling in a Cage, Clearing House Publications, Bombay 1980.

Dilip Chitre is a poet, fiction-writer, playwright, painter and filmmaker. His honours, awards and prizes include the Sahitya AKademi Award. Fellow of The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, Writer-in-Residence at the Villa Waldberta, Feldafing, Munich, National Emeritus Fellow of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi, Writer-in-Residence and German Academic Exchange Fellow at the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, Prix Special du Jury at the Festival des Trois Continents, Nantes, France , Fellow and Writer-in-Residence at the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. He lives in Pune and writes in Marathi and English.Writes in English and in Marathi; also translates either way, especially poetry. He is currently Honorary Editor of the quarterly journal 'New Quest'(Mumbai/Pune,India) and Honorary President of the 'Sontheimer Cultural Association'---a folk heritage foundation in Pune, India.










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