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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2015


Kala Ramesh
Pune, Maharashtra, India

The Sutra

sepals around a bud
mountains guard
the river song

I would potter around, as our gardener tended to each and every plant in the garden. He would gently loosen the soil with bare hands, saying "It has to breathe, just like you and me." I was 8 years old then, and I remember Chinappa.

Once when he was working with a hibiscus plant, I went running to fetch water. He stopped me. “No,” he said, in his Tamizh dialect. “Let the soil and the plant breathe for some time, the water will only soak the soil and dampen their spirit.” I laughed at the thought, and even repeated it to my parents later.

Once I dug a one rupee coin out from my pocket and pretended I had found it in the soil, saying in a grand fashion, “It’s for you Chinappa.”

Long after he retired, his daughter called one day to say the doctors had given up on him, and that he mumbled about wanting to see our family.

arterial roads
a breathlessness
in my heart

Author’s Note: Sutra in Sanskrit means the thread.



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