The Peacock :
His loud sharp call
seems to come from nowhere.
Then, a flash of turquoise
in the pipal tree
The slender neck arched away from you
as he descends,
and as he darts away, a glimpse
of the very end of his tail.
I was told
that you have to sit in the veranda
And read a book,
preferably one of your favourites
with great concentration..
The moment you begin to live
inside the book
A blue shadow will fall over you.
The wind will change direction,
The steady hum of bees
In the bushes nearby
The cat will awaken and stretch.
Something has broken your attention;
And if you look up in time
You might see the peacock turning away as he gathers
To shut those dark glowing eyes,
Violet fringed with golden amber.
It is the tail that has to blink
For eyes that are always open.
Sujata Bhatt (born 1956)) was educated in the USA and now lives in Germany. She won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Asia section for her collection of poems, Brunizem (1988), from which ‘The Peacock’ is taken. Two other books of poems by her are Monkey Shadows (1991) and The Stinking Rose (1994). She has also translated Gujarati poetry into English.