The Peacock

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

will stop.

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

his tail

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.

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