“So Many Alphabets are Seen” A Poem by M R Renukumar

The front yard of Poykayil Appachan's hut (left backdrop) and later mansion at Eraviperoor, Thiruvalla, Pathanamthittta

Crisscross marks of the broom

Made of coconut leaf-bristles fill the tidied front yard

Bursting in laughter and fragrance

Stands the Ilanji tree at the margin of the yard

Clean after bath black kids wait

On the verandah looking for a come back

Clean kitchen pots and vessels bask in evening light

Along with spatulas made of coconut shells


Such small changes are seen everywhere you see

The home you left for work is not the one you enter after work

The children are also changed as you come back

With the wage of paddy in the corner folding of loincloth


Who cleaned and kept the littered house like this?

Who made the little dirty ones with running nose

Into smiling flowers with fragrance?


Yes, so many alphabets are seen

In thier eyes.


Translated from Malayalm by Ajay Sekher

In this short and remarkable poem M R Renukumar a leading dalit poet in Malayalam today is rewriting Poykayil Appachan the early 20th century dalit social reformer and poet in an optimistic way.  Renukumar lives and writes in Kottayam, Kerala and he could be reached at: +91 9446081189.

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