Books are quite a crowd;
friends, soulmates, acquaintances,
teachers, guides, wholesalers,
gleeful walk-ons, dark thought-scowlers,
partners in the crimes of an insomniac mind.
As messy as I am in arranging life
so arranged are they in marked disarray;
you may find them just about anywhere
in their shelved slumber
each flanked by the least even company.
Once in a while a fellow strays out
with me, her caller, his drop-in,
sometimes one more sneaks out with the other
all depending on my vagrant fancies
into the world outside their little nest,
Into the air within the four walls
of my room, into the drawing room,
or into the breeziness of a running train.
You may find them just about anywhere,
but never me when they stray out.
don’t ever look for me when they stray out.
Prathap Kamath is Associate Professor of English at Sree Narayana College, Kollam affiliated to University of Kerala. He has published two books in English: Ekalavya: a book of poems (2012, Rochak Publishing) and Blood Rain and Other Stories (2014, LiFi, Delhi). He writes in Malayalam too, and has published in it two short story collections.