Under the Jacaranda

The Ballad of the Jacaranda

"Walked six years, that way,
And watched this new suburb’s trend.
Near Mysore Highway,
Close to Bengaluru’s end.
Three storeys tall, stood,
This awesome tree-spread, so pretty.
Blue blossoms, good wood,
Half acre’s canopy.
Neath with sun-warmings,
Faded blue a carpet rose.
Of fallen, dried awnings,
Nature’s cycle, as it goes.
Hanging Traffic Lights,
Often, brushed by its branches.
Red light, hid from sights,
Officials, took no chances.
The machinery,
Was then set into motion.
People versus tree,
Few friends, one odd emotion.
The huge saws came in,
Chopping through, the whole, big tree,
Adding noise and din,
Workmen yelled, ‘Timber!’ in glee.
The earthmovers filled,
The gaping hole with rubble.
The tree was thus killed,
At great cost and much trouble.
The decorators,
Carted leaves to weddings halls.
Such deft creators,
Blooms to florists’ stalls.
The carpet-pile, twigs and chips,
All collected, swept,
Offals for funeral trips,
Departed unwept.
Their nests and hives gone,
The birds and the bees hovered,
Twittered , buzzed, flew on,
Their losses unrecovered.
The tree’s life on earth,
Cut short, for sale by auction.
Fetched a pittance’s worth,
The wood went for a fraction.

Traffic lights are safe now,
No mix-up of colour red.
Strange.. Green light, some how,
Blinks. Reminder of the dead.
Jacaranda tree,
God dressed your kind soul in wood.
You would have lived free,
You would have, lived, If you could."

-- Rita Joyce Singh, India

"Purple majesty framed in the sky,
Like a magnificent painted cloud.
There is not one that can deny,
Your beauty as you stand so proud.

There is no tree that can compare,
And few there are that can keep in stride.
You're Helen of Troy, a beauty so rare,
Blushing purple, a most lovely bride.

Royal thou art, and I can attest,
Thine purple beauty is so unique.
Head and shoulders above the rest,
Only a fool would dare critique.

Thine beauty makes the birds entone,
While in thy shade, they do repose.
The most beautiful, harmonius, heartfelt songs,
Tiny feathered poets, reciting prose.

Like a dream lovers, violet eyes,
The purple bells beckon in the breeze.
All agree and no one denies,
Jacaranda's beauty, the eyes doth please."

In memory of a great lady, the one with the Jacaranda eyes, The one and only Queen of the silver screen, Ms. Elizabeth Taylor.

-- Juan Olivarez 


"We agree on this,
it’s never been so gray.
The sky won’t rain.
The concrete entrance drive,
the stucco portico.
In the wings, old people

kept from dying.
We’ve got a hundred papers
to sign. We’re at a loss
for florid verse. And yet,
when no one’s listening,
we beg each other

for a word. Out the window
a jacaranda — exotic tree
with extravagant
cerulean blooms in summer —
droops its winter-
feathered leaves.

Imagine her in blue
boas, flamenco on a breeze.
so we can’t forget.
At the tip of every twig
a castanet." 

-- Taylor Graham

Teng Biao: To my wife, from jail

"Presently as I confront prison walls,
Now I write this poem for you, my Love, my Lady, my Wife.
Even tonight, the stars glitter in the cold sky of apparent isolation.
Glowworms yet appear and disappear among the shrubs.

Please explain to our child why I did not have a chance
to bid her farewell. I was compelled to embark on a long journey away from home.
And so, everyday before our daughter goes to bed,
And when she awakes in the morning,
I will entrust to you, my Lady, my Love, my Wife:
I entrust to you, my warm kisses on our daughter’s cheeks.

Please let our child touch the herbs beneath the stockade.
In the morning on a beautiful sunlit day,
If she notices the dew on the leaves,
She will experience my deep love for her.

Please play the Fisherman’s Song every time you water the cloves.
I should be able to hear the song, my love.
Please take good care of our silent but happy goldfish.
Hidden in their silence are memories of my glamourous and turbulent youth.

I tread a rugged road,
But let me reassure you: I have never stopped singing, my Love.
The leaves of the roadside willow tree have gradually changed colour.
Some noises of melting snow approach from afar.

Noises are engulfed in silence. This is just a very simple night.
When you think of me, please do not sigh, my Love.
The torrents of my agonies have merged with the torrents of my happiness.
Both rivers now run through my mortal corpse.

Before the drizzle halts,
I would have returned to your side, my Lady.
I cannot dry your tears while I am drenched in rain;
I can do so only with a redeemed soul after these times of testing."

(I wrote this on 7 March 2008, on the second day after I lost my freedom. At that time, I was not sure how long I needed to stay there before I would be released. So I simply treated the jail as my home. I meditated in front of the walls, practiced my writing and composed some poetry. I initially wrote this on a piece of paper, which was confiscated by the guard. I was released in the afternoon of 8 March 2008. That evening I wrote this down from memory. Until now, I still have no idea where I have been “jailed”.) Teng Biao

Under the Jacaranda is a wee-little one!
 I feel most fortunate to have a Jacaranda Tree surrounding me with its shade and beauty. I often gaze up towards its elegant blossoms (purple is one of my favorite colors) and feel the warmth of the sun through its lacy, delicate leaves. Underneath our beautiful jacaranda tree, is a very cute grandson discovering the texture and beauty of nature that surrounds him.

Hoping you will take the time to feel the earth and its peaceful surroundings where you are.
LadyD Books will be participating in these memes today.


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

My Family from WiddlyTinks.com

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