Mihir Vatsa

Clouds

From today till December
there will be clouds.

The sky will know first
possibly then the bees.

The land itself will suspect
through shadows
trespassing over it

yet won’t know –
not until the rain begins
to fill it up.

In forest,
shallow trees scorn cousins
for light
as one dense mass
invades the sky:

cumulonimbus.

It’s kind of a big cloud
layers upon layers, weight
upon weight
each bulging arc
a lightning not yet
expelled.

Pilots fly around it.
Its tantrums create weather.
And now that it’s pouring
the rocks too have weathered.

This evening
we may watch them grind
slowly into sand
& forget

how we had
paused
to mourn
a tree stripped by lightning
not long ago.

Diversion

The night seven trucks
in the valley crashed into each other
quieter hills rose beside the tanker
flaming out its steel.

At dawn, a low mist
parted one blue from the other
& a new road hauled us up
the plateau.

You couldn’t smell the burn here.
This was the scenic route.
There was word of a waterfall
downstream.

In the bus, played by sunlight,
I adjusted – resigned to watch
you appear online on the screen
then watch you quietly
disappear.

When mist cleared
it showed as a promise
cliffs and peaks
unspoiled by traffic.

Last time I checked
the mountain was still only
an outline
against the mist

but it had taken
all the water in the city
to douse on the old road
our accident.



Mihir Vatsa lives in Hazaribagh, India, where he works across the disciplines of literature, writing and human geography.