Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ode to a Lemon

Found myself at Dadar a few days ago. At 7am even before the markets open, there's a lot you can buy here. I look around, surrounded by heaps of veggies and fruits, I make a mental list of things to buy when I'm distracted by a huge pile of lemons. They are not far. I suddenly mark the distance in a visual alley of sorts and bowl myself over to fetch the yellow ten-pins. I'm amused with my imagination, amused with the power a 'diminutive fire of a planet". SeƱor Neruda here echoes my Ode to a Lemon...

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

-Pablo Neruda

Photo Courtesy: Thanks Amelia for this lovely watercolor 

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