S A M    F R A N C I S











an Indian Christmas, 2015

nothing but the sun
the city swells and throbs until it should surely burst
a city of eternal noise
pulsating echoes
around each corner a new smell
some pleasant
some not

population overload

buy this
buy that

honk beep honk


sea waves smashing crashing undulating against the sand the sun sets people silhouetted brown the young firm and golden frolic and flaunt carefree white and pink lovers embrace in the shallows all nippy waves warm as a tepid bath legs out tops off bats nip overhead chattering in a tongue I cannot fathom in the fathoms as I swat small insects from my perspiring face

sky (forever)
sea (eternal)
sand (ancient)

.........on the beach a raven sits on a cows back

bells ring high pitched intermittent outside of earshot a baby or small child chatters in small sounds the kitchen cooks swap conversations about how to cook a fish don't burn it chop it up shuffling feet on a dusty floor make good food but i didn't hear the rest passing down the street chinking and chiming in tongues passing by the thrashing crashing waves unto the cliffs like metal utensils good evening sir hello the bell rings with more urgency

a man rolls by the beauty parlour on a rusting
bicycle past a thick bamboo fence strung together bodged with yellow twine to stop a fall to death from the cliff top a yellow t-shirt coddles a swelling belly two Indian women and a small girl with short hair and black eyeliner an older white couple who look like they've been blazing the India trail since the 70's a teenage girl with a look of disdain from her protruding bottom lip man in joggers lifts his knees high as he walks top off purple shorts yellow sequinned sari man with moustache hairy arms eyes as big as their bellies viewing the menu

dawn chorus rattles
as thunder
to awaken
man interrupts nature
emerald bright water lilies cluster
form miniature islands
fish in hiding
ever decreasing circles

lines strung between palm tree trunks

clothes flap flop

house boats with widescreen tv’s
the chattering fan keeps us from melting 
even at this early hour

I read Maggie Nelson's Bluets on the bus, and thus.....

India’s blue makes itself known in a landscape of dust
electric blue
the universal colour of tarpaulin
the rope, string and twine that holds make-shift shelters together
paint faded, peeling from gates, doors, entrance ways
sweltering on corrugated roofs
is the colour of butts that collect tepid water
forms the background for myriad signage, hoardings, labels, advertisements
the blue here wants to be useful
it wants to be seen