Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The royal palace in Hyderabad

by Jagannath Rao Adukuri

The palace was luminously wet reaching out to sky
In its shadow lay the kings and their faceless women
Whose fine drapery interrupted their noses and eyes
Under many big-vaulting domes and resounding halls.

Their noises went up to ceiling to return empty
Like their noses and eyes lost from their faces.
They were not lost really but had never been there.
When the silks arrived they forgot w omen’s faces.
The women sat there gossiping about other women,
Other women in the harem and their fine draperies.

Their men’s bloated egos did not show on the faces;
Their man’s egos showed on the woman’s stomachs,
On the little heirs to the throne who came from there.
A fine bangle, a glittering necklace and some pearls
Hushed talk about the latest addition to the harem
And the scraps of conversation went on as it rained.

They had no faces for the evening conversation,
Only bodies fully draped in the finest gilded silks.
In the beginning they sat on the ground huddled.
Later the West grew on them in white man’s land
They sat on sofas and high backed chairs presiding
Tea ceremonies just like the sophisticated women.
They still did not have their noses on their faces.

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