Sketching Light – a poem by Urmila Mahajan

When dawn fills this pocket
of earth, the hill leans into

breezes spilling light from
beyond the beyond.

Midnight shadows Indian robins
strutting darkness, wildflower

yellow twitches the nostrils of a
squirrel sipping sweetness from

its cup and gilds a sunbird who
prefers a needled straw to

sup. Nutmeg brown speckles
perky spots on munias,

gorgeous turquoise
ambushes bemused peacocks.

Riotous birds urge a virtuoso
spot-billed duck duo,

inversely imaged in the polished
lake, to glide its first ballet

before the last wavering
shaft swerves into day.

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