A Farmer’s Ghost – Anju Makhija

A Farmer’s Ghost


Anju Makhija

Behind the trunk of a mango tree you were seen
vigilantly guarding rice fields; later,

collecting dung, rounding up cows,
you munched dry rotis, beat your daughter-in-law.

A farmer never leaves his land, they said,
till rice is safe from man and beast.

When bins are full, rice mixed with dry neem,
he will leave. The old man is dead, not asleep.

Nam Enn Tiplanter

Deryer tron enn pie mang to la
Pe vey karo diri; apre

To ramas kaka-vas, okip bann vas,
Manz farata sek, bat to belfi.

Tann dir enn tiplanter zame kit so later
Tank so diri pa ansekirite.

Me kan bann ferblan finn plen, proteze par fey lila sek,
Li chal. Bonom la finn kat, pa pe dormi.

That night, I read about witty Veetal,
short-tempered Zhoting, man-eating Hadals

and other Konkan spirits in The Times. Next night:
ghostbusting, to dispel tales spreading like flames

in the night. Dark face, still as a scarecrow,
leaning against a haystack, you were seen

by all but me. Disconcerted then, now I see the point:
dispelling superstitions city folk like;

but, to believe the imagined to be true
can be a way of life, a fact, a truth.

Sa swar la mo ti lir lor movezer,
Lespri malefik, lakesoungwa,

Mardeviren, minisprens. Leswar apre:
Fer nam tire pou met stop ar zistwar ki file

Dan lanwit. Figir sek, fix kouma bonomlapay,
Pe apiy kont pake lerb, zot tou ti trouv twa

Apart mwa. Sa lepok la mo ti dekonserte, aster mo konpran:
Kifer konbat siperstision ki dimoun lavil kontan;

Kwar dan seki nou mazine kouma laverite
Li enn fason viv, enn realite, laverite pir.

27.07.18

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