When we long ago looked at pictures
in Geography textbooks
Of pedestal rocks
that have stood through time, as time
their very foundation,
it was not easy
to imagine the hard stone
by knives of sand and wind.
A rock must always exist
as it is present –
an unchanged mass
–bound in solid unity.
But isn’t that rock too
made of the same sand,
millions of grains
cohabiting a whole?
And in that dichotomous way
that mushroom-like rock, and every
other rock is the same as the flaccid, fragile,
flexible, human body–
comprising a million independences
into a codependence
rooted in space-time.
But what of will and resilience,
those notions omniscient entities
held in the imaginary core
of the human self?
Will, too can be broken down
(for purposes of childlike curiosity)
and seen in the way
feathers layer one upon the other
to resist gravity–enough
to hold a bird adrift
in its willed direction.
Do weary feathers lose their will
with the resistance of each flight?
Do birds know when enough is lost,
to stop plunging into the wind?
If we looked at the rock close enough,
and long enough,
don’t you think we would witness
the melting of that pedestal
as grain after sand grain loses its urge to hang on,
If that fluid moment froze
while the margin of the rock was
and you saw each speck of sand
in the boundary
held in place individually
mid-dis e n t a n g l e m e n t
would you not wonder if the sands buried
heart-deep in the rock,
are aware of their dwindling foundation?
The unravelling must be abrupt–
the rock, uprooted violently
from our reality
as its foundation refuses
to bear silent erasure
–an unsuspecting caravan
traversing this ever-shifting desert
losing its mark of permanence.
At seventy-seven, Dadi* is still a rock / tears have
rarely corroded her skin / a third of a century
is a long time / air too can erode mountains
–just takes longer than water.
At what point do you ask yourself
if it is the rock
–which is sand and would be buried in sand–
that you worry about
the seism its fall would cause
making the earth below your feet
* Daadi – Paternal grandmother