My Ekatari: My Love (Death) Song

a poem by Remigius de Souza

I found my Ekatari in the spring time in the hills
When forest was afire with Flame of the Forest while
Plucking sweet sour of purple juice black berries

In the thorny buses in my village hills
While climbing, trying by turning
Around to watch panorama ever widening

Was a fond game ever widening deepening
Watching hamlets and hillocks spring up
From earth and misty horizons afar

A single white spire standing out
Of emerald carpet like a crane
In the paddy fields- I could hear the bells clear

Listen the ‘Kukara’ call made in the imitation
Of echoes, by a lonely passer by lost
I would answer the invisible one in the woods

By my ‘Kukara’ reassuring ‘You are not alone’
In the urban jungle here there are no echoes
My cry vanishes- vanishes thirsty and dry.

My ‘Ekatari’ became my lifelong companion
Seeds she sowed in the springtime sprout
From earth as the night is coming to an end.

Now my ‘Ekatari’ plays on me
Brings me fullness – my every cell attuned
I am the string ‘the gourd’ the strut- the key

Groping for my way out in the dark I listen
The call reassuring by ‘Ekatari’- ‘you are not alone’
In the reverberations in my hollow pit.

Gentle light she spreads in the dark interior
I witness the miracle- seeds sown in the spring time
Appearing to see tomorrow’s light
One cycle comes to end.

Body and mind are weak- the spirit springs up
In the fullness. In gratitude I bid
Farewell, my beloved!

Notes: ‘Ekatari’ : Single string musical instrument.
‘Kukara’ : A call given by a lonely traveller in the forest in Konkan,
which is an imitation of echoes in the hill.