> Emily’s Belly

Emily’s Belly

Par |2019-01-23T21:20:30+00:00 3 septembre 2012|Catégories : Blog|


At last
the house is emp­ty.
The win­dows sigh and let in the pigeons.
Outside, the soft, slow rain watches
the lea­ping gold fish in our fish bowl.
Emily and Lily they are cal­led,
though we might be mis­ta­ken
about their gen­der.

I drink my tea cold
and speak to the walls.
They throw new words back at me,
words I am too slow to catch.
A few find their way into Emily’s open mouth.

Shakuntala’s ring*
was res­to­red from the bel­ly of a fish.

What will become
of the words inside Emily’s bel­ly ?
Who will find them ?
Will they be found ?



*In Hindu mytho­lo­gy, Shakuntala was the wife of King Dushyanta and the mother of Bharata. Her sto­ry is nar­ra­ted in the epic Mahabharatha. Dushayanta mar­ries Shakuntala in a simple gand­har­va style wed­ding and leaves for his king­dom, pro­mi­sing to send for her soon. Before he goes,  he gives her a ring with his seal on it. Lost in thoughts of Dushyanta, Shakuntala fails to greet the Rishi Kanva who curses her to the effect that the per­son she is thin­king of will for­get her alto­ge­ther. Later, he modi­fies his curse saying that the per­son would remem­ber eve­ry­thing once again if Shakuntala sho­wed him a per­so­nal token that had been given to her. Shakuntala sets out for Dushyanta’s king­dom. On the way, she stops to bathe in a river and the ring that Dushyanta had given her slips out of her fin­ger and ends up inside the bel­ly of a fish.  Dushyanta fails to reco­gnize Shakuntala.  It is only when a fisher­man finds the ring inside a fish he has caught and pro­duces it before Dushyanta, that the lat­ter recalls eve­ry­thing.