Jul-Aug 2011: Poem 'Emerald Beetles' by Arjun Rajendran

After the rains hit town, the arrival
of emerald beetles seasons the wilderness

with an air of revelry;
Children abandon their Nataraj geometry

sets and rush out of stagnant classrooms.
The veterans are already at the shrubs,

anxiously motioning the rest to keep
still, oblivious to the thirst parching their

throats or the thorns pricking their feet,
barely containing the fever of excitement

coursing through them like a mad river.
The insects appear beautiful in their hunger,

as the children are innocent in theirs,
drawing their thrilled faces closer to leaves

in admiration of the beetles’ colours
exploding under sunlight. When a boy

tries to feel the emerald under his finger,
the insect instinctively moves, sharply closing

the space between its body and head before
taking flight, leaving behind a cloud of despair.

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