Featured Writer, Poetry 2017, K V Raghupati

A Visit to Nagapattinam Harbour Ten Years after Tsunami

K V Raghupathi

He finally took us inside the harbour
though tiny has its own copious history
I read in my school days in history books

-the gateway to the South.

Standing on the bay the man in faded sky blue clothes thus explained:
How tsunami battered it in the early hours
when the town was in the lap of sleep.
The scars on the walls wide as silver dollars
some as big as lids of the cauldrons.
I was close enough to see and feel the folds and spills.
The tug boat weighing 400 tons
was lifted as high as Palmyra tree close by
by tidal waves sixty feet high, thrown upside down.
My bones quivered and quaked
O God, not again!
All sound had died down now
I was clear enough to see in imagination
the wounds and the scars left by the ferocity.
Inside the backwaters, fractured canals
water lapping in foam and tugging
surging into the town as far three kilometres.
Dead floated, sucked in water.
How do I identify trauma in water?
That is true and complete enough to contain it.
How do I reconcile a trauma that is old,
that is already here waiting for us,
like Armada of death?

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