Abhay K.

Selected Haiku from The Magic of Madagascar: Abhay K.

a boa clings tightly
to a tree twig—
forest fire

five egrets
flying home—
darkening sky

is it you singing
or the spring breeze?

stretching its arms 
in prayer —
a traveller’s palm

bare tree twigs
piercing the blue sky
—winter in Tana

dusk now—
radiated tortoise
still grazing

flames of yellow
lighting up Ranomafana—
moon moths

red fody—
spring will come

rocketing through the sky
chasing each other
— Vasa parrots

blue jacaranda blossoms
reflected in lake Anosy
—spring in Tana

through the crown
of a triangle palm—
the blue sky

moonless night—
the sound of 
hissing cockroaches

two aye-ayes
blissfully conjoined
—midnight in Mangabe 

eggshell fragments
on windswept dunes—
once elephant birds

full moon in Sambava
aroma of vanilla —
a farmer with a machete

haunting wail
of Indri-Indri—
daybreak at Andasibe

at noon
from nowhere—
a panther chameleon

wearing gold bracelets—
dawn at the sacred lake

thousands of cicadas 
vibrating their tymbals
—mid-day in Ankarana

scent of ylang-ylang
wafting into nostrils—
dusk in Antsiranana

frangipani flowers
on the ground
—fallen galaxies

Venus peeps
through the pine tree
—dusk in Tana

its own reflection—
a heron at Mare Masai

satanic leaf-tailed gecko
pressed against a tree
—doubt you can find it

solitary panther chameleon
at Ivoloina—
don’t you want company?

giraffe-necked red weevil 
perched on a green leaf—
what are you looking for?

suspended in air
among octopus trees
—a white sifaka

Soumanga sunbird
sipping aloe nectar—
dawn in the spiny forest

dawn or dusk
always hooting—
long-tailed ground roller

the night’s silence
—Scops owls

how he loves
to bathe—
the spider tortoise

looking at the sea
perched on a rock—
spiny tailed iguana

fossas possessed
with mating fever
—spring in Kirindy

Tana is a short form of Antananarivo
Vasa parrots are grey or black colored parrots endemic to Madagascar
Andasibe rainforests are located in the east coast of Madagascar
Indri Indri is the largest species of surviving lemur. It is critically endangered
Madagascan moon moth is native to the rain forests of Madagascar
Ranomafana is a national park located to the south-east of Antananarivo
Nosy Mangabe is a small island reserve located in north-east Madagascar.
Sambava is a city in north-eastern Madagascar and the centre of Vanila production.
Ankarana is a special reserve in northern Madagascar
Antsiranana is a port city in northern Madagascar
Ylang-ylang is a tropical tree valued for perfume extracted from its flowers
Mare Masai is a lake in Antananarivo
Ivoloina is a recreational and educational zoological park near Toamasina in eastern Madagascar
Kirindy Reserve is located in western Madagascar

Abhay K. is the author of ten poetry books including Monsoon (Sahitya Akademi, India, 2022) The Magic of Madagascar (L’Harmattan Paris, 2021), The Alphabets of Latin America (Bloomsbury India, 2020), and the editor of The Book of Bihari Literature (HarperCollins India, 2022), The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems (2020), The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems (2019), New Brazilian Poems (Ibis Libris, Brazil, 2019) and CAPITALS (Bloomsbury India, 2017). His poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines including Poetry Salzburg Review, Asia Literary Review among others. His poem 'Earth Anthem' has been translated into over 150 languages. He received SAARC Literary Award 2013 and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington DC in 2018. His translations of Kalidasa's Meghaduta (Bloomsbury India, 2021) and Ritusamhara (Bloomsbury India, 2021) from Sanskrit, have won KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award 2020-21.