My heart is heavy with the news that the Indian poet, Yajushi (M Ram Vinodh), passed away on 30th September in Hyderabad, in the company of his family.
Writing collaborative poetry with someone allows you to get to know them is a unique way, and I think this is undoubtedly true of the time that Kala Ramesh and I spent working with Yajushi on our Triparshva renku, The Hawk's Grand Swoop
That collaboration was dedicated to the memory of Yajushi's mother, who died during the time of our composition, "having lived to see one thousand moons". How very sad that now her son should pass away just a few short months later.
I will treasure my memories of our writing together. Let me remind you of some of his insightful contributions to that renku. First the opening verses:
the winter sun -
its slow rise above
the hawk's grand swoop /Kala
on the corner
men huddle around a fire /Yajushi
From the very start of our writing, I could feel a togetherness among the poets, as we shared a warmth of spirit and emotion, huddled around our fire of mutual companionship.
And how strange it is, when reading over the poem now, how some of the verses seem prescient. These three come at the end of the second movement:
our shadows bend and rise
around the scarecrow /Yajushi
rich and poor
on towers of silence
underneath one moon /Norman
without a thought
the dragonfly floats away /Kala
Farewell, dragonfly! Journey safely, wherever you may be going.