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A Journal of Haibun & Tanka Prose
Bob Lucky, General Editor & Ray Rasmussen, Technical Editor
January 2020 Vol. 15 No. 4

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Kala Ramesh

Walk the Walk

whether you say
tomAto or tomAHto
          what matters
is the self within, isn’t it,
mother talks to herself

When making kozhakkattai – a delicacy prepared for Lord Ganesh – she would hand-shape rice dough. It’s soft and malleable but fragile; it can easily give way and then you have to start all over again. In life we are constantly undoing and doing, she would say. But all I knew was, ah! when those sweetened-grated-coconut-stuffed-rice dumplings were steamed, how easily they melted in my mouth.

Mother gave many such lessons when I was growing up, but the hand-shaped rice dough stayed with me.

When I was in college, my quest to find answers began. ''You hand-shaped me like you would do with rice dough, didn’t you?’’

She kept quiet. After a while, she said, ''you will know by and by.’’

Years later I learned that I need to hand-shape even my awareness of consciousness. I know how instantly one can lose this awareness when one indulges in alcohol or drugs or when one gets upset with life. I look around at people…and how they've moved away from being centred in the Self.

sheep climb
the mountain path
to greener pastures –
the young boy hums a tune
to keep his herd on track

rock formations
sculpted by lashing waves
and passing seasons –
the harvest moon highlights
each textured pockmark


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