Once they begin a story with a king in the first sentence, you arrive at the end of it;
resolved or strait-laced denouement. There is no bad boy and the good albeit is–
he with the crown. All through our grannies’ nannying anecdotes–
kings, we are never told, serve themselves. So is the bullfrog,
the rex in my well. Surrounded by scaly ferns, mouldy mosses, pledged apparatchiks
and century– composed nightfall,
a suburb of minor frogs fills the floor, guzzling the well wealth to their health…
a hundred and forty-four colonnades resist the entry of the daystar, no hot air belches out
of this once man-made story-source. Here,
your story in foam and froth, in throaty voice, passed on tympanum to tympanum-
survive in the gingiva
for an hour or sometimes shorter. The rajah raises his left arm, disappears with an approval.
Once absolutely alone in the master sleep room, he ribbits. Here he sings. Here he
rocks and rolls too. Here he grins,
spends part of his siesta time, fixing the beginning, middle and the end,
(in the absence of his disciples) placing a cigar between his lips, decides if
the fables earn a mate for the scenarist.
Here you are, also reading the story of a minor frog who has survived banishment.
Purabi Bhattacharya is the author of two collections of poems, Sand Column (2019) and Call me (2015)both published by Writers Workshop, India; and reviews books as a panellist for the literary e-journal Muse India.