Kali And Kaliamma

gather their kin
 walk to the paddy fields
 carrying a big pot of rice
 prepared the  night before 
along with raw onion, and green 
chillies  finely chopped,

Kaliamma  holds her baby 
close to the bosom, pulls 
the saree over the child’s head 
trots briskly with  a pot 
of water,   Kalimuthu  sucks 
with a K- Ah sound, suck, swallow,
breathe, resembling a grunt/gulp.

 Kali and his men invoke  the God Ayyanar
 for a bountiful harvest,  They
cut the stalks with  their sharp sizzles, 
dazzling bright in the morning sun light.
A swish  swish sound fills the air.

Kali sings the  harvest song 
while the other men follow 
“ello ello — ayelesha ‘ 
a song that lifts their spirit 
and  eases their pain,  Corona 
Dengue and other fevers do not deter. 

 Kaliamma  enters with her gang.
 collects the stalk, places them 
on the heads of the women who have 
 placed  rolled pieces of cloth on their heads,
 called as summadu  

The women  trot, balance the load, 
 run towards  athe place
marked for beating the stalks 
to remove the husk,   called 
as  Kalathumedu.

The man and wife slog 
while  their sonsleeps 
in the make shift  thuli
an old saree goes round  the sturdy  
branch of a neem tree,   by knotting 
the two ends  the cradle  is formed.

Sucking his thumb Kalimuthu 
sleeps content, The cradle 
oscillates  gently  in the breeze.