Lines written in Bangaram, Lakshadweep Islands

            1

píosa eile coiréil
            caite i dtír:
                        bhog sé – portán sligreach

 

another piece of coral
            washed up on the beach:
                        it moves – hermit crab

            2

spéir gan teimheal –
            ar aghaidh leis arís
                        ag máirseáil, portán sligreach

cloudless sky -
            off again on his marches
                        hermit crab

            3

tost … airgeadaíonn an ghealach
            an gaineamh faoina luíonn
                        na huibheacha turtar

silence … the moon silvers
            the sand that hides
                        turtle eggs

            4

iompaíonn a lí
            ar an ré chródhearg
                        teitheann na réaltaí

a blood-red moon
            changes colour
                        putting all the stars to flight

            5

cruth an choiréil seo
            cruth réaltbhuíne
                                                            i gcéin

the shape of this coral
            shape of a distant
                                                            galaxy

            6

oileáin á nochtadh
            is ag leá
an mar seo a cruthaíodh an domhan?

islands coming
            and going
is this how the world was made?

            7

ní gá iarraidh orthu –
            seolann na crainn phailme
                        bríos chugainn

cooling breeze
            from palm trees -
                        without asking

            8

an féileacán fiú
            glacann scíth
                        san ámóg

even the butterfly
            takes a rest
                        in the hammock

            9

taoi foirfe, i ngach slí,
a mhuiscít; mar sin féin
fan amach uaim

you are perfect in every way
mosquito; nonetheless
buzz off

            10

spléachadh ar thurtar
            a shúile
is a bhfuil feicthe acu

glimpse of a turtle
            his eyes
and what they have seen

            11

lorg bídeach chosa an éin
            ag díriú de shíor
ar ghaineamh gan chríoch

faint imprint of a bird’s feet
            pointing                       pointing
towards infinite sands

            12

isteach i bpoll sa ghaineamh
            rud a bhí róthapaidh
                        le hainmniú

into a hole in the sand
            something  too quick
to be named

            13

níl faic ar na gaobhair
ach brostaíonn an chearc a hál
an cosán anonn

nothing in sight
yet the hen bustles her clutch
across the path

            14

féar mara
            itheann na turtair é
                        seachas sin, n’fheadar

sea grass
            turtles eat it
                        apart from that, who knows

            15

linnte geala
            domhainchiúnais
                                    a réaltaí, na himíg’!

bright pools
            of deep silence -
                        no, stars, don’t go!

            16

nach toilltach!
            ar luas an tsolais, nach mór,
                        scairt an choiligh

how penetrating!
            almost at the speed of light
                        cock crow

            17

an lá á ghlaoch
            chun beochta acu
                        coiligh nach bhfeictear

calling the day
            to life -
                        invisible cockerels

            18
           
domhan fo thoinn
            cruinniú gearr
                        leis an mballach Napoléon

underwave world
            short meeting
                        with the Napoleon wrasse

            19

guth dearg an choiligh
            dathaíonn spéir
                        na maidine

a cock’s red voice
            painting
                        the morning sky

            20

coiréal inchinne cnapánaí
            gealas na réaltaí-
                        gan smaointe

knobby brain coral
            starglow -
                        no thoughts

            21

coiligh ag freagairt dá chéile
            eatarthu leátar
                        an ré

cocks echoing one another
            between them they dissolve
                        the moon

            22

cos léi amuigh –
            tá an chuileog rómhór
                        do bhéal an gheiceo

one leg hangs out -
            the fly is too big
                        for the gecko’s mouth

            23

anáil chiúnaithe
            na cruinne: is ansin
                        scairt an choiligh

the stilled breath
            of the universe: then
                        cockcrow

            24

éisc ar crochadh
            faoin ngrian –
                        muir gan mhonabhar

fish hung out
            to dry
                        murmurless sea

            25

ina gceann is ina gceann
ciúnaíonn tonnta
                        roimh réaltaí

one by one
            waves become placid
                        for the stars

            26

scáil an turtair
            nó féar mara
                        b’fhéidir

turtle shadow
            or sea grass
                        maybe

            27

línte reatha -
an t-iasc séabrach
ag scríobh ar uisce

fleeting lines -
the zebra fish
writing on water

            28

hurlamaboc

            francach

                        in airde sa chrann cnó cócó

hullabaloo

            a rat

aloft in the coconut tree