Monday, May 17, 2010

The Jubilant Butter Thief

 The Jubilant Butter Thief

You played in the dust-
It’s all over you-
The dabs of butter
on your face
are caked with mud-
how can I allow you thus
to sleep by my side tonight.

(Dehejia 1988.100)

In 1997 I happened to find myself in Sydney for a few days, and as part of my essential education, went to the Gallery of New South Wales where I found an intriguing exhibition of Indian Miniature Paintings. As one who has increasingly stronger prescriptions in her glasses, I marvelled at the intricate detail and devoured the colours. There were poems mounted between some paintings and one I particular caught my attention; perhaps because I was going through an uncertain time in my relationship, or because it has resonance in many other situations. It is about unconditional love.

I copied it down in my little notebook at the time and I hope I have attributed it correctly. If you want to know more about Krishna’s butter stealing exploits, here’s a link.

Fifi Colston, this week’s editor, is ‘not only but also’ an artist, illustrator, writer, poet, designer, and tutor. She graduated from Victoria’s IIML in 2003 with an MA in Scriptwriting and is the author of 3 published junior fiction novels. Visit Fifi’s Blog and the other Tuesday Poets using our blog list to your right.


Mary McCallum said...

The title itself is a poem, Fifi! The joyful mischievousness of it is a delight, as is the way it swamps the exasperated lover. My dog stole the butter today when I popped down to the shops. I came home and she was acting oddly, hiding behind the table. It was on her bed with the lid off, licked. She must have just started to dig in. So a not so jubilant butter thief....

Fifi Colston said...

haha! Krishna fed the dogs and monkeys with butter he stole too. Maybe she's a buddhist.

Mim said...

The little trickster child Krishna. We have a picture of him in our kitchen. I suspect the speaker in the poem did allow him to sleep with her, once she had washed off the butter and mud. A charming poem!