Chakaan

'The shadow of the sun is getting longer The nights getting longer, the fire in the hearth burning brighter'

 

Chakan kagangaimei, good autumn season

The season of rest from toil is here again

The inkhuaipuina, amur falcons have come back,

The wind is not biting cold yet

Young boys went hunting for frogs

The cattle in the fields, forgotten; fear of scolding flung away

Carefree days, cracked lips, but hey! Who cares?

Have the paddies been brought in from the fields?

Have the seeds seasoned for the next plantation?

A happy resounding yes, yes.

The shadow of the sun is getting longer

The nights getting longer, the fire in the hearth burning brighter

The talum are out, to the inkhuaipuina’, amur falcons’ delight

The grasshoppers flocked in; crickets had sung their songs

The cicadas made their presence felt by their commotion

The dogs frisky and spoiling for a fight

The old lady and amaipui, widow got their pile of wood ready

For the long cold winter, bereft of companion

Her yams piled up against the wall for hard days

The barn half full of ‘green gifts’ from neighbours

Dailong-haeng, poinsettias blooming brightly on taupung

The red colour standing out against the mountain silhouette

The earth was soft and moist and ready to receive

The earthworms and the insects did their jobs

The Bizik yam all planted in green rows against the walls

The Gankareih, spine gourd vines left ‘un-weeded’

To curl upwards onto the thatched roof

Bearing flowers and fruits for delight and a humble meal

Beautiful Chakaan of my mother land

The whistling of the wind carried the chirping of the birds

Can you hear the hope beating in the heart?

Of another dance in the festival?

Season which gives peace and love

And nostalgia to the ones away from the land

The Orchids blooms high up on the branches

Too high for the young lovers to climb

Not willing to risk a fall

Young lovers’ stories intertwined with that of the bloom

Of the eternal orchids

The romance of the orchid and the bird will continue

The Reangan happy to eavesdrop and keep the secrets

The bean vines could no longer wait to bloom

The cucumbers waited to be picked, ripening in the garden

Waiting to join the rows of Gourds

Already lined up in neat rows adorning the bamboo walls

Stay on Chakaan, don’t go yet

The lovers are not yet ready for the winter

For the long cold nights ahead

More time is needed to prepare.

(Chakaan- Autumn; Raengan- a village gate with stone steps from the valley leading up to the village gate atop a mountain)

First Published:Nov. 15, 2020, 5:19 p.m.

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