Some illustrators are like sleepwalkers. They enter homes of strangers and manage absolute miracles – of never banging their toes on the scheming legs of tables & demon doors. Dark and brooding, they share a chromosome or two with their counterpart, the Cuckoo. At night their cuttlefish fingers bleed sepia, map continents with the shape and swell of distant memories. They play constant fish to music’s water; seek trees with silent roots and an abundance of leaves. Their only wish: to unburden the ropes of lines and tie swings unto them. Swings that grow like lianas and have a life of their own. Climb one and you could get down through another. Once in a while someone will soar the skies on these swings and the tree gets read spring-leaf to leaf. The only way to escape them is to be a tree without branches. But lazy and laddery, their thoughts attain strange shapes: even a mocking hammock tied between two trees.
Binu Karunakaran is a poet, translator and journalist based in Kochi, India. A recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship for writing, some of his poems were part of a group anthology A Strange Place Other Than Earlobes published by Sampark, Kolkata, in 2015.