After twenty years of yoga                                                         Moped without

And mastery of its                                                          Troubling the potholes

Acrobatic asanas—forehead                                           Or the pigs and sleeps

On the floor, feet round                                                     The sleep of the just.

The neck, total breath control—                                    This his ritual the past

He tripped over the doormat                                          40 years though every

And died of cardiac arrest—                                     Christmas doc warns him.

All of 44. Clean living,                                                                        It’s his last.

As he put it once,                                                                     I asked him once.

Is the path to nirvana.                                                   Over a peg, boiled eggs.

At the Goodluck Taverna                                            And a saucer of peanuts.

Eddie, 74, pours three                                                The secret of his long life

Quarters of cashew feni                                                          And sound health.

Topped by a shot                                                     He blinked behind his soda.

Of doctor’s brandy                                     He blinked blinked behind his soda.

Down the hatch below                                                                   Drink. Siesta.

A picture of Mother Mary                                                          And God bless;

Between sunset till                                                           What for you is poison.

The bar shuts at twelve.                                                                Is for me tonic.

He goes home on his                                                                     And medicine.

Manohar Shetty is a poet and fiction writer who lives in Goa, India. His new book is Goa Travels: Being the Accounts of Travellers from the 16th to the 21st Century.

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