'Images and Gods' is a different version of the poem 'The Road from Mysore to Somnathpur' found in the opening pages of Darshan by Irene Black.
Alone, we three
have watched the final golden drops
drain from the stricken vehicle.
The driver, long-gone,
hitched a lift on a motorbike
to a ten-mile distant telephone.
Left to our fate, we wait
an hour maybe, a day - who knows, who cares -
beguiled by a golden afternoon.
Visions of distant, dark, unvisited temples
Flicker and fade away,
time-shimmered into obscurity.
Here is no town, no habitation.
Only the silent calm of reapers
in distant fields.
While on a tarmac-flattened patch of road
a woman in a purple sari
sifts golden beads of ragi from her land.
Tortured swine buck lamely in the stubble
taunted by satin-suited rodeo crows,
one black crow for each black, hairy back.
Oblivious of the carnival beyond,
two buffalo with horns like folded wings
graze in the grass-damp roadside stream.
Now evening flecks the sky with powdered gold.
At last the fields lie bare; their honey spilled,
and patient oxen bear the harvest home.
The gods stay undiscovered in the temple,
Let them stay hidden in dark places. No god can move me more
than the memory of this day.
'Images and Gods' and 'The Road from Mysore to Somnathpur' are based on an incident that Irene Black experienced on that road some years ago. A similar incident has life changing consequences for Sarawathi in the novel Darshan.