The canoe bobbed to the shore
on its own, albeit apologetically.
Tossed on a wayward storm
He left it to the ruth of the deities,
(not knowing where they were)
aware his cup of good fortune
was empty; lids blistered
by exhaustion, belly dry
as the barren, seedless moor.
Was the horizon closing in?
Shades of darkness elbowed out
shafts of light.
A clouded, amnesiac memory
of the crowded, decibal-torn
city with its cosmopolitan veneer;
Its glitz, jazz and the vaunting buzz!
Senses lukewarmly awoke to a short,
squat, ivory-coloured man –
Harbinger of a new world? –
eyes wrapped in curiosity.
A lingo that sounded stranger
than the straw huts dotting
the bank, hordes of similar shapes
cloaked in a world of enigma.
They nursed him back to tolerable
shape, weird herbal balms easing
out the weather bites, curiosity lining
their eyes about the new species
In their ken; as time ticked away their
lingo sounded less alien than his own –
a nobody in the world of nobodys.
Well laid out farms of sweet potatoes,
Corn and carrot filled his eye with the
grace of an embroidered cloth; black
pots, drilled out of make-believe knives
and cutters, carried delicacies that left his
belly (and theirs) safe from hunger for
hours; Festivities resounded with the
beating of drums, songs propitiating
deities who resembled none in his memory!
He found his name in a new setting.
Clouds ever pregnant with moisture,
moon iridescent and full; The Chief spoke.
“This is our world….nascent, unspoiled
and unspotted; birds fly in here to peck,
rich, varied and free; we never swat at them;
no strangers to trade, or hostile glances
to torch the bank; we live in a time warp,
encased in a cocoon…”
Has the new species found (or lost)
his moorings? He couldn’t tell.
Aging and what it means…
Years pass without a whiff of murmur,
clouds dissipating in the sky;
If happiness is a whirlpool in the river,
Pain too is a fading scar on memory.
Voices jar on the wavelength,
a perpetual melee daunting the ear.
Once the cacophony peters out,
emerges the calm cadence of order.
Life is never a bouquet to the living,
a surprise always on the fringe;
Beyond the rim of stinging chaos
Hope beckons, a distant rose?
Inside the park…
The tree’s sturdy stem, curved
spaciously like a plastic chair,
can embalm your aching back,
nudge a meditative voyage;
I marvel at the buoyant family
defying time with Its stately,
Their luxuriant foliage arching
over the vast park fill the silence
with a nourishing, feisty fragrance
sullied only by mews of chat
the walkers share; A few barter
smiles with me or raise an arm
In greeting; “Resting eh…”
Is the unexpressed friendly
query; What they didn’t fathom
was the stream of thought
“Here is Nature’s
unrequited bounty…no price tag;
A bemused spectator
of the fallible humans who
do not weigh its worth…”
Time makes a call
Spring’s verdure slowly ebbed
before summer’s breath snuffed
it out; Time’s footfall tip-toed
a message – “Life’s curves are
hazier than the lines in your palm;
Strain not the brow on what’s in store
brace up to weather the storm;
Storms leave fading scars on plains;
The Banyan is ruddy on its shore,
knows not where it will spread.
Its bleached branches beyond the seed;
Hearts stagger on jagged strains,
a hopeless hunt for a green moor.
Then encased in thorny silence”
After the milepost
Wrapped in gleaming, embroidered cloth
the gold embossed title, drawn with a
flourish in Sheafer pen, gives a wink;
As if in mock applause or commiseration
at the memories undressed in verse;
Now it will totter its way across a maze
of eyes, trembling when recognized
for the faults on its face;
Better than a made-up one;
Words weigh more when they tumble
from the heart; always a lone, blistered
brow In the furrow.
After crossing a milepost against
an illumined sky.
Shadow of innocence
The shadow of innocence is so far
behind its frayed edges hardly
touch your toes; it hovers over
your mind, often in the interstices,
a spark that lost its flicker.
You move into the rarefied corridors
of the elite, learn and imitate a lingo
that alone earns your spurs; A feeling,
often flicked aside like an unwanted
toy in the attic, niggles up to remind
you are unsteady on the ground.
Yet…it is the world you would like to
belong, be it secluded and indrawn;
No wordy spat with an auto driver
over the fare lest you lose the spurs
earned the hard way; Oh! an
unequal exchange, too!
Yet it is a safe world to cosy up,
a sturdy woolen cloak against
the biting cold; A lovable, randy world
humming with avant garde art and chat;
Away from the barbs of shadow of innocence.
K.S.Subramanian, India, has published two volumes of poetry titled, Ragpickers and Treading on Gnarled Sand through the Writers Workshop, Kolkata, India. His poems have appeared in Asian Age, a daily published from New Delhi and other centres and in several magazines, anthologies and web sites such as Brown Critique, Yorick Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Muse India among others. He is a retired Senior Asst. Editor from The Hindu, one of the leading and well known dailies in India.
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