Chiarascuro

Closer and closer it came,

Softly, in padded stealth –

The scythe swished and, one by one,

Down came yet another dear.

 

How to grieve, when, where,…

Tears course down in unwiped furrows

And in untold concentric sorrows.

I huddled, unsolaced, unreprieved.

 

Time did not stand still – what cliche-

Seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours…

Swathes of sorrows unfurled

In the middle of iridiscent life and joys.

 

Life weaves its pattern;

The warps and wefts, hand moving in and out,

Dances in step with the colors,

Through humanity’s told and untold tales

Of death and griefs

And life’s ephemeral joys.

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Seara

Seara of the sea air,

With golden hair and sea green eyes,

Waded into my emptiness,

Into my life of lonely thoughts and deep desperation.

 

Seara of the sea air,

With golden hair and sea green eyes,

Woke me from the depths

Into wakeful seconds, breathing deep,

The pallor forgotten for roseate cheeks.

 

Seara of the sea air,

With golden hair and sea green eyes,

Fingered me with exquisite touch

And I came up, out of depths,

Spluttering with live air,

Inspiring life, laugher glimmering-

I was alive!

 

Sears of the sea air,

With golden hair and sea green eyes,

Is no more!

She left me bereft of living light;

But the glimmer lingers

Of our life – a Milky Way

Of shared moments-

Streaks of love, life and light!

 

 

 

 

Where are You?

I did not step in time

And missed the passage of years.

I keep finding memories

Tucked away in corners

Hitherto unvisited.

How did they find

Their little nooks

And little places

Among the shelves,

Bags and boxes?

There you were hiding,

Among the photos,

Among the letters,

Among the unexpected gifts.

But you never hid!

You are with me

In the corners of my heart

Holding on with feathery clasps,

Never intruding,

Present every moment.

When I reflected

And summoned up

Cherished delicacies

Of our knitted lives.

What pathos prompted me

To search for you

Who was twined in my own self?

 

Sojourner

It is a gypsy’s life

That I lead, from place to place,

Nomadic in deeds,

But, homesick in the heart.

 

From the frigid climes

Of Adirondacks

To the Arabian sea shore

And Pacific sands

I wandered

Without goal

And without destination,

Searching for something

To anchor me down.

There is no one to wait for

And no one to travel with,

But a lonely sojourner

I remained

In my seemingly

Dreamlike life.

 

But, does anyone know

The pathos of loneliness

That leaves one shiftless

Like a paddle free boat?

Writing

The blank paper stared at me

And I took up pencil with trepidatio;

My palms were sweaty

And my nose was crinkling

When my nerves came close

To being shattered.

 

To freely write

Is to navigate unknown waters

And I dread to get

My feet wet.

 

The topics on the board

Glared at me

And I tremble

At their defiance.

 

What do I choose?

Do I opt for the easy one

Or let creative juices flow,

So I choose ambitiously?

 

Ah, I have my topic

And I am happy to note:

I will write

About the wonder of writing.

 

Chaos of Visits

The crow had been cawing

All through the morning

And that foretold the advent

Of visitors any time.

 

 

Oh, but what can I do?

The house is not ready!

Is it messy, is it clean?

Run around and check

Every nook and corner,

Every room and porch,

And every piece of furniture!

 

What about the food?

Will they stay long?

Is it enough to have a snack

Or is a meal expected?

With trepidation, the thought wriggle in:

The stay could be prolonged!

 

So many things to do

And so little time!

I am bound in cliches now.

What an unusual state it is!

 

I detest cliches

Homage to Annie

On the wings of fancy,

I travelled to Paradise,

Adventured in Arabia,

Climbed Olympus

And sparkled in fairy dust-

Timeless gifts

Of untold pleasures,

More precious

Than diadems and gems-

All showered from one

Whose voice is a memory

And whose gentle smile

Is pressed between pages

Of pensive recollections.

 

I stood in front of a name

Etched on the wall of monuments

And the face swam in front

Of eyes swimming in tears

And yearning for a look, a voice,

Or a smile!

 

I could not raise a sound

To pay homage to that voice

That stilled for our times;

My eyes could not open

To see those eyes bent in kindness

And the smile that blossomed

Perpetually, never wavering,

Never skewed in complaint,

Always taking in the arrows

Shot by life’s crossfire

It is the benefice

And benediction

Of my todays!

 

 

Rambling Thoughts

Is the world fragmenting into smithereens ?

There was a time when I believed in democracy, social justice, learning, truth, honor, decency, and so many other intangibles that defined humanity! I still believe in them, but I see the waning of these ideals around me: internationally, nationally and locally.

Now, I see the shattered humanity. Dignity is in shreds.  World leaders wear despotic miens and the populace meander amid  false propaganda and self-serving politicians.  The vast majority has to leave their fates in the hands of a few. The oligarchical and plutocratic miasma clouds democracy.

Funeral of Baby

Sorrow filled every crevice

To watch the face that shone with life-

A face that laughed and eyes that crinkled,

Spoke words that cut like rapiers

In sparkling wit

And showered love with abandon-

Now stilled in the grip of death!

 

Amid the flowers and religious scapula,

The body lay lifeless,

All energy drained and all wit rescinded,

The eyes, for ever, closed.

 

She did not open her eyes

To comment drily, insouciant as always,

At the show of grief, some real and others not so.

 

A lively brain is stilled for ever!

I, for one, cannot help

But shed the tears that flowed ceaselessly

At my loss and everyone else’s  too.

It was my dear misery

To have lost all that love

And precious care

That I received,

Without stint,

Throughout my life!

 

Wait is Over

When? The sand queried

In gravelly voice;

When? The parched paddies

Gasped in dust-choked whispers;

When? The coconut leaves rustled

In brownish dryness, forgetting greens;

When? The grass mustered

Enough strength to shape the question;

When? The people raised eyes

Seeking solace for seared souls!

 

Thunder rumbled

And broke the dust-smothered silence,

Yet there was no water

To slake the thirst,

To drench the earth,

To wash the dust,

And to grace with life

The world

And the spirit.

 

In the dusty nave,

The faithful knelt or stood

And raised their hearts in devotion

While their bodies sweltered

And droplets trickled down their backs;

The ceiling fans whirred above

To dry the salty sweat;

The smoke spiraled above the waxen candles,

in their decorated candlesticks.

The aural spokes of the monstrant gleamed

Around the exposed Host,

Reaching out with Divine presence.

 

But the sky had darkened,

With clouds pregnant

With aqueous droplets.

The air was redolent of the wet,

Nostrils prickling with anticipation !

 

In the midst of Litany,

The dewdrops condensed

And came down in arrays

That turned to instant rain.

 

The parched land soaked up

In a sigh of relief

And the scent of new rain on sand

Rose up in ecstasy.

The water darkened the sand

And the devotees felt the waft of coolness

In the midst of Adoration.

They rushed out in relief,

Spirits soaked and bodies revived;

Land felt slaked

As were the spirits

When feet dug into wet sand

And leaves gleaned,

Washed of dust and grime.

 

Spirits thirsted

And bodies parched.

But, the wait is over.

Solace is at hand!