Joshua

Eyes intent on the ball,

Body poised,

And the legs primed for action,

The cleats dug into the turf.

He moved swiftly,

Almost furiously

To intercept the rushing ball.

He kicked it long and hard

Past the forwards,

Past the defense,

And past the Goalie,

Angling between the goal posts

Into the corner of the net.

The ball bounced back

To a rush that came

With the uproarious applause

From the stands, “Goal!”

 

Eyes intent on the words,

Day or night,

In a corner

Or under the blanket,

In the sunlight

Or with a flashlight,

He pored over pages and pages.

Oh, the delight

Of traversing in mythical lands

And wading into heroic magnificence,

Transcending

The mundane and the prosaic,

Sailing or flying

Into realms of fancy

Captured between pages

To his internal applause!

 

 

 

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Jason

His fingers strummed,

Aching to bring out

A soul searing melody,

And his eyes that saw

The flutter of dreams

Drooped and hovered

Over the strings and frets.

 

His heart raced

In time with the beat,

Ascending to crescendo,

While his legs simulated

The tempo,

Pumping furiously

To dash across

To the finish line

Where the heart begins

To slow down

Like the descending tempo.

The crescendo has subsided

And the race has ended.

Heart quieted

And calm descended

Like the hushed moments

After the finale!

 

 

 

Solomon

Solomon of solemn eyes

Surveyed all and everything

He weighed the objects

And the people-

The books, the toys,

The cars and family.

With great sagacity

And keen acumen,

He chose the red car

And Mother Goose;

Then he glanced up

And bestowed a cherubic smile

On all the beaming faces

Surrounding him.

 

 

Elijah

He smiled, he pouted,

He played with his trains

And was heard

In  gentle monogues

Over the tracks

And over the bridges.

But, on the stage,

In the church,

And in Tae Kwan Do,

He could be heard

With bell like clarity

While his eyes reflected

His infectious smile.

 

 

Aliyah

In some sedentary moments,

One hears  high wailing

And is awoken

To hear the little mite’s

Ear-piercing howl!

But when  she twinkle-toes

Across a stage

In  a luminous tutu

And translucent wings,

Tinker Bell herself

Will not match the magic

In her effervescent smile

And appealing grace.

 

Eliana

Eliana of the dusky locks,

Dressed in polka-dotted frock,

Lay on the floor,

On the dusty carpet

And was admonished for good measure,

Sent to the corner

To stand immobile.

 

There were repeated transgressions

And the girl paid with the absence

Of all the scenic views behind her.

 

But, when she pulled up the bench

And sat on it,

Running her fingers over the keys,

Playing an arpeggio with nonchalance,

The music was so divine

That one forgot the floor and the carpet.

 

Grief

Many forms, many faces-

They parade every day!

Grief is among us

Every day,

In tangible nuances

Or concealed mourning!

 

One may cry till the Sahara

Bursts in bloom

Or one may be stoic

And be like the eternal stone

Unmoved outwardly;

One may go to the other Pole

And party incessantly

Or one may grieve wordlessly

Without any sigh or other signs,

Patiently repining.

 

There is grief in lost love,

There is grief in loneliness,

There is grief in rejection,

There is grief

In never being claimed,

There is grief in unexpressed love,

There is grief in abject desolation,

There is grief in eternal melancholy,

And there is grief

In a life that lived well, but transiently.

 

Grief is intense, not bland.

It grips with pincers

And leaves one

In an excruciating cauldron of pain

Or holds one in numbing hoops

That leave life drained.

Grief may come in periods

To lead life in fits and starts.

Grief can be pervasive

Or slovenly, keeping life out of focus.

 

But grief is untold!

Those who grieve

Choose their paths;

They strive to return

To a life before grief

Or pursue some open paths

To life’s untrodden choices.

Epiphany

I am a seeker,

A seeker of truth.

I sought in the heavens,

I sought on the land,

I sought in deserts,

And I sought in the oceans,

But, elusive it was

And it cleverly camouflaged

To hide from my eyes.

I became desperate;

I could not find

What I was Seeking!

 

I wandered, hope dwindling,

From palace to hovel and back;

It was as though I was purblind!

For all my failures,

Scales could have been

Covering my eyes.

For all my care, pure truth

Was hidden behind

More than seven veils,

Forever unreachable.

 

Then, one day,

A star never seen

Shone brightly,

Up in the heavens.

I was caught in its allure

And an urge came strong.

I felt that the only option

Was to follow the star.

I heeded the urge;

The goal was within reach.

 

I set my course west

With a spring in my steps.

I loaded my camel

And filled the carry bags.

I began my journey

Seeking again!

 

The star was hope now,

But the journey was long.

It led to a palace;

But the star hid

And the palace failed.

 

Leaving the palace,

The star shone ahead

And hope had rekindled.

Through sparse vegetation,

I followed the star

Which stopped abruptly

Above a cave turned stable.

I never had to glance

At the resting animals.

Because, in the warm, hay-scented stable

Where the cattle blew hot breaths,

In a manger lay truth,

Wrapped in swaddling clothes-

A baby newborn

With an unseen halo

And marvel in his eyes.

His wonder pierced me.

And I saw my self

In his eyes!

 

It was my self, seeking

Only for myself,

With no thoughts

Given to others!

 

My life spread out

In front of me.

I sought truth

And failed to see it

In the people surrounding me.

 

The baby smiled

And raised his hand.

I felt the gentle trickle of his blessing

And Grace descended on me.

 

Replete, I rose

And approached my camel.

Perched on my mount,

I knew with clarity

To turn the camel’s head.

I chose a different path.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall

 

It was a whirling dervish

That perked my senses

When sight and sound, scent and touch,

In abundance, assaulted me .

When cool air had begun

To nip my sun-warmed nose

And I hugged my jacket

More tightly to my body;

The tree branches had begun,

Already, to be denuded!

 

All around me,

There was a shower

Of yellow, gold,  russet and crimson

Giving a Holiday

To the verdant hues;

They sprinkled the earth

In ever-changing patterns!

 

The fresh-cut grass tingled my nose,

And the fallen leaves scented the air

With ripe sweetness;

The leaves danced

To fall in gentle circles

And in a gentler rustle

When they became stiffer with dryness

Until wet with occasional rain.

 

It is Fall,

Nature seemed to shout

When furred creatures hurried

To seek shelter

In hollows and niches;

The comical squirrel

Was flustered with eagerness

To carry more nuts than it could,

Its cheeks bulging enough to burst,

In anticipation

Of a prolonged winter

When earth is bereft

And is smothered

In snowy blanket.

 

There was a dawning sadness

In waiting for inaction

Of the leafless moments

When soporific woodlands

Prepared for a long slumber!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Self

When, in the sand, I picked my way

In an endless search

For something I might have lost

While growing into my septuagenarian status,

I found that I never lost it.

It walked with me like a shadow

Although I never knew it.

It never set its feet before me,

But hid behind me

Waiting for me to turn-

Waiting for me to find it.

 

It was ME I had to find,

My Self – my being!

 

In the vagaries and bustle

Of a life that meandered

Through social nothings,

Pointless pursuits

Of the known and the unknown,

Tangled in baseless relations

And all the turmoils-

Both internal and external-

Of a war-torn world,

A society inked in race and class

And gargantuan cupidity

Polluted by a political miasma

That wafted in to sunder everything

Rather than link,

My Self hid as a permanent shadow.

 

Walking by the sea shore,

I was called back to my self;

All the broken shards

Of the nomadic mind

Collected themselves

In the sheer beauty

Of a color-drenched sunset,

The sparkling silvery waves

Laced with the froth and fizzle,

The pleated verdant fronds

And the cascading golden flowers

Of a languishing coconut tree,

In the seductive fragrance

Of a jasmine garland

In the braided hair of its nubile wearer,

In the silky unfurling of rose petals

In the bridal bouquet

And many more!

 

Cymbals and harps

Sang in unison

And bells clanged

In joyous clamor

Just to proclaim,

Myself.