Thursday, November 22, 2012
A vast cliff separates you and me.
I cannot go back on the road I’ve come.
By day your home is forbidden,
At night the world keeps you away.
Those like me, without a bridge, have no choice.
When I step into my world of dreams
All the grand canyons cannot part us:
I am superman, I can fly.
In the folds of this book lie the petals
Of what was once a beautiful rose.
She had plucked it from the garden, laughing,
And handed it over to me playfully,
“To remember me when I am not here”…
What had been the pride of my garden,
Lies as stiff and motionless
As the pages that have bound it now.
She who had laughed is not here,
But her laughter echoes across the empty room.
Where have they all gone, I ask myself,
That fragrant spring, the one who had laughed?
Nothing remains the same, nothing stays.
Our shadow falls and our touch remains
Even when we have gone somewhere else.
But in some corner of our battered hearts
There is always spring, where faded roses
Escape from the pages to bloom again.
There she’s always laughing, rose in hand,
Waiting for me to find myself again.
Diptesh Chandra Ghosh
I wake up alone, late at night.
Something silver shimmers and gleams
Outside my dark window;
The sleeping world, the row of trees,
The road that leads to the gray mountains,
The leaf-strewn fields, the babbling stream,
The baker’s shop, the temple bells,
All lie bathed and sparkling
In the silver light of the moon.
Everything that I ever loved,
All things that have been dear to me,
Wobble in this vast silver sea.
I am now adrift, a lost sailor,
Among the shimmering silver waves.
Only the faint sound of music
Playing in some invisible home
Keeps me moored and steady:
As if the notes are an anchor
That ties me with unseen strands
To the shorelines of reality.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
New love tastes like fine Tuscan wine.
You roll it in your mouth gently,
Relishing the Oaken flavors,
The touch of the warm French sun,
Till the sweet grapes lift you to moods
You thought never really existed.
New love can be seen from afar:
It sits on you like a silk dress…
Embroidered, a lovely work of art;
New love is always a journey:
Every day in a brand new town,
Fraught with million possibilities.
Old love is a different kind of fish.
It tastes like a plain home-cooked meal:
Simple, but it warms and fills you up.
Old love is the frayed cotton dress
You wear when you set out to sleep.
It is soft and smells of happy days.
Old love is the purpose of your quests:
When you traveled, your roving feet
Were always leading you to this place…
The familiarity of the boring house,
The narrow walls ringing with laughter,
The need to never travel again.
The first rays of morning fall on the yellow leaves:
Each dew drop sparkles like a small diamond…
Or what I imagine a diamond must sparkle like.
I have been down with unsolicited sorrow.
Somewhere under my ribs lies a beating heart
Smashed to smithereens with unrequited love:
I ought to feel quite terrible, I tell myself.
There is much in the world to brood about:
And while I insist so, some unseen bird,
Breaks passionately into a song
Like his life depended on it.
If you think so, or feel so, in the end,
There is not much difference between
The dew drops and the sparkling diamonds.
Likewise, when your heart is free to feel,
Sorrows and joys can be quite alike…
Especially when the birds are singing
And diamonds sparkle in the morning grass.
When I had paid up all my old debts,
You counted out the silver coins
And cut the bonds which had bound me:
The dark door which had kept me in,
You opened, and with one last kiss,
You set me, who dreamed of freedom,
Free at last into the wide world.
And yet, when the world is sleeping
I find myself adrift outside your door:
Once I had loved the sound of all words
And now I prolong this odd silence;
The lights of your home are switched off,
But I stand transfixed in the clear night…
The stars are so bright, and countless.
After a sleepless rain-drenched night,
I walk this gray September dawn:
The gusts of wind shake the last drops
From the showered leaves on to me;
And from the wayside Shiuli tree
One white bud has fallen on me
Like the very breath of autumn.
It is a small thing, still breathing
Her sweet fragrance into my hands,
Just a white bloom, an orange stalk:
A tiny inch of perfection,
The first of September’s flowers
Telling me that the season of fall,
This new autumn is upon me.
I remember how much you loved it.
So I carry it in my hands
To keep by my empty bedside:
When you awake, wherever you are,
Perhaps you may find the familiar smell
And wonder from which distant tree
The wind has carried it home to you.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
You had planted that first tree here.
I remember you walking sprinkler in hand
Surveying the watered, tiny saplings
Like a doctor among the new-born.
You used to talk of the green days yet to come,
And I could almost hear the cackle of birds
Returning to their nests in the evening…
In these towers, which we were planting then.
You had told me what I recall even now:
“Every leaf is a dream coming to life.
And spring is just the vision
Of a million leaves dreaming.”
Now as autumn winds blow, the leaves are falling
In shades of gold, and yellow, and dappled red.
Hundreds of dreams, falling fast, slowly failing.
How frail are our dreams, how brief their stay,
How lovely they look as they break.
After a sleepless night
Of thunderstorms and shrieking winds;
Now this clear dawn, the empty roads,
This sleeping world:
The orange ball rises, shyly,
Turning the snow-white peaks red,
Lighting the green valley
That lies ripe with yellow mustard.
That such loveliness exists.
I am greedy.
I have this strange yearning
For an off-season mango,
And your presence;
The mango months
Are half a year away,
And you and I
Are forever split by the bounds
Of customs and propriety.
But this is a make believe world.
I find you by my side,
Laughing at my mango fondness;
You ask me, sleepy eyed,
If I too find such dawns lovely:
I answer, tongue-in cheek,
With a warm smile,
I have cast again the silver web tonight.
Like a master fisherman I’ve laid out the nets.
And see… my hands are still empty.
No you are not mine,
You never were mine to begin with.
And in no foreseeable outcome
I can see you ever become mine;
But are we two accountants or bankers
To squabble over such a petty thing?
When I was a child I would wake up
Every day, unfailingly, with a start,
And open the window to welcome
Each new day with such possibilities:
So sure was I that the world would change
And inevitably for the better!
Are you a siren of the high seas, mermaid?
Does your song end in the rocky shores and ruins?
Or are you the wisp-o-willow in the marsh?
I have followed you in the darkest paths
Where one dark thing certainly waits for me.
Yet, judge me poorly not on that either.
If this be my lot, how glorious it is,
To ride down the winding path
Of one’s own chosen destruction…
Listening to the serenading sirens
By the wisp-o-willow’s silver light.
Even the birds are sleeping.
Cold and silent, frosty,
And this gray fog;
I think of the great silences:
The vast dusty libraries,
And lonely roads after dusk,
The unsaid words,
Things the Heart will never express,
And the forever stilled lips
Of the newly dead;
And then, somehow,
I think of you
Somewhere in this wide world,
And me drifting alone:
I am a lost stranger
In the busy cross roads,
Voiceless among the million
Strangers in the towering city;
I am a star, among the countless stars,
Frozen in a dark universe,
Utterly silent, oblivious
To the babble of the planets.