Poetry Corner

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For Ashay

I am backing home where you died.
One year later, to find
Changes that mask our surrender
To the inevitability of life.

I remember my Ambulance Ride
With my friend whom you called Daddy.
It took me a whole year
To understand my loss.

A lifetime is not enough
To realize what it means to be human:
We waste what we are given
To crave for what we cannot have.

This much I know by now
As a maker of images:
A face erased in front
Of the mirror that is our Lord.

Vithoba was seen by Tukaram
Reflected in the deep end,
Where the river was its own source
And the ocean that waits for it.

Perhaps when you struggled for breath
As you finally choked to death,
You tried to forgive your parent
And the world he created with you.

And so, finally, you grew
Up to surpass your father---
Becoming a reflected sky
In the water we call life.

The first picture I took of you
In the Princess Tsehai Hospital---
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In the last week of June, 1961:

Sister Aiyyalij held you in her arms;
And her hand was on your covered breast.
It showed the finger on her ring
As large as your closed eyes.

Your struggle for a breath
Began before you were born,
And on December 4, 1984
In Bhopal it all came back.

You struggled for breath all your life,
Fighting for life, and looking for its sign---
An autograph of awareness,
The reassurance of your own being.

You donít know that youíve left behind
Images that tell, images that haunt,
Images in which others will find
The reflection that fills Godís mirror.

Where the Lord Himself twists and turns
In agony thatís the other side of bliss.
His reverse is us, his children,
A family that He craves to own.

And, in the end, thereís no loss,
And thereís no gain either
We neither live nor die
In the endless space of why.

29 November 2004
0:35 a.m.

In Gruesome Weather

In Gruesome weather it started
My journey of love aborted
Red walls black drapes white hair
I stood on the ramparts of fear
In gruesome weather

My spine felt like melting ice
I stood at the very edge of vice
At the heart of the lonely crowd
The seed of void
In gruesome weather it sprouted
Nine hundred thousand eyelids
I walked the shores of silence
Looking for a sea-shell I knew
Ever since the first ice broke

Will the Poem End?

Will the poem end where
Barbed letters stare their black spells
Aimed at my eyes
Blood turns into tears shed by
An absent eye
And the admonition:
ďThou shalt not love this world
And sleep with thy enemy.Ē

Will the poem end when
All His light is spent
And to a standstill, to a standstill come
All heartbeats and all drums
The cosmic drone
Buzzes back into itself
Looking for its beginning

End Note

It feels
So Easy
To be
In a billion.
Thatís just statistic
For you
And for me

The River Indrayani at Dehu

Reflect my grief
River of loss and gain
Mother of bliss
Source of pain

Make my face
Reflect the sky
And every cloud
Passing by

River receive
My ashes and
Hold my spirit
In your watery hand

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