Two Poems by U Atreya Sarma

Feathery paragons

On the ledges and niches of buildings,
On the ridges, parapets and rooftops –
They coo and frolic;
They eat and meet;
They chat and tingle’
They snuggle and guggle;
They flip and flop;
U Atreya Sarma
Making singular sorties –
The lovey-dovey pigeons.
No hurry, no flurry, no worry whatever.
For a while they perch here
Looking hither and thither,
Only to flap and veer away
Onto another roost a few yards away.
No jostles, no bullet shots;
No owner, no tenant;
No registrations, no reservations,
No partitions, no encroachments.
The only threat is from the sneaky felines.
Yet the winged angels don’t swerve from their lifestyle.
Maybe, their sublimity rests on their lofty living.

The reluctant river

A streak of water oozed up from a spring
And soon it swelled up into a little stream
To course down on gravel, sand, and pebbles:
It’s me flowing slow, but sure, and steady.
I smelled and sighted many more rivulets about
All welcomed and embraced by the yonder mighty river.
Feeling that I belonged to the same class
I too yearned to near the mighty river and be its part.

“No, you can’t; you shouldn’t; allow you I won’t!”
Roared the mighty river and sneered and sniggered.
“I’ll let in only pretty and soft ones – sinuous and graceful.
I’ll admit only those that can take to my water just like ducks.”
“Oh, mighty one! Me too glimmer with gurgling waters
Traversing a marmoreal plateau. Please let me in.”
“No, never…you’re an untouchable
You reek of acrid, turbid waters
You’re as dull as dishwater
I love to hate your face. Keep away from me,”
So was cold water poured over me.
Tears welled up in my eyes into a sea…
And the sea addressed me
“Don’t you worry a whit, dear!
You needn’t join that mighty haughty river
Flow on unmindful, your own way.
Like every other river you’ll also come to me.
With open arms I welcome you and take you in.”
Followed then the sky who said
“Don’t despair even if your course stops
And your waters sink into sands…
For they will finally go up the air into the sky
And reach my blue empire anyway.”

Bio:U Atreya Sarma from Hyderabad, India is Chief Editor of Muse India, a literary
e-zine of 13 years standing. For further details please click:


  1. 'Feathery Paragons' reminds me of pigeons which are found in the old buildings in Kolkata. Once numerous, their numbers now are rapidly dwindling.The reluctant river is representative of the socially relevant issue of acceptance and dealing with a lack of it. Beautiful poems!

  2. Thank you Madhulika for relating to the two poems.


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