Poetry: Santosh Bakaya

Dr Santosh Bakaya

Was I going downhill?

I was swinging on a precipice on a rotten rope 
while hope slouched in a corner, moping.
Right in front loomed a tree.
Or was it a tall, skeletal man with a straggling moustache,
 his craggy face bearing the stamp of heavy toll?
Another tree was a man with a large round head,
set firmly on a short neck.
Both talked late into the night,
swaying left, bending right, unaware of my pathetic plight.
Was I hallucinating? Going downhill?   Was I being trolled?
Lost my marbles, had I? Hey, what was that sudden outcry?
A group of protestors or rabble – rousers?
A bunch of hooligans in patched trousers?
Hey, who was that guy with freckles?
Why was he bent on raising my hackles?
My! My! I really had a touch of the sun.
 What had I gone and done?
What rule had I flouted?
“Stop your jabbering”, someone shouted.
“The high-ups are obsessed with lofty concerns,
none bothered about the low-downs
  tossing and turning in bed, scared.”  I stuttered.
Loads of toads aimlessly sauntered on the roads
croaking and creating a din; a lost bird frantically fluttered
her wings; rats scrabbled out of dust bins, trying to decode
 the meaning of the harried human rodent derby.

“Don’t leave the voiceless with any choice
Crush the voiceless, let them never find a voice.”
The surroundings resounded with stentorian wrath.
As a hapless moth scuttled around in gargantuan fear.

A sad looking stream gushed through the meadows.
In an overcrowded graveyard, under an apple bough,
a figure slouched in the shadows,
 eyes refusing to leave a freshly dug grave.
“Let the voiceless speak….let the voiceless speak.”
A tiny bird flitted around, carrying hope in its beak.
“Will you miss your mom now that you are separated from her?”
 “No”, the five-year old  said with a quivering smile,
and burst into tears.
With a loud sob, I got up from bed, shaking with nameless fears,
my face drenched in the tiny one’s tears.
 
Bio:  Dr Santosh Bakaya , academic - essayist - novelist -editor - poet-Ted Speaker,   has been internationally acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma  Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu.Recipient of many awards for her literary pursuits ,she has been extensively interviewed  and figures in many international anthologies . Her other notable books are Where are the lilacs ? [Poems],  Under the Apple Boughs [poems] Flights from my Terrace [essays],  A Skyful of Balloons [novella]

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