Three Poems by Dilip Mohapatra

Dilip Mohapatra

Lost in the high seas
with no seagulls in sight
except for the flying fish in flight
which land occasionally with a thud
and wiggle helplessly
on my ship's rusty quarterdeck
and the relentless waves 
lashing and splashing against
her crumbling gunwales
I straighten up my crusty sextant
to shoot a faint Polaris at twilight
that gives me only half my position
just a crude latitude.

Strangely I am no longer scared to be lost
with no hope of reaching the harbour
or hugging the shore
for now I am used to lose my being
in so many beings 
and I am no longer worried about my frozen feet
 which do not get defrosted any more 
with the morning sun
and look beyond all the fears
overlooking the doubts and the tears
not bothered about the certainties 
getting dissolved in the cesspool of chances.

My resources are running out
my weather beaten sails are in tatters
my rigging in ruins hanging from a broken mast
my rudder is in shambles
and my anchors are sunk and stuck 
at the bottom of the sea.
But my heart is beating a cool rhythm
and my soul soaring high
with prayers on my lips 
I await my ship
to be sucked into the eye of the storm
the storm of the cosmic eye.



You stoked the fire
and kept fanning it 
to let the flame leap up
into an inferno
and you doused it too
deliberately and ruthlessly 
the cold soggy
ashes standing testimony
to your brutality
while I scrape through them
to discover a tiny cinder
that may still be hidden
but in vain.

You dipped your brush
into myriad colours and with
the crimson red from the newborn sun
the cerulean blue from the boundless skies
the verdant green from the fertile foliage
you painted me with
colours of pleasure 
colours of commitment
colours of ecstasy 
and now you paint me with
colours of pain
colours of denials
colours of indifference
and I realise that all the while 
then and now 
I had lost myself
subdued and overshadowed
with the layers of colours
that you chose to smear on me
and whichever way you pleased .

The orchid in your pot blooms for me 
no more
the thirst on your lips throbs for me
no more
the tides within you swell for me
no more
while the seasons have given me the slip
the springs 
the falls 
the rains
and the summers 
have surrendered their boundaries
and all look so very grey
in consonance 
with your image in the mirror
equally besmirched
and stale
for all the colours have abandoned you 
for good
along with me
never to return. 


When we walk together
and I hear the lone cuckoo
cooing in the boughs
I hear more than just a song...

When we sit together
and I look up to see the lone moon
swimming in the clouds
I see the moon in many of its clones...

When I cup your face in my hands
and look into those doleful eyes
which I have by heart by now
I see more in them than 
what you may see in mine...

When we bring our lips closer
they may not tremble anymore 
neither of the feverish fire 
nor of any fatal fear from
the scythe of the Grim Reaper...

But we know for sure
between the hellos and goodbyes 
the moments do linger
between your lips and mine
love lingers for ever
and along the unending continuum 
and beyond
exist only pit stops 
but no period...

Author’s Profile

Dilip Mohapatra, a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies. Post Navy he worked in senior leadership positions in Tata and Suzlon groups of industries. He is currently the Chief Mentor and Strategic Advisor to KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and freelances as an Executive Coach and High-end corporate trainer. His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute and anthologies worldwide. He has been recognised by various organisations for his contributions to literary excellence. He has six poetry collections to his credit so far. He holds two masters’ degrees, one in Physics and the other in Management Studies.  He stays with his wife at Pune.

His website:

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