Poetry: Santosh Bakaya

Santosh Bakaya

Santosh Bakaya


Lying on the bed, eyes fixed on the hands of the clock,
I am an outsider, shadow- boxing with my stalking demons.
Ah, there is open war replacing the shadowboxing.
My demons cackle at their vile power of shackling me
with impunity; they pounce at flat- footed me,
slicing me with mind- boggling bravado.
 Woe is me!

But with the first stirring of dawn, they hastily
pack their ammunition in rucksacks,
slinging them over their shoulders, and are gone,
leaving me, battered and bruised, licking my wounds.
They hide in crannies, sharpening their weapons,
the fire of vengeance raging still, encaged in their breasts,
stoked by the December chill.
Warmed by the thought that the night is just a few hours away,
when they can once again create the cacophony and sway!
Thus they lie in wait ...
tick..tock.. tick …tock …goes the clock ……Night falls ......
someone knocks
 Demons again ?


into the wilderness I go ,  empty – handed ,
beyond that echoing chaos ,
persistently hammering on my head .
I tread, the echoing chaos follows me.
On a moldy, weed – covered bench I sit and ponder,
my eyes fixed at a tiny speck yonder.

Suddenly, my melancholy is replaced
 by a mood of pleasurable expectancy.

 Have I succeeded in leaving the chaos and the clutter behind?
Have I wrenched myself asunder from the sheltering habitation
 of my soul?    Is that the Grim Reaper, waiting to leap at me?
A toad croaks, poking into my rambling thoughts.
It is right in front, next to a profusion of wild flowers.
I have left behind grumbling, rumbling,
 gossiping, bartering, worshipping, squabbling folks,
choking on their clashing egos, trampling on each other’s’ toes .

 A joyous gambol, a wild scamper, happy chirps.
 I look back, there is a yawning chasm.
Can I not go back now?
 The forest’s green eyes are suddenly afire.
 The trees sway.
What do I see? A smooth burnished head bent lower over a piano,
yielding a  riot of melody
under the ministrations of deft fingers.
Ah my fertile imagination!
 I am revived, rejuvenated.
 I pluck the wild flowers, while the toad croaks,
wondering at this one more songster’s quirk.
Humming a lost tune, I head home.


Yesterday night, I was in the hospital.
I mean in ‘The Garden of Saint- Paul Hospital’,
strolling on its flower bedecked pathways,
rambling on,
stopping to look at the trees and the bramble
inhale the fragrance of flowers,
the soothing calm,

Was that a squirrel that just scurried by,
or a frolicsome hare?

Magic was in front, magic behind,
 in hues of every kind.

 I suddenly started dreaming, unblinking,
of your hand in mine.
The magic of Vincent Van Gogh was casting its spell.
Was I right in thinking
 that he had had himself admitted in this hospital in 1889?

Did he ever have a bad palette day?
Never, I think.
The muted colours in the ‘Leaf – fall’,
the leaves blown by the wind, ah.
 I ran after the hare, and tripped.
Oh my!
That solitary walker in a trench coat
ran towards me and lifted me up.
 I stood up, searching for the right words to thank him.
And gasped.

The figure spoke in a voice, unmistakably yours.
“Hope you did not hurt yourself, love.”
Did you really whisper
 those three words, did you, did you?
Then our eyes spoke a dialect, almost esoteric,
 that only we could understand.
I could write the happiest songs that night.
By the way, did you really whisper
 those three words, did you?
Did you?
Did you?

1 comment :

  1. tenderly penned . imageries are great. There is a thrust in all the three poems ,


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