Poetry: Santosh Bakaya

Santosh Bakaya
Through the Window Chink

Of late 
I had known only tortured sleep, 
thrashing and muttering, 
tossing and turning in bed, eyes red.  
I was aghast, stuttering incoherently.
Would this hate and cynicism last forever?

I could feel fear coiling around my heart, 
an unrelenting serpent, 
curdling the air with its presence. 
Tense, I wondered at the senselessness 
of violence and brutality. 
Wry words ricocheted in my mind, 
cutting like paper. 
Tears rose to my throat, heaviness spread 
through every fiber of my being,   
as vile villains gloated over their cruel triumphs.
My tongue in swirls, my voice hoarse, I shuddered. 
The grotesque nightmare had me in its clutches.  
Humanity had been murdered.  
I felt a sudden urge for cinnamon tea, 
and an itching sensation in my fingers.  
At that very moment, as if on cue, 
a bird hopped on to the window sill, trilling away.  
A sudden cascade of words 
started splashing their hues on paper.  
As I peeped through the window chinks, 
I saw some cirrus clouds painting 
indistinct chalky streaks in the sky. I blinked.

“Look at the clouds, 
see how they are swirling, 
and how exquisite are the sunrays 
falling on the mountain peaks. 
Come, remove those tears from your cheeks. 
With all its ups and downs, life is still a celebration. 
Hear the creek humming in celebratory fervor?” 
Trilled the bird perched on my window sill, 
removing the chill, filling my heart, 
thrilling me into sensations new. 

Unbridled joy took a false step. 
And slipped-
 All over me, reminding me 
that, come what may, life was still a celebration.
 I stretched my hand for the cinnamon tea, 
relieved that the nightmare was over. 

The Wind Chimes

I close my eyes and see a locust tree. 
What is that under the gnarled limbs of the tree? 
Snow falling in driven blasts, casting an air of melancholy.
Through my misted window, 
I see a pheran clad man plodding through the piled snow.
Woe!  He lost his footing, flailed his limbs.  
Ruddy cheeks defaced by scratches 
received from the bramble, he scrambles to his feet, 
only to disappear in a sprawl of slush and snowflakes. 
Still breathing heavily from his hike.
 I rose up, as gloved fists pounded at the door. 
The pine tree outside the gate, threadbare in its extremities,
rustled as though whispering a warning. 
How does one overcome this abysmal darkness?  
This utter mess? 
But I heard no warning, 
as my ears were riveted to the lyrical cadences
of the wind chimes, miming a forgotten rhyme, 
of those long gone sylvan times.
The fist continued pounding at the door. 
But I heard it no more, 
as the wind chimes did an encore, 
celebrating life, once more.   

1 comment :

  1. Thanks a ton Team Setu and Dr.Sunil Sharma for publishing my poems in Setu. Honoured.


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