Poetry: Pramod Rastogi

Pramod Rastogi
A Life Lived with Intent

Lingering in the distant stars
Live my vanished dreams
Of the time I was a little boy 
Who slept in the moon's arms, 
Listening to the music of the stars.

Woven in pure plain cotton,
Simple were those cozy dreams.
All adorned with threads of love,
They had only one desire, to fly high
And to float on the blue of the sky. 

As feathers of wool do not fly,
My storied might deserted me 
And failed to make those dreams 
Takeoff as my loved ones took leave,
So bereaved, I lost all desires.

The oceans cannot flow for long
Without washing dreams ashore, 
Crowns are lost but battles not.
Dreams thought doomed can soon rebound
To fight new battles for glory lost. 

Gathering clouds may not yet rain.
To lose the battle was not in vain.
The setting sun has a purpose set.
Dreams flying high have their day. 
A life lived with intent is never lost.

A Misty Cascade of Joy

While trekking up the high mountains 
Draped in clouds of translucent mist 
A bewitching sight came calling on me.
A cheerful lady with a long scarf  
And her angelic eyes half-closed  
Sat there as if in her rosy dreams, 
Gazing dreamily at the divine view.  

I stood there flooded with fascination
By the beauty that beheld the instant,
Audacious and poised in its intensity.
Like a fitting musical interlude,
A fountain of love rippled inside me
As I fell for that velvety silence.

No ripples had made my passage. 
A tranquil traveler, I was like any other
On my way for a walk in the forests
But at her sight I inhaled passion. 
Desire leaped in me to liberate the sails
As her serene fragrance seeped into me.

Speechless was the shivering moment  
When our gazes met and lit a fire.
She blushed and my voice wavered. 
Fascinated by the deluge of love,
We bathed in the misty cascade of joy, 
A mysticism flowering even today.

A Moonless Night

The light has fallen. The stars are out 
As they wait for the moon to ascend,
But today is the moon's off day –
The sky must do without her.
Darkness can now repose peacefully, 
With no moonlight to conquer.

On this moonless night, cold and airy,
I walk, hand in hand, with my beloved 
And listen to her song of love.
She has a haunting melody in her voice 
That lights a thousand moons in my heart.    
She is the obsession of my life.

My love has an allure and mystic charm 
Which has lit our togetherness in a glow.
I gaze in her youthful blushing eyes 
And light them with a verse in her praise. 
Envious, though, was not the moon. 
It took a long sigh and fell in its dreams.

Bio: Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is a Fellow of the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), and a Distinguished Fellow of the Optical Society of India (OSI). He was Editor-in-chief of the international journal of Optics and Lasers in Engineering (Elsevier, Oxford) between 1999 and 2019. He was the founding Swiss coordinator of the Indo-Swiss bilateral research program in science and technology (S&T) between the years 2004 and 2011. He is also a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India. 

Prof Rastogi is also a poet. His poems have been published in international journals like Muse India, Contemporary Literary Review India, Verbal Art, Phenomenal Literature, Mediterranean Poetry, The Beautiful space, Borderless journal, Indian Literature, Soul-lit, and Setu.

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