Poetry: Pramod Rastogi

Pramod Rastogi

Pramod Rastogi

Emeritus Professor
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Switzerland

Love's Blushes

Love's agonies know no bounds.
The wound is deep, and it weeps.
Ineffectual are the remedies.
Smitten by a maiden's eyes,
I must pay a pilgrimage to her site
And relinquish myself to her care.

Sweet is the nectar that keeps me drunk.
Sweet are the enamored dreams
Which, like Pied Pipers of Hamelin,
Have lured me into a forest dense
With emotions, where I savor 
The honeyed fruits of passion.

Love blushes with its fancies.
Once you inhale its fragrant tonic 
Your wits go into a state of seizure, 
And the poets enjoy a field day
Composing on these lovelorn souls 
A lore that will keep their trade alive.
***

Petals of your Love

Seasons file past my aging youth
Each day I spend waiting for you.
You have never retraced your path,
Yet I have kept your memories ablaze,
Have not let them die down into ashes.
I have silvered my heart into a mirror 
To see reflected in it 
Our moments of companionship lost.

If you ever returned by this path
You would see the desolation 
That has befallen this lane. 
Lovers shudder to take this path.
Flowers no longer adorn the plants.
It would be futile to look for a bud 
To offer it to one's tormented love.

If you were ever to retrace your path, 
Knock at my door, my love,
To see me in a tattered state 
With a notebook in my hands,
Signed with the ink of your devotion,  
And carrying petals of your love
That you had left for me inside.
Even dry, they still smell of our love.
***


The Call of a Cuckoo

I love the call of the cuckoo
And the feeling it drips into its notes   
That evoke in me a strange thirst 
Which I have failed to unlock, 
Leaving my mind in a restless state
With beads of longing echoing in me.

In the call of a cuckoo resides
The longing in a lover's heart,
Restless to meet his love. 
A half-moon hangs in the sky. 
Each day takes an age to walk, but
Many such ages he has survived

Without laying eyes on her.   
What type of mystery is love
That makes days count like ages?
What type of flame is love, 
Which, once started burning,
No extinguisher can stall?

Love’s passion has taken on wings,
Ready to break away from the path
That the wise have tread. 
Not far away was the devastation. 
He had yet to discover how to apologize.
Civility was not his stronghold

And he had still to imbibe remorse.
But if ages were to stretch on, 
Alas, succumb he will to his demons. 
Before that fateful day arrives,
O cuckoo, please go to his love 
And let her listen to your music.  

While she is lost in your poignant calls,
Soothingly drenching the void in her heart,
He will surrender himself to her mercy.
***

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