Poetry: Kailash Nath Khandelwal

Kailash Nath Khandelwal
The Little Wren 

The kite proudly scales
The awful heights in the sky,
The tiny humble wren flitters
About just near the earth, 
Is never jealous of 
The kite’s wings, or
Unhappy with its own 
Lowly existence,
Nor ever is it 
Depressed like we humans.
The bird, being in its own status, 
Sits cozy in it’s ultimate bliss.

But the humans are made 
In  different molds,
Never contented in their 
Own structured status,
Irritated at this, 
Agitated at that, 
By default they are made
To be jealous and competitive, 
As if it being their birthright
Their failures should be 
Everyman’s failures
They can’t digest success even of a kin
Fretting in neighbor’s green pastures, 
Rejoicing consolingly in his pain.
The little bird knows nothing of this
Why can’t we humans be happy 
Like the wren, in our existence.
***


Game is over

Eroding relations,
Increasing suspicions,
Cut-throat competition,
Green-eyed jealousy,
Preconceived disbelief,
The arch enemies of
Civilization
Are flourishing robustly
Humanity is seen on the tips
It is receding, hiding itself
Being afraid of human beings,
We all are sitting on volcanoes
Till when the breath will continue
Who knows ?
Indulging in vain hopes,
Baseless imaginings,
Fear looming large on heads,
as if,
The race of man is
On the verge of extinction,
One Atom, and the game is over.
***


One to One

How can I think of you
Separated from my self
One, the replica of the other
Though you have occupied the
Divine Seat in the ethereal pastures
Prior to me who on this lowly ground
Engulfed in pain and repentance,
You grabbed the trophy and
I, the runner up, stuck in this sickly world.
O, my Guardian Angel, I plead you
To recommend my case in all earnest
In the Eternal Court of the High
To bestow a little bit of merciful justice,
To one who, being an humble human
Often more sinned against than sinning
But ever shunned from going errant
Tried his best to stand by you 
In all your erstwhile earthly needs, 
Equally caring you were ever to me
But Destiny proved not so kind,
Separating us untimely
Leaving me to rue at the irreparable loss.
However, I will bear it till I meet you
One to One in the horizon of Eternity.
***


To My Heart’s Desire

Whenever I am in vacant mood
I do remember you earnestly,
Now that I do miss you here,
But your unseen presence
Enlivens my sensibilities as ever
As if you are still somewhere by my side.

Anyway, I do want to take an opportunity
To update you what has transpired
In your earthly absence,
Missing you so much so that
Your sterling words seem to float in the air,
Melting into my slow-pitched aging ears,
As when you used to utter and
Instruct me to move out for a morning walk
Or not to stick to the bed for long hours
Or several other ‘sluggish’ activities on my part

 Your advice did often irritate me,
But now I realize their sanctity and veracity,
How true you used to be, and genuinely caring,
All these now flash in the spaces of my mind
When I am seated alone in the desolate corners.

However, the golden path unveiled to me then
Has begun to rejuvenate my sane sense now,
I earnestly urge you to lead me on the right track as ever,
So that I might escape the worldly mire
And keep myself away from greed and jealousy.

O, my Holiest Saint!
Be my trusted friend, philosopher, and guide,
And make me a messenger of peace and compassion
The marginal humanity as you were wont to do
To accomplish your sole divine mission
And fulfill my Heart’s Desire. 
***


A Reverie

One day
My image in my mirror
Began to speak to me
I got startled, to my astonishment
I noticed an ‘image-in-image’
Emanating an angelic glow
Surely should be, I surmised
My Partner, my mate
My Saint Divine 
Now in the heights of Heaven
Occupying a Seat in God’s holy Assembly

I bowed my lowly head
Imploring her to grace
Her own mansion, that she left so silently
Now so neglected, deserted, but
She called it not hers but mine
As she had left it quite a time ago
Then she demanded me
The reason of my haggard looks
“It’s all because of you
All because of you!”
I almost cried impatiently

A flicker of smile
I noticed on the Image’s visage
Without waiting she murmured
“You were ever so
Never caring for yourself, but for others”

“Yes, I was ever so,
But you were to care for me then”
Yet to assure her I continued
“Anyway, I am content in my state
Am trying to follow your  footsteps,
Though I am worried about your son
But surely, will not disappoint you in any way
O, my Soul-mate !
Impart me with the strong will and perseverance
To execute whatever is left unexecuted after you
Before my innings is over on this planet

Suddenly my mirror began to be hazy, and
I think I noticed two droplets called tears
At the edges of both her angelic eyes
The ‘image-in-image’ started retracing it’s steps
Muttering “Things will be right; don’t worry”
Stunningly I was looking my own image in the mirror
As if coming back to senses from a mesmerizing trance

“Hope is the flower 
It is the light that never droops, nor dims
So let us look to hope for the best to come.”
And I reverted to my own Self.
***

Bio: 
M. A. English Literature, Ph. D. (Poetry)
40 years teaching undergraduate and Post-graduate classes since 1970 to 2010. Retired in June, 2010.
Guided and supervised more than 25 students for the degree of Ph. D. in English literature
Edited and authored about 65 books on English, American, African and Indo-Anglian writers
Writes poetry in English and Hindi, besides working as a  translator from Hindi to English and vice-versa.

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