Moonbeams’ walk

Wrote this poem today morning and then translated to my mother tongue Assamese (Axomiya). Posting them in the same sequence here.

Have you seen
the moonbeams walk?
sometimes they
light your paths,
sometimes they
cast shadows,
sometimes they fill
your heart with joy,
sometimes they make
it bleed raw,
sometimes they get lost
in the glitter of city lights.
but when the moonbeams
walk into your heart,
keep it safe,
because on the darkest night
of your life,
you will need the moonbeams
to navigate,
and light your path
with fireflies.

জোনাকৰ খোজ

দেখিছানে কেতিয়াবা
জোনাকে তোমাৰ লগত
কৰা বিচৰণ?
কেতিয়াবা আলোকিত
কৰি তোমাৰ পথ,
কেতিয়াবা ছাঁয়াৰ বোলেৰে
আকে পট,
কেতিয়াবা আনন্দৰে
উজলাই হিয়া,
কেতিয়াবা হৃদয় কৰে
বিষাদে ভৰা,
আৰু কেতিয়াবা জোনাক
হেৰাই যায় চহৰৰ
ৰঙচঙীয়া সন্ধিয়াত।
কিন্তু কেতিয়াবা জোনাক
যদি সোমাই তোমাৰ অন্তৰত,
সাঁচি থবা আলফুলকৈ,
জীৱনৰ ঘনঘোৰ
অন্ধকাৰ দিনটোত,
উজলাব তোমাৰ পথ,
জোনাকী পৰুৱা হৈ।

We survive

burdened with the
thoughts of mundane,
mind can not perceive
what lies in front,
eyes see garbage
where roses bloom.
alas, such are the
ways of life
we need to do,
to survive.
we dream,
and then see
them shattered,
the heart bleeds,
while the eyes
run dry.
we survive.
we survive,
at what cost?

Phone call at night

Every phone call that comes at night,

fills my heart with fright,

who is next, who is next,

this is what life has become,

with sadness, I wait for my flight,

till then life goes on,

I keep rowing my boat,

every morning I get up,

I send a thank you note,

and try to stay upright,

every night I go to bed,

I say, if this be my last,

let me dream, let me dream,

so that when I go,

the journey be funny and bright.

Uninvited guest

Update:

Edwin Alvarez was the kid I wrote about in my poem below today.  Please read the request below from his friends trying to arrange for his funeral.

“Hey guys. I believe everyone is aware already that on Friday night there was a boating accident after which our friend Edwin unfortunately passed away. I don’t know however, if everyone is aware that he comes from a very humble family and I don’t know up to what point they relied on Edwin’s income. As far as I know, he was paying for his brother’s education, bootstrapping a business with his dad who works in construction and looking for ways to also help his mother, who is a maid, to find an alternate source of income.
Needless to say this is a life-altering situation that is going to be incredibly difficult for his family to overcome. Eduardo (one of Edwin’s friends who helped us contact his family), started a GoFundMe to help them out with the funeral expenses. Any help will surely be greatly appreciated. Here’s the link https://gf.me/u/ykvm62 . He also mentioned that Oscar (Edwin’s brother) is already aware of this effort.”

I write about current events, my poems are fiction, penned during my flights of imagination. The poem below is based on a tragedy that happened two nights ago.  A young soul was called back too soon by the Lord.  He was my son’s friend.  I never met him but heard about him from my son. A hard working, honest, fun loving friendly guy.  These are the times one questions, why? Why?  I guess there is no answer.

a day in a life of hope

started with fun and frolic,

a boat ride down the river,

azure summer sky pierced

with laughter and singing.

sun moved slowly

to the western sky, Continue reading “Uninvited guest”

Wild Jasmine : A Ghazal

Couple of days back I posted a poem in Assamese (Axomiya) in my Facebook timeline ” খৰিকাজাইঃ এটি অসমীয়া গজল” with a brief forward. My daughter tried to do a Facebook translation of the piece and the result, to say the least, was hilarious. Suffice is to say that if it was permissible to sue for loss in translation, then it would have been OK to do that for murdering the language. It is our fault that though my kids understand Assamese and can speak, at least the oldest and the youngest,they can’t write or read the language. So it is for their benefit that I translated the piece along with the brief forward.

I like to listen to ghazals. To tell the truth, as I don’t understand many Urdu words, sometimes I miss out in understanding the real meaning of many ghazals. I still listen. Whether correct or not, I do hum the tunes in the bathroom. Sometimes while working in the kitchen, I do whistle over the ridicules of my better half. As per her, there is no one in the world who is a worse off-tune singer than me. Oh well, I am not aspiring to be a Jagjit Singh*. Anyway, till about four years ago this was my only relationship with ghazal. About four years ago, on my blog I read an English ghazal written by my fellow blogger, Jane Dougherty( Jane Dougherty Writes ) whose blog I follow. I had no inkling that ghazals were also written in English. In short, it was through Jane that I made my entry to the world of writing ghazals. I first started writing in English and then translating to Assamese and now I write sometimes in both language. I do not have any formal training in writing ghazals and so traditionalists may say that my writings are not ghazals at all. Well, I have not stopped humming even though my better half insists that I sing off tune, so why stop writing even if someone says it is not traditional. I am not dreaming about becoming a Ghalib.
The original Assamese ghazal was written a couple of days back.

Wild Jasmine : A Ghazal

Opened the window, wafted in with the breeze your fragrance,
Memories of a rosebud of spring bygone with your fragrance.

Remember the parched earth caressed by the first rain, that subtle sweet fragrance,
Scented wild jasmines bathed by the rain smelled of your fragrance.

Wind is blowing strong scattering the books on the table all around,
Shrivelled petals of wild jasmine inside the open pages, I smell your fragrance.

Closed the book gently, lest the jasmine blew away
Futile attempt, heart filled with jasmines saturated with your fragrance.

I shut the window or the storm may cleanse my heart,
How shall I live a lonely life if wild jasmines lose your fragrance?

You are long gone, address unknown, do not know where you are now,
Poet’s heart is empty and like a madman searching in jasmines your fragrance.

July 24, 2020
San Jose, CA


*Jagjit Singh, the “King of Ghazals” was an Indian ghazal singer who passed away in 2011

I soar to an unknown beyond

far above the clouds

gingerly I tread

my eyes on the rising sun

I soar

riding the sun rays

to an unknown beyond

freed from the bondings

holding me to the earth

I soar

a path unknown

but a journey beautiful

can only imagine

the adventure and

excitement that lies beyond

let me ride the

waves of your love

and for you

leaving behind the

story of my life

I soar

to an unknown beyond

Life – A Unique Feeling

I was sitting on the breakfast table with my first cup of coffee in hand. My wife was on the phone with her sister, visiting my eighty plus mother-in-law. Physically they were some ten thousand miles apart but modern technology had made it easier to stay connected. They were discussing how to make it easier for my fiercely independent but increasingly feisty mother-in-law navigate the impending two weeks long lock down to be implemented in a couple of days to combat increasing cases of COVID -19. Bits and pieces of their conversation that I overheard resulted in my mind digress from the cup of coffee in my hand. Result, a cup of cold coffee and the random thoughts below.  I wrote the poem in my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese) first and then translated to English now. Here the order is in reverse.

Life -A Unique Feeling

Because no straight lines in nature,
Life to tread a tortuous path?
Does it make any sense?
 
*****
Day I learnt to measure life
In terms of material wealth,
Life became worthless.
 
*****
To make one understand my desire, not my responsibility. 
Expecting everyone to understand me,
Foolishness or  my audacity?
 
*****
Past and future unknown mystery, in between treads life,
Tomorrow everyone will go their own way,
For the ephemeral moment, why the illusory attachment?

জীৱন – এটা অনুভূতি

প্ৰকৃতিত  হেনো সৰল ৰেখা নাই,
সেয়ে জীৱনৰ পথ হ’ব ঘূৰণীয়া, জটিল,
কিনো মানে হয়?
 
*****
যিদিনাই শিকিলো টকা পইচাৰ তুলাচনিত
জুখিব জীৱনৰ মূল্যবোধ,
জীৱন হ’ল মূল্যহীন।
 
*****
মই কি বিচাৰো বুজাব ৰাইজক নহয় মোৰ কৰ্তব্য,
সকলোৱে বুজিব মোক আশা কৰাটো
মোৰ মূৰ্খতা নে ধৃষ্টতা?
 
****
আগলৈও নাই, পিচলৈও নাই, মাজত সীমিত জীৱন,
কালি সকলোৱে আকৌ আপোন পথত,
দুঘড়ীৰ বাবে কিয় এই মায়াৰ বান্ধোন?
 

Shooting from the heart- Ten Intricate One Liners

My first attempt at writing one liners.  I always liked poems for the brevity of expressions.  One liners challenge the poet to say what’s in his mind in as few words as possible but still be meaningful to the readers.  Hope my readers will find these meaningful.

 

Poison

Trapped by your charm, drank poison.

******

Silver Bullet

Your heart hides my silver bullet.

******

Pain

Pain of separation ravaged my heart.

******

Prisoner

Imprisoned by your charm, I’m blind.

******

Hurry

Hurry, the bell tolls, why dither?

******

Temptress

Temptress, your arrow pierced my heart.

******

Tears

May deserts bloom from your tears.

******

Nectar

Your kiss turned hemlock to nectar.

******

Mellifluous

Your mellifluous voice soothed my journey.

******

My Life

Hidden in your smile, my life.

Tears

tears only you shall get,
being a poet
that’s what in your fate.
if it’s only tears
that I be blessed with,
shall collect all the tears,
yes, I shall,
and treasure them well.
the day when
nature takes her blessings away,
and life becomes a barren desert,
may be, just may be,
my dear,
those drops of tears
shall be most precious
gift of life.

Live your own life

the bird sings merrily

oblivious that it makes

many happy.

does the bird sings

because it is happy?

does it even know

what happiness is?

does it even care?

it sings merrily,

as the hawk up above

eyeing its next meal,

prepares to dive.

as the song ends abruptly,

observer comments

on cruelty of nature.

does he even understand

the bird had lived

its own life?