A clear blue sky
Without a dark night,
For a bright day
There is no appreciation.
Without its spots
Moon won’t be as beautiful,
Road lacking few road bumps,
Journey is uneventful.
A blemish free life
There is no story to tell,
Without the past of Jean Valjean
Les Misérables won’t ring a bell.
Calm sea hides
Deep secrets in its bosom,
Vibrant nature in a moment
Wrecks havoc and destruction.
A world at peace,
Will it be boring?
Thought of violence
To appreciate peace,
It is depressing.
Even without appreciation
Rose will still bloom,
Even if no one looks
Beauty is not doomed.
A bipolar world
May be the norm,
Not an aberration.
Life is a saga
Full of contradictions.
Yesterday was April Fools Day as well as Easter. I was thinking of posting this yesterday but then one thing rolled into another and before I knew it it was past midnight. So here it is.
Thirty five years ago, it was another April Fools Day. I will always remember that day. That was the day my elder brother, my sister-in-law and my younger brother were going to see my future wife. Ours was an arranged marriage and I had not met her till that time. It was early morning, around 9:00 AM when my family members were about to go to my bride to be house when my younger brother said, “Hope this not turn out to be an April Fool joke.” My elder brother stopped in his track, looked towards me and said, ” Well, it is also Good Friday and the good will surely overcome the bad.” We are not Christians and Good Friday did not carry much importance to us in India except that it was a holiday. To make a long story short, it definitely did not turn out to be an April Fool’s joke. In another month and eight days, it will be our thirty fifth anniversary and I must have been blessed by someone high up on that Good Friday.
Move forward thirty five years and to April Fools Day and Easter. Leader of our hiking group had sent a message for a hike up Mount Umunhum, a 3486 feet peak in Santa Clara county, California. The trail leading up to the summit was opened to the public in September of 2017. We had been to the grand opening and was fortunate to be part of a group to hike down. There are three parking lots for this trail, one at the entrance to the park at bottom, one somewhat in the middle and one near the summit. Hiking up from the bottom lot is nearly a day long affair. The trail that was opened last year starts from the parking lot in the middle (Bald Mountain) and goes up about 3.7 miles to the top parking lot. There is another trail leading up to the summit and an alternate path is to climb up 159 steps and walk a small distance. Bald Mountain parking lot is quite small and fills up very quickly on weekends and holidays. On my last three attempts, I was not able to find a parking and was forced to drive to the top parking lot. So I had never completed the round trip of the trail as it is harder to hike down and then hike up and had returned from about half way down the trail. This time I was determined to complete the round trip so I told my group to be at the parking lot as early as possible. I was at the bottom parking lot before 7:30 AM and was greeted by the wonderful sight of the moon setting on the western sky over the mountain.
Mount Umunhum with old radar station on the left and the setting moon on the right.
I had to wait for about fifteen minutes before my friends arrived. I left my car in the bottom parking lot and four of us drove up to the Bald Mountain parking lot.
Mount Umunhum in early morning light
Being early had its reward as there were still few parking spaces available. We parked our car and started our hike. The trail is a designer trail with very decent grading and switch backs with lots of shade. Trail is about 3.7 miles long from the Bald Mountain parking lot to the parking lot at the summit. It was a perfect hiking weather, sunny but cool with a light breeze. We had a very pleasant hike, wandering around from time to time, exploring. Completed our hike of nine miles with an elevation gain of about 1300 feet in three hours and forty five minutes with many stops along the way to enjoy the vistas. So another happy April Fools Day and the blessings of Easter. I am sure I won’t be here for next thirty five years to tell another April Fool story. But as long as I live, I will remember these two April Fools Day. They were perfect.
View of the valley from Guadalupe River Watershed Vista Point on the left and Doppler weather radar on Mount Umunhum on the right
‘Where time is drowned in odour-laden winds
And Druid moons, and murmuring of boughs,’ – W.B. Yeats
Rains have stopped long ago
The river shifted
Land under deep water, now
Caked mud and mass of shifting sand
Million moons have passed
Monsoon and drought
Everpresent harrowing floods
Curse of erosion, a
Constantly changing landscape
Amidst the hardship
Life moves on
Chanting and dancing
Music and culture
Cycle of life
Constant struggle of
Destruction and construction
As the dragon to the north
To throttle the life line
Turning enchanting island
To lifeless desert
Simple souls carry on
Oblivious of the fate
That may soon befall
How many more moons
How many more moons
Only time will tell
Image of Majuli Island from Google
This poem is in response to Jane Dougherty’s A Month (November) with Yeats Challenge day Eleven
He promised the people the earth and the moon
He was pompous though he did not look like a goon
He could talk trash with the worst of them all
No good people could tolerate his trashy drawl
He won’t divulge the source of his money
Always boasted how smart he was and how brainy
Everyone of his competitors hated his brashness
They will shout to the high heavens “My goodness”
None of the competitors liked to be in the same podium
They said that he was uncouth and did not have any decorum
He could not speak a single complete sentence that made sense
Little did he care as long as he can hoodwink people, making them dance
Twitter was his medium as it suited him well
Followers lapped up his words, their ranks did swell
His boat nearly sank when words leaked out of his dirty talk
All his good followers stood behind him like a rock
Faith and religion be damned as long as we have our own
In people’s house so that the our good justices can be sworn
Manipulating and colluding, bamboozling to the best of his ability
Vanquished everybody, made mockery of democracy
“Fake news” and “covfefe” will be his lasting legacy
Writerspiration Competion #118