Blessed are those whose calls are answered

silently the years fall by the wayside,
as the hairline recedes and
the pate reflects sunlight,
age creeps up;
every day a step nearer,
many has gone before by this
path of no return,
the mind plays games
with the memories of names,
everytime I pick up the phone,
the list shrinks and
one less name to call,
slowly the calls have stopped coming,
and the phone has fallen silent;
blessed are those
who make the calls and those are answered.

Truth as we see it

what we do we don’t,
what we see does not matter,
we don’t perceive what we do see,
what we hear we don’t understand,
we don’t listen what we hear,
so we speak what we don’t want to say,
the brain does get the signals,
only those are noise all mixed up;
we preach but we don’t practise
and fill the air with empty promise,
alas, history is what is being perceived
biased by what one wants to hear,
prejudice for the benefactor does sip in,
and we go around strutting history has spoken
the truth and the only truth as we know them,
our understanding clouded by what we read,
out comes the gospel truth from a brain corrupted,
unable to decipher the mixed signals it received,
we are all true to our beliefs,
the elephant never emerged as
the six blind men searched for the absolute truth.

In Place of the Creation Perfect

the best was reserved
till the last,
alas! when it was time
for the last act,
tiredness had sat in
and everything that was left
was put into the mold,
out came the creation perfect,
and pleased,
creator went to sleep;

when from a slumber well deserved,
woke up to observe,
bewildered at what went wrong,
too late it was realized that
along with all the good
that went into the mold,
the garbage that was
not bestowed on others,
also went in
and came out
well mixed,
a perfect cocktail
of virtues and vices,
love and compassion
blended well with
egos and indifference,
and all their different
permutations and combinations.

from that day onward
lives in each of us,
a dr. jekyll and a mr. hyde,
and we are busy
chasing the tail,
in perpetual exploration
of our best creation
hiding from us,
ashamed of the
frankenstein’s monster created
in place of
the creation perfect.

Summer Winds Bring on the Rains

The rains! Ah, it’s still a long wait to autumn during mid-summer. But what a poor soul can do but to dream. So here is an ode to the summer winds to bring the rains. I have added the translation to my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese) below the original English.

O’ summer winds,
Bring on the rains,
The perched earth waits,
Its heart broken
and cracked to pieces,
The grass, golden,
swings in the wind,
dancing languidly;
The song bird
searches in vain,
The blazing sun
in the azure skies,
scorched its throat
waiting for the rain drops.

O’ summer winds,
Bring on the rains,
and wash away
this pervasive gloom,
Let the flowers bloom,
The grass green
swings in the winds,
The songbird sings,
As my beloved
sways to the tune,
the shift
on her rain drenched body
clings to her curve,
undulating gently,
Now in focus, now out,
My blood rushes
with each rise and fall.

As the smell
of a perched earth,
smitten by the first rain
wafts up
and the sweet smell of love
drips down her body,
Fertile dreams
in the winds,
There is pure glee
all around.

হে গ্ৰীষ্মৰ উষ্ণ বতাহ

হে গ্ৰীষ্মৰ উষ্ণ বতাহ
লৈ আহা তোমাৰ সতে
ৰিমঝিম বৰষুণ ,
শুষ্ক ধৰণী,
ভাঙি চিঙি চুৰমাৰ,
সোণালী ঘাঁহনি
বতাহত হালিজালি
নাচে ধীৰে ধীৰে,
গীত গোৱা পখিটিৰ
বৃথা অন্বেষণ,
নীলিম গগণত
জ্বলন্ত ৰবিয়ে
ডেই নিয়ে কণ্ঠ তাইৰ,
প্ৰতীক্ষাত এটুপি বৃষ্টিৰ।

হে গ্ৰীষ্মৰ উষ্ণ বতাহ
লৈ আহা তোমাৰ সতে
ৰিমঝিম বৰষুণ
উটুৱাই নিয়া এই
সৰ্বব্যাপী বিষণ্ণতা;
ফুলক আকৌ ফুল,
হিলদোল ভাঙি বতাহত
নাচক সেউজী ঘাঁহনি,
গীত গাওক পখীটিয়ে,
গীতৰ সুৰে সুৰে যেতিয়া
ককাল ভাঙি ভাঙি
নাচে মোৰ প্ৰেয়সীয়ে,
দেহৰ প্ৰতিটো খাজত
লিপিট খাই থকা
বৰ্ষাসিক্ত বসনৰ মাজেৰে
ধীৰে উঠা নমা কৰা
এই দেখো,
এই হেৰাই যোৱা
প্ৰতিটো ভাজে,
হৃদয়ত মোৰ
তোলে হিল্লোল।

প্ৰথম বৰ্ষাৰ পৰশৰ
শুকান মাটিৰ গোন্ধ,
উটি ভাহি
মিলি যায় যেতিয়া
প্ৰেয়সীৰ দেহৰ পৰা
জিৰজিৰ কৰি সৰিপৰা
পিৰিতিৰ মধুৰ সুগন্ধত,
উৰি আহে বতাহত
উৰ্বৰ সপোন;
চৌদিশে আনন্দৰ ঢল।

প্ৰণবেন্দ্ৰ শৰ্মা জুলাই ৩০,২০২২
চান হ’জে কালিফোৰ্ণিয়া

Don’t Say Love You / নক’বা ভাল পাওঁ বুলি

A poem I wrote today and translated to my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese)

Hush, don’t say the word,
Love you,
There lies the end;
In forplay of courtship
exuberant eruption,
Intimacy signals the end,
Curtain falls.

In preparation
lies the beauty of
In fulfillment,

On the altar of
greater good,
Self immolation,
Proudly we wear the
badge of satisfaction;
Lonely amidst
sea of appreciation,
In silence
we seek
Salvation .

নকবা ভাল পাওঁ বুলি,
সেয়াযে প্ৰেমৰ শেষ পৰিণতি,
শৃঙ্গাৰত সৃষ্টিৰ জ্বালামুখী লাভা,
সঙ্গমত পতনৰ আগজাননী;
যৱনিকা পতন।

প্ৰস্তুতিত মাধুৰ্য্য সৃষ্টিৰ
প্ৰাপ্তিত অৱসাদ ।

সমুহীয়া সুখৰ বেদীত
চেতনাৰ দি বলিদান,
সন্তুষ্টিৰ প্ৰতীক
গৰ্বেৰে কৰোঁ পৰিধান;
প্ৰশংসাৰ সাগৰত নিঃসঙ্গ,
নীৰৱতাত বিচাৰোঁ পৰিত্ৰাণ।

The American Ritual Dance

Dear God,
With heavy hearts
We gather here
To say goodbye
To those who were taken away
At the prime of their lives;
(By our inaction but that’s another matter)
And send our condolences
To the grieving families,
May time heal their hurts,
(Sure time heals everything you know)
And make them whole again.

Phew, with that out of our hearts
It’s now time,
Let the barbeques begin,
And the donations roll in;
You know it’s not easy folks
To stand up for your rights
To bear arms
With empty pockets
Every two, four or six years;
Let the good times begin.

And while we are at it,
Don’t forget to remember those
Who gave up their lives
To protect your rights
To turn this land of
The free and the braves
Into killing fields,
With AR15s for one and all;
Don’t you fret,
We have judges who know
Which side to butter the bread;
Well, obviously they obfuscate
During the nomination process,
Lest they don’t get elevated.
(They are not politicians you know)

God willing we shall make this land
A prison soon,
With guns for one and all;
(Isn’t that what 2nd Amendment all about)
Let’s decree guns for the newborns,
Afterall we are the ones
Who stand up for their right to be born,
So that we have enough
For our target practices;
Remember, it’s not guns that kill,
People do,
So go and make merry as you like,
What did you say?
A knife?
It doesn’t kill that many,
AR15s that’s what you must have
To kill a deer unarmed;
We are a country of laws,
And we shall fight
With all our might
To preserve your right
To snuff out the light,
From young and old alike
With futures bright.

Ah, what you say,
Tears coming down our cheeks..?
(Must be the smoke from the barbeque)
Hey, don’t you blame the crocodiles,
They don’t come after their kids with guns,
You need a special breed for that,
We are Americans!
And you know for those who need
We have mental health,
(That we ourselves surely need)
But no, can’t deprive them also
Of their rights,
It’s a free country all right,
Except for the rights victims of rape and incest
To abort;
We are a great country,
Unique in the world
Remember that well on the Tuesday of November.
The list grows longer they say,
Well you know the more the merrier,
Gives us more opportunities
To come out and assure our constituents,
We stand with them dancing
The American ritual dance.

Old Rudy’s Poem

” east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet” – Rudyard Kipling

oh, how I wish we
prove these lines wrong and
before the sun rises in the west,
and hell freezes over,
we forget all directions,
of labels there would be none,
of borders, all erased and gone,
we meet as brothers and sisters and
embrace each other only as human;
in the grave crumbles his bones,
as his poem all but forgotten,
except mistakenly the lines we quote;
how would old Rudy smile if
all that divide us are suddenly gone.

Pranabendra Sarma, March 3, 2022
San Jose, California

The Path To Lonely Nights

Time stood still as I considered my options,
Standing on the square looking to my right and to my left,
I looked upfront and I looked back to from where I came,
There, standing on the crossroad I was perplexed.

Out come the preacher from my right and asked me to hold his hand,
Follow me and my scriptures and rest assured,
If you do as I say, have faith and not question,
Rest assured your path will be smooth all the way to heaven.

The politicians, blabbering all, came from the left, and
some did follow the preachers and came from the right,
Follow our paths, we shall lead and you will be alright,
New age and new dawn is coming and your future is bright.

From the front came the financier, greed written large on his face,
Give me your hard earned wealth, what you have,
It will be invested well and you shall be see it grow beyond belief,
Yellow brick road to Oz shall be littered with gold for your relief.

There was a cacophony behind my back and I saw a crowd,
Shouting at me they all asked me to get out of the way,
Each of them are running to their chosen future in a hurry,
Go back if undecided, shouted day, and come back another day.

I searched in vain for my friends to see where are they,
Alas, they have chosen their camps and going merrily on their way,
Pushed and pulled with fear of being ran over and killed,
There on the crossroad, looking for the path not taken, I stood still.

They called me atheist, they called me dumb, they called me names I dare not utter,
Leftist, rightist, unpatriotic, traitors, they threw the whole paint bundle at me,
And all I wanted to do was to listen to what my conscience said was right,
Alas, choosing the path not taken will lead me to many lonely nights.

With a heavy heart I moved on, standing still was not an option,
Up came another square on the path I have chosen,
There in the middle of the square a roaring party was going,
Making merry and feasting with glee and gaiety were preachers, politicians, financiers all,
A long line of lost souls lining up the crossroads to the square for the crumbs to fall.

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