Taunt of Time

with all due respect to where it belongs, a tongue in cheek poem dedicated to the pedagogy of time.

I just wanted a lead,
A straight shot to her heart,
Wanted just a few minutes
Of her time,
But she had none;
She gave me a book,
A small one to read,
Only one equation, she said,
Told me once I understood well,
Come back and need to tell,
The story of the book,
A Brief History of Time.

Never in my life I thought
I would hate someone,
Who was dead and gone,
Oh Hawking,
Was that your way of
Having fun,
To tinker with time?
Days have turned into nights,
From the time
I was given the book,
Time stood still for me,
Taunting me day and night.

I read and read,
And then read again,
And tried to understand;
Who defined brief,
Nothing brief about time,
Except the few moments
That I asked from her, and the
Much shorter time
I was dismissed,
Time just flies.

Now I even dread to understand,
And go back to her,
As time ticks and taunts,
I fear if she hands me
A long history of time to read,
Life will pass by,
Time will fly,
And before I have my
Brief moment,
My time with her,
It will be time for me to go,
And meet Hawking
With his book in hand,
Ready to drill into my head,
The concept of time,
Either brief or long.

How can eternity be brief?
I am no Einstein,
But Hawking is wrong,
There is nothing brief,
About time;
Don’t get fooled by those
Big words,
(or are they the big bangs),
Lest you end up in
A black hole;
Ah, I feel enlightened,
And I feel brave,
As I get ready to meet
My love,
and proclaim,
When I am ready to
Be with you
From here to eternity,
And beyond,
There is no meaning to
The brief history of time,
Let the dead rest in peace,
Till eternity beckons.

A Poem is Born

The ink dried long ago,
Pages left blank,
Thoughts buried
deep under,
Heart aches,
The pain festers,
Silently drips the blood,
Slowly becomes
A torrent.

The world turns,
and somewhere,
exuberant keystrokes dance
a rhythmic dance,
words flow across a screen,
unknown, unloved,
A poem is born.

Life and Death

Crimson is the sky,
Twilight creeps,
Dusk crawls across,

Is it so,
As life ebbs,
Will darkness crawl?

Fingers of light shoot,
Gently rises the sun,
Dawn rushes in,

Free of the body,
Floats free,
Unknown beckons,

A new beginning,
Chaos reigns supreme,
Busy for what?

A series of steps,
Mundane and exhilarating,
Exhausted, long wait,

Shall go on writing my poems

Today is World Poetry Day. Seven years back, after a break of nearly five decades, when I again picked up the pen to write, I didn’t know that such a day even existed. I won’t have known today also but now that I am in Facebook, how will I be allowed to forget.  So I paid my dues and posted a poem on my wall (or is it timeline) written in my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese). I just now translated the poem to English. Posting both the poems here.

Pearls of words,
In solitude, drip;
Hear a sweet celestial melody
by the side of the creek,
As the crickets chirp.

In the distance
A bird unknown,
A melancholy tune sings,
Nature resplendent in advent of spring,
Spreads a carpet of vibrant green.

I wait for the
rose bud to bloom,
Maybe in her petals are hidden,
The words that will make
My poem sing.

The gentle breeze whispers
In my ears,
What secrets does she say;
I know not what melodies I hear, as
My heart dances in joy.

Nary a rain cloud in the sky,
Frogs gone berserk in expectation,
I listen intently, in silence
I may hear,
The words of my poem crescendo.

I wait with a string in my hand,
If solitude rains pearls of words,
Gently shall I pick them up,
A necklace I shall string, and
Go on writing my poems.

ৰচি যাম মোৰ কবিতা

নিৰ্জনতাত ঝিৰ ঝিৰ কৰি সৰে
শব্দৰ মুকুতা মণি,
জুৰিৰ দাতিত জিলিৰ মাতত,
সৰগীয় মধুৰ ধ্বনি।

দূৰৈত শুনো কোনো অচিন পখীয়ে
গাইছে বিহগ ৰাগিনী,
বসন্তৰ আগমনত সাজিছে প্ৰকৃতি,
সেউজ ঘাঁহৰ দলিচা খনি।

অপেক্ষাত ম‌ই ফুলিব কেতিয়া
গোলাপৰ কলিটি,
আছে জানো লুকাই তাতে,
মোৰ কবিতাৰ শব্দ মাধুৰী?

জুৰ মলয়াই কাণে কাণে মোৰ
কিনো কথা কয় গোপনে,
নাজানো মই শুনো কিনো সুৰ,
নাচে আনন্দত হৃদয় ঘনে ঘনে।

আকাশত দেখো নেদেখোঁ বাদল,
বৃষ্টিৰ আশাত ভেকুলী পাগল,
কাণ পাতি শুনো ম‌ই কিজানিবা নিৰ্জনতাত,
শুনো মোৰ কবিতাৰ শব্দৰ মাদল।

হাতত লৈ এনাজৰী আছোঁ বহি মই,
নিৰ্জনতাই বৰষে যদি শব্দৰ মুকতা,
আলফুলে বুটলি গাঁথিম মালাধাৰি,
ৰচি যাম মোৰ কবিতা।.


O’ ye in the wild,
Is it wise
For the wild
To trust human,
And be deceived
By his treachery?
Alas, in that faith
Is written
Its doom,
For sure
As the sun rises
In the east,
Betrayal will follow soon.

Beware ye all,
The denizen of the wild,
On the altar of progress,
Humans have sacrificed
Their future,
And in the rush
To escape the confines
Of their only home
They have known,
Everything that stand
In their path of greed
Are collateral damage.

Happily they march
To their oblivion,
These masters of none,
And in their ignorance,
Destroy the only heaven
They have ever known.

Free bird caged in a pub

Another poem in a series that I started writing in my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese) during the pandemic and translating few of them to English from time to time. Hopefully someday I shall be able to compile them in a book or chapbook. Both the English and Axomiya poems are posted below.

A free bird, I roam the blue sky yonder,
O’ doe eyed beauty, you spread your web of love down under,
Seduced, searching for company, hoping for a little love, I was snared,
O’ ye seductress, playful enchantres, in search of a new prey everyday,
Today you must have spread your net in a place far away,
And I, a bird caged, in the confines of an unknown pub somewhere,
Search for hint of freedom in glasses of wine, poured by the bar maid.

পিঞ্জৰাবদ্ধ বন্দী বিহঙ্গম

উৰণীয়া পখিটি মই, মুক্ত মনেৰে কৰোঁ বিচৰণ বিশাল গগনত,
মেলি দিলা ধৰণীত তোমাৰ প্ৰেমৰ মায়াজাল হৰিণী নয়নী,
প্ৰলোভিত ম‌ই সঙ্গসুখৰ, এধানি মৰমৰ আশাত দিলোঁহি ধৰা,
বিলাসিনী তুমি চঞ্চলা মোহিনী, নিতে নৱ চিকাৰ সন্ধানী,
আজি হয়তো তোমাৰ মায়াজাল পাতিছা কোনোবা দূৰণিত,
আৰু বন্দী বিহঙ্গম ম‌ই, আৱদ্ধ কোনো অচিন পানশালাৰ পিঞ্জৰাত,
চাকীয়ে ঢালি দিয়া মদিৰাৰ পিয়লাত বিচাৰোঁ মুক্তিৰ ৰেঙনী।



When the indefensible is defended,
Truth becomes the victim;
For our self interests,
We swallow our independence, and
Clock our intelligence
In language of the learned;
Ah, for the gullible,
And of minds simple,
The believers,
Honesty and integrity
Happy to rest their guilt,
On shoulders of the learned,
They march with their
Heads held high;
After all, everything that’s
Greek and Latin,
Must be the words of God,
Mere mortals they,
Who are they to question;
For the roof over their heads,
Life is mortgaged to
The banks,
And their heads?
Charlatans have a
Lien on that.

Answer to a Question without Solution

I wrote this poem in my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese) yesterday and translated to English today. This poem is part of a series of poems I am writing for last nine months or so in Axomiya and sharing in Facebook from time to time. Not all of them are translated to English yet though I hope to do it someday.

Why did you ask me answer
To a question without one,
I gave you my heart
Without any question,
Alas, you didn’t wait
Even for a moment
For an answer,
Away you went
To a place too far,
The new address,
You didn’t share,
Today I wait forever,
Door to my heart, ajar,
And in the pubs,
As the barmaids pour wine,
In goblets kept filled,
I search for an answer,
To that question without solution,
Of yours.

নিমিলা অঙ্কৰ উত্তৰ

কিয়নো সুধিছিলা বাৰু তুমি
নিমিলা অঙ্কৰ উত্তৰ,
মইতো দিছিলোঁ তোমাক
বিনা প্ৰশ্নই মোৰ অন্তৰ,
নকৰিলা অপেক্ষা তুমি অকণো
পাবলৈ উত্তৰ প্ৰশ্নৰ,
গুচি গ’লা দূৰণিলৈ,
নজনালা নতুন ঠিকনা তোমাৰ,
অপেক্ষা আজি মোৰ চিৰন্তন,
উন্মুক্ত দুৱাৰ হৃদয়ৰ,
আৰু পানশালাত চাকীয়ে
পূৰ্ণ কৰা পিয়লাত মদিৰাৰ,
অহৰহ বিচাৰোঁ মই
তোমাৰ নিমিলা অঙ্কৰ উত্তৰ।


Sunrays filtering through her translucent wings,
As she rose effortlessly,
What a beauty she was,
Pure and unspoiled,
As I ran after her,
She hopped from flower to flower,
Oh such a beautiful day,
Shiny and bright,
Such a joy it was,
To be with the
Dragonfly in flight.

Why did you steal my
Childhood from me,
You, who dress in piety,
Those lips that proclaim the
Name of God incessantly,
How can it hide teeth so sharp,
Shredding me to pieces,
You who proclaim special days
For children, women and mothers,
Speak of the divine and of heaven,
Did you ever think of hell,
When you stole my childhood
From me and left me to rot,
In your hell.

The wings are now torn,
No more translucent,
They don’t reflect
the sunlight no more,
Its limp body shaking,
The dragonfly lies in the
Palm of my hand,
I close my fist,
There goes a monster,
He says,
Piously calling God,
Praying for my salvation.

Ah, do you notice
The dark shadows
Of sin
As the saints
March in.

Questions Futile

Life is like a flowing river;
Are you life, I asked the river;
The river did not stop
To answer,
It just kept flowing;
My dejected sigh
Failed to ruffle the surface
Of the stagnated pool,
Tadpoles scurrying merrily;
Retorted the frog,
On your way, move;
The crest of the wave
Caught the sunlight,
Got your answer, it said,
And was gone;
The flowing river marched on,
Carrying the caricature of
My broken reflection,
To a place unknown.

and my futile question remained unanswered.