Dark was the night

These set of Haikus reflect my thoughts about the current situation of fires sparked by lightning in northern California

dark was the night sky

lightning’s macabre dance struck

prometheus laughed

*****

blue was the dawn sky

quick stepping fire, sensuous

grey sky hid the sun

*****

ravenous hunger

terrain, a sumptuous meal

scorched earth cries dry tears

****”

dreams collapse and die

nature’s fury relentless

a colorless sky

*****

dawn breaks, a dim sun

unstoppable red devil

bravehearts stand guard

*****

Red Hot Tongue of Fire

My home state, California, specifically northern California is burning, fires ignited by dry lightning. Many had to flee their homes to safety as firefighters fight valiantly to tame the fires. The poem below was written in English yesterday and than translated to my mother tongue Assamese (Axomiya) about my feelings of the last few days as the fires rage on.

between sunset and sunrise,
lies the vagaries of the night,
destiny rings the bell,
lightning strikes,
dreams go up in flames.

as you flee,
as you flee,
you look back,
and there is
nothing to see,
there against the darkness,
dances the red hot tongue,
ravenous to devour all
in its path.

tears no match to
quench its thirst,
a scorched earth silently
curses a heartless sky,
and at sunrise,
sun hides its face, ashamed,
taking cover behind the
smoke screen.

as the tired bodies throw
themselves at the roaring monster,
nature claims victory
over the mortals,
dawn breaks,
a new day of dashed hopes,
and for many,
nowhere to go.

অগ্নিৰ লেলিহান শিখা

সুৰ্যাস্ত আৰু সুৰ্যোদয়ৰ মাজত
খেয়ালী নিশাৰ সপোনৰ খেল,
দূৰৈত নি‌‌য়তিৰ কূটিল হাঁহি,
বিজুলীৰ নাচোন,
ধোঁৱা হৈ উৰি গ’ল
সোণালী সপোন।

পলোৱা, পেলোৱা,
পিছলৈ ঘূৰি চাই দেখিবা কি?
অন্ধকাৰ আকাশৰ চিত্ৰপটত
নাচে জলন্ত অগ্নিৰ
ৰক্তিম লেলিহান শিখা,
সমুখত সকলো কৰি ভস্মীভূত,
প্ৰচণ্ড ক্ষুধাত
অগ্ৰগামী মূৰ্তিমান বিভীষিকা।

চকুপানীত তোমাৰ
নহয় পূৰণ তৃষ্ণা তাইৰ,
অগ্নিদগ্ধ ধৰণীয়ে দিয়ে অভিশাপ
হৃদয়হীন শুকান আকাশক।
আৰু সুৰ্যোদয়ত?
লজ্জিত অৰুণে
ছাঁই হৈ যোৱা সপোনৰ
ধোঁৱাৰ ওৰণি তলত,
লাজতে লুকাই মুখ।

ক্লান্ত দেহবোৰে যেতিয়া
ৰুধিবলে ক্ষুদ্ধিত বহ্নিৰ অগ্ৰসৰ
মৃত্যুকো নেওচি পৰে জপি‌য়াই,
প্ৰকৃতিয়ে মৰণশীল মানৱৰ ওপৰত
কৰে বিজয় ঘোষণা।
দিগন্তত তেতিয়া ৰাতিপুৱাৰ আভাষ,
এটা নতুন দিন ভগ্ন সপোনৰ,
আৰু বহুজনৰ
সপোনৰ শেষ,
নাই কোনো ঘৰ
ঘূৰি যাবলৈ।

Sunsets, Sunrise and Nature’s Fury

Just ten days back, the sky was cloudy that by itself should not be a matter of concern to anyone. However in northern California, in summer, we are more accustomed to see clear blue skies during summer than cloudy skies, so much so, that to take a photo with the sky as a background one needs to have a good circular polarizer filter to get some contrast. So when the sky is cloudy, it is much easier to take photos with the sky as a background and normally we are rewarded with beautiful sunsets. So on August 13, Thursday, I was up on One Tree Hill near our house to capture a good sunset photograph. But even I was not prepared to see what nature presented. It was awesome.

Sunset from my backyard on the afternoon of August 13, 2020. Someone said that it looked like Martian sky. Maybe it was just the prelude to what nature had in store for us.

On Sunday, August 16, early morning, California was struck by an unusual dry lightning and thunder storm. Within a very short period of time several hundred intense lightning strikes were reported. As per report, during the next seventy two hours, the state was struck by more than ten thousand lightning strikes, though the majority of intense strikes were on early Sunday morning. As expected, fire started to light up around the state with majority of them concentrated in norther California. Rapidly burning fires forced evacuation as well as destruction of properties and natural wonders. The Big Basin Redwood Forest State Park, about forty five minutes drive from our house was burnt. The visitor center was completely burnt down to the ground. The fate of the old redwood trees, some older than two thousand years and two feet plus tall are not known yet.

Not sure if any of these behemoths are still standing after the fire. These photos were taken on August 1, 2015.

The fires are still burning without much of it being contained. For last four to five days now, the sky is covered by smoke from all the fires burning. University of California, Santa Cruz was evacuated. Thousands of firefighters are fighting valiantly to contain the fires. We pray for their success because in their success lies our safety. Please send your prayers for their safety. Already six people lost their lives. As I am writing this, lots of properties were damaged and many had to leave their homes to safety and others are packed and waiting for the dreaded evacuation orders.

As the state burns and the sky is covered with smoke, nature has presented her colors with beautiful sunsets and sunrises. It’s of little solace to all who are affected by the fury of the fire. We were staying at home due to COVID and now hoping that everyone can stay at their homes and not get displaced due to the fires. Though at first the smokes from the fires produced beautiful sunsets and sunrise, now it is only gray sky hiding the sun.

Sunset on August 17, 2020 from One Tree Hill

Sunrise on August 18, 2020 from my front yard
Midday sun on August 19, 2020 from my front yard. Sky covered in smoke.

A few scattered pearls: সিঁচৰিত মুকুতা মণি

I generally write in any one of the four languages I know and then I translate sometimes to others. Normally, it’s confined to English and my mother tongue, Assamese (Axomiya). The one liner poems below, I started writing as it came and started translating simultaneously. For convenience of my readers, I am placing the English one first followed by the Assamese. However, they were not written and translated in any particular order.

Walking up a moonbeam to meet your love, have you seen your dreams shattered?
প্ৰেয়সীৰ সন্ধানত জোনাকৰ পম খেদি গৈ,দেখিছানে সপোন চুৰমাৰ যোৱা হৈ?


Looking up at the sky on a dark night, have you seen your dreams diffused among the glittering lights?
এন্ধাৰ নিশা তৰাবছা আকাশলৈ চাই, দেখিছানে সপোন তোমাৰ তৰালীৰ মাজত যোৱা হেৰাই?


If ever I lose myself in my poems, look for me among the few scattered pearls between the lines.
কেতিয়াবা যদি হেৰাই যাওঁ মোৰ কবিতাৰ মাজত, বিচাৰিবা মোক কবিতাৰ শাৰীৰ এমুঠি সিঁচৰিত হৈ থকা মুকুতা মণিত।


Not a purveyor of dreams unrealistic, my imagination takes flight seeking the unknown.
নহ‌ওঁ অলীক সপোনৰ পিয়াসী, মন মোৰ উৰা মাৰে অজানৰ সন্ধানত।


Why the moon has such a fatal attraction, I only look for beauty where none exists.
কিয় বাৰু জোনাকে মোক কৰে আকৰ্ষণ, মইতো মাথোঁ নোহোৱাতো কৰো সৌন্দৰ্য্যৰ অন্বেষণ।


There are more where it came from, just afraid that if I bared all, there will be no tomorrow.
আছে আৰু বহুতো গোপনে বুকুত, ভয় হয় যদি দিওঁ নিজকে উজাৰি, নেদেখিম পুৱাৰ সূৰ্যোদয়।


Ethereal Enchantress

This poem was first written in Assamese (Axomiya, my mother tongue) and I translated it to English today. The original poem is attached below the English version.

Ethereal Enchantress

 

Oh my ethereal muse,

Your shadow dances across

the mirror of my imagination.

Crossing the boundary of dreams, Continue reading “Ethereal Enchantress”

The last memories

when memories fail,

and I no longer recognize me,

take me to the sea shore,

and leave me there on the beach.

as the rays of the setting sun

sets the blue sky ablaze,

and the fingers of an approaching evening

tenderly closes my eyes one last time,

as the gentle waves of the sea

sing a haunting lullaby in my ears,

and the high tides cradle

and carry me to the comforting depth of the sea,

as this enchanting world slowly slips away,

let these last memories be engraved on my eyes.

and on the day of the new dawn,

may be in another little corner of the universe,

reincarnation, a new beginning.

when I open my eyes to start a new journey,

blessed with the last memories,

fortunate to be born in this earth,

this blue sky, the warm sands by the sea side,

endless expanse of a rolling sea,

where the setting sun goes down

every evening with a promise of

a new dawn,

let these last memories

be with me.

Nature Cry

As the blazing sun

Dips its toes

Into the emerald blues,

Nary a cloud

On the pure blue sky,

As the larks head home

For the night,

Do you hear 

The sound of silence,

As a gleeful

Nature sings.

Nature sings,

As its self professed

Best of the best,

Keep themselves confined 

To their homes,

Scared of the tiniest unseen,

Nature heals.

Nature heals

Of the sacrileges heaped,

Cleansing slowly

Accumulated garbages

From time immemorial,

Nature sings.

Nature sings,

Do you hear

Nature sing?

Listen carefully,

It may be fleeting.

Sure as sun will rise

In the east,

So will we.

Enjoy the pristine

While you can.

Oh ye of short memories,

We are born

To destroy

All that is pure and free.

We never heard

Nature cry.

Lost butterfly

Enchanted by earthy fragrance

I hop from flower to flower

Oblivious to the expansive emptiness

of the open sky

I seek solace 

In confines of the known

And when the night falls

In darkness

Stars glitter

I rue

That I clipped my wings,and

Lost the trail

Bargained for peace, but

Forever condemned

To the cocoon

Of my comfort

Beauty of the Heart

When your red cheeks shamed the setting sun

And filled me with desire as I called your name

As I drank from the overflowing cup of your love

Never for a moment thought of the day far, far off

When the setting sun would still set the sky on fire

Colors would not paint your cheeks red as you grow older

But the glow in your heart would still fill me with desire

And the beauty of your heart, my darling, would keep me inspired