Sometimes

Sometimes I
walk on roads
I’ve traveled
to meet
a memory.

Sometimes I
walk the path
less beaten
to meet
an experience.

Sometimes I
walk in the
day’s glow
to see
a shadow.

Sometimes I
walk in the
moon’s light
to see
so clearly.

’tis myself
I seek by
night and day
and I fail
everyday.

Then I look
at your face,
at your smile,
in your eyes
and see – me.

The First Wages

“More! More! I want some more!”
The tiny voice would’ve gone unheard.
I turned to meet an outstretched hand,
a scruffy face and a head full of sand.

I stared down at the beggar child.
His eyes danced, his lips smiled.
His little fingers lined with dirt
held lightly the folds of my shirt.

‘Be gone!” said I, “So unsatisfied.”
The amount I’d given was justified!
Not one extra coin would I disburse
to this depraved lad, this curse!

I glared into his eyes again.
I hoped to see fear, even shame.
But my outburst had been in vain.
His beaming smile did not change.

Instead, in a voice crystal clear,
he spoke to me and I did hear.
“I’m all alone – Oh! Please, please!”
The winds and cold do not cease.

There was a time when I had known
warm caresses – my mother’s own.
And long past the twilight hours,
she’d tell me all about the stars.

She left me all alone one day,
and as she was going – did say,
““Let not the hunger and the cold
make you beg, or sell your soul.

Look for work and you will find
in the fields – something to bind,
or in the big, busy marketplace-
if you work hard, it will pay.

Do not fear for me, my son!
Not far from you will I be gone.
When people tell you I have died,
look for the new star in the sky.””

And so, it’s not alms that I want,
Just a little fare for the “2 Down.”
No more moments I must waste
if I want a job at the marketplace.

Not more than a 2 rupee coin
for the new job I have to join!
But this you will not do for free,
your heavy basket I shall carry.”

I looked down at him again.
His eyes now held only pain.
His proud chin, turned up high,
so full of hope – this little boy.

And every word he said was true.
He was his own living proof.
Undefeated by life’s miseries yet,
he was just like the black cygnet.

And, along with me he did hurry.
My blue basket, for me did carry.
“Here’s the coin! Now rest a while!”
And I saw again – that beautiful smile.

Waiting

Waiting
for you to return
after you say goodbye.

Waiting
for a smile to come
after the tears have dried.

Waiting
to hear “I love you” again
after we end the fight.

Waiting
for the darkness
after turning off the lights.

Waiting
for the dust to settle
after the storm has passed.

Waiting
for time itself
for this too will not last.

They say that life’s
a game and I agree it is –
one – of waiting.

A Matter of Time

I see the Place from my home.
Six concrete pillars and a dome.
Deserted, it had stood cold and dark
with stray dogs that roamed and barked.

The men now chisel a design like lace
cutting through the rocks with ease.
The sun beats down upon their backs.
They sweat and strain but do not slack.

Slowly, they work on the shapes –
the feet, the legs, the arms, the face.
Then, the stone takes a form.
It has now turned into a God.

The lattice work covers the walls.
The roof with the flagged spire is tall
and lit with little lights that twinkle.
For, the Place is now a holy temple.

As I reflect on what is and was
I wake up to a realization of sorts.
The twists and turns that make our Fate
Are just games Time constantly plays.

Tell Me Why

Tell me why
stars shine in the sky?
Such soothing brightness
spreads happiness.

Tell me why
birds sing as they fly?
Such mellow tunes
give hope anew.

Tell me why
flowers bloom with a smile?
Nodding in the breeze.
Waving goodbye to grief.

Tell me why
God made Earth and life?
So full of colors
and joy and mirth.

Just to be choked
by his creation – Man
Whose pride blinds him
to all the wonders divine.

Pity not the blind or
the deaf who cannot hear
But those who surrounded by beauty
fail to see it bright and clear.

Pyres of the Past

I can only heal
if I take the blame.
I can only feel
if I burn in the flames.

Being sorry doesn’t help.
I apologize for; I regret
all that I did and
everything I said.

Shadows grow longer
as time takes its toll.
My will – no stronger.
I’m numb to the world.

Until I feel a pain
that lasts and lasts.
As I slowly burn in
the pyres of the past.

Wishes

Someone asked me

what I would do

if I met a fairy

out of the blue?

I thought I should ask

for a pair of dancing shoes,

a pink, silken gown,

and a big diamond crown.

But just then I saw

a child so sweet.

Who was in tattered clothes

crying down the street.

I saw a little boy.

Lame and blind was he.

And as he limped along,

with a small bowl begged he.

I didn’t care for dancing shoes.

A silk gown or a crown.

I had the answer to the question.

I would ask for them a haven.

Where they can laugh

and sing and play.

And won’t give people a chance to say,

“You filthy dog! Get out of my way!”

Freedom

Bluebells and daffodils

sitting on the fence

wit’ the sun beams kissin’

’em on their pretty heads.

And yonder meadow green

dotted wit’ little daisies

is the place o’ my dreams

far from this mad city.

Take me away, o far away

wit’ the music in the breeze.

Unshackle these heavy chains

of bondage – set me free.

Life

Life is so very practical.

It’s more than just fantasies.

And though it’s full of ecstasy,

it also has complexities.

Life is not a bed of roses.

It has both sweet and bitter doses.

It has got victory and defeat.

Only a fighter can take the lead.

Life is unique in this universe.

A cycle which is never reversed.

Life comes once and only once.

Don’t while it away in smoke and guns.

Play

How I love to go

and play in the hills.

All by myself

in the quiet and still.

Among the green grass

I hop with the frogs,

and sing with the birds,

and walk on the logs.

Go under the waterfall

or sit on the rocks

or climb up a tree

and tear my socks.

I play in the morning.

I play in the evening.

All by myself

in the quiet and still.

Is there a place in this world?

Is there a place in this world

where there are no wars, only peace?

Where happiness soars in the sky

and people love each moment of their life?

Is there a place in this world

where no one is big, no one is small?

Where no one’s heart is made of ice

and everybody speaks in one voice?

Is there a place in this world

where there is no corruption?

Where every life has sweet beginnings

and, free from sins, has happy endings?

Is there a place as such?

Or is it just a dream?

Like a bubble in the stream

which bursts at the softest touch.

The Miracle

I looked up towards the sky.

To where the great eagles fly.

The clouds were slowly passing by.

In shades of dark grey and white.

And then, I saw the Miracle!

O! ’twas a wondrous spectacle!

The darkness parted to bring forth

The Fingers of God onto the Earth.

It was a Sign of His great design

A sight I would cherish for all time.

There were no questions in my mind.

He bought a new light into my life.

The light of blessing and belief

would cure the pain; bringing relief.

Happiness would now abound

where Sorrow long stood its ground.