Monday, July 10, 2017




Who are those two vibrant figures
Drifting along in the restless moonlit night?
Twisting, pirouetting weaving magic.
Tilting at windmills, quixotic; eyes glowing bright?

The moonbeams strum, the lovers hum
the breeze whispers, the leaves lisp a love song
Hand in hand they traipse along.
Wheeling with the stars, their hearts on Mars
[Or wherever love- bloated hearts go
on restless, moonless nights.]

A foghorn sounds, and the clouds do a ballet.
By a sort of fascination impelled, the lovers now sway
on the new sun- lit day, ah, a lovely dawn.
Eyes fixed on the red wheel barrow in the lawn.

Then head towards a couple of wrought iron chairs
On the table, the sun spreads patterned warmth.
Occasionally hastening away to tweak the ears of the spunky clouds.
The breeze teases the twosome with icy precision
With the intimacy of the soap flirting with one’s skin.
They snuggle and cuddle, exchanging spicy words
passionately kissing away the day.
Every day, for many days.

And one day, four decades later
Scooping up the remains of yet another day, hand in hand
They reappear, knuckling away the sunbeams trapped in their eyes
And walk towards the chairs on knees arthritic
No longer tilting at windmills, quixotic.
Drugged by the seductive fragrance, they hug, still ecstatic
But peering at the world with eyes myopic.
The fragrance once again drugs their senses
Their past merges with the present and mangles the tenses.
Her hand upon his chest becomes his hand
He drifts into sleep, and her eyes close.
But she suddenly jerks out of her sleep
Shakes him out of his sleep to ask,
“Did you have your medicines, love?”
“Did you?” He asks, groggily
And then they snuggle closer, like silken threads
In a treasured tapestry.


Now, I am an ancient book
Dog-eared and yellow, tinged with hues mellow
Splattered with the shards of a sixteen year old‘s heart
Bloated with unshed tears, mute screams, unrealized dreams.
In those frayed pages, also many secrets lurk
Squint-eyed in the all-encompassing murk.

Speckled songs, sweet and sour, and bizarre
Dazzling with metaphors intricate
A sudden down pour erases those words
Tired, drowsy, sad and funny too
A tumultuous gale sweeps away the pile
Ah, a clank
A blank
A bl…a..nk
And the lurking embers in the pile smirk at
Death’s shenanigans.


They say.
But some hearts burn without smoke
Singeing the entire being.
Or maybe they internalize the smoke
And choke
Suffering a fiery annihilation
Without smoke.

The hunched woman sits near the autumnal chinar leaves
Stoking and poking and turning the burning leaves.
But none knows her heart grieves
[Oh how it grieves!]
For her teenage son who just disappeared one day.
She remembers his childhood chortles and milk bottles
His curly wisps of hair, and his lisps.
Two tears trickle down her withered cheeks
To merge with the fire.
The smoke from the burning chinar leaves
Envelops her in a smoky hug.
Hiding the fire burning within.
Her heart burns but none sees the smoke
Cloaked within her shriveled breast
Lethal, destroying her bit
By bit
By bit.


Ragged and disheveled, lost in reverie
Sat he under the skeletal tree
Lamenting his poverty.
The icy wind sliced through his clothes
Gossamer thin.
The din of the maddening world
Around him unfurled.

Was Hope really the thing with feathers?
A little lark singing in the dark?
A glowworm glowing bright?
A cat cavorting in the lunar night?
Alas, there was no hope for those stricken with poverty.

He wrung his hands, gritted his teeth
Hunched he sat, eyebrows bunched.
Then he drifted into sleep
Covered by night’s dark attire, deep.
The night slept too.
Hey what was that? Was it a coup?
In the east, there was beauty cascading in abundance
Sparkling water, laughing sunshine, golden slivers in the creek
And birds gold-streaked.
Someone out there was spinning magic.
Beholden, at nature’s poetry, tired eyes, he rubbed
Mesmerizingly watching an untiring spider
Weaving dreams on a shrub
Sun- kissed.
Nature strode forward open –armed
The beggar was charmed.
The sun went into an orgy of kissing
The branches, the bushes, the terraces, the leaves
The roofs, the spires, the patio, the awnings, the eaves.
One sunbeam clung to his lips
Aha, the poor man, was in luck
In his life poverty –stricken, gold had been struck.
The hues of poetic nature had enveloped this cast-off into its fold.
Wherever he looked, there was gold!


Dr SANTOSH BAKAYA: Although she has a doctorate in modern political theory , Dr Bakaya has always been Intensely passionate about Literature.   An academician , critic - poet -essayist - novelist , she has made her mark both in prose and poetry. Her three mystery novels, [The mystery of the Relic, The mystery of the Jhalana fort and The mystery of the Pine cottage] for young adults were very well received in the late 1990s. Flights from my terrace, her e-book of 58 essays,  published on Smashwords in October 2014, now has a printed version, published by Authorspress , India. Ballad of Bapu, a poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, published by Vitasta publishers, Delhi in 2015, is also being acclaimed internationally. Her essays on Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.have been published in Gandhi Marg, a quarterly journal of GANDHI PEACE FOUNDATION. She has also been published and interviewed in Cafe Dissensus and  has contributed in national and international anthologies, like those published by Poets, artists Unplugged [Colours of Refuge and Resonance] many of them having figured in the highly commendable category in Destiny Poets, a U. K based poetry website. Her poetry has also appeared in Learning and Creativity- Silhouette magazine, in Incredible women of India, in an Australia based e-zine, Mind Creative, In Brian Wrixon’s anthology and the online magazine Episteme, published from Mumbai. She has co-edited UMBILICAL CHORDS: AN ANTHOLOGY ON PARENTS REMEMBERED, published by Global Fraternity of Poets, Gurgaon, Haryana. Where are the lilacs? [A compilation of her 111 peace poems] was launched in 2016 and is getting rave reviews. Under the apple boughs , her second compilation of poems will soon hit the stands. She has also been a featured poet in Pentasi B World Friendship poetry and was conferred with the Universal Inspirational Poet Award jointly by Pentasi B and the Ghana Government in May 2016. She received the International Reuel Award for writing and literature 2014, for her long poem OH HARK!, which now forms part of THE SIGNIFICANT ANTHOLOGY and  also  the INCREDIBLE WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2015 award instituted by The Incredible women of India blog. The Poet Laureate award instituted by Poetry Society of India was conferred on her for her book Ballad of Bapu recently. She also received   the AAGMAN TEJASWANI AWARD 2017 , instituted by the AAGMAN GROUP , India ,  on International Women's day in Delhi. Although hailing from Kashmir, India, she stays in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India with her husband and university going daughter.

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