Poetry

October 20, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Aman Bhargava photo

 

By

Rajnish Mishra

 

 

 

I am rich in my losses

 

 

I am rich in my losses. I lost my

home, river, lanes, neighbors,

boats, temples, pilgrims, conch shells,

the sun, the moon and ursa major

pyres, umbrellas, benches, stone steps,

people playing chess, carrom or cricket,

my walks along the riverfront

my mornings and evenings,

the pushing mad crowd,

vendors of fruits, of vegetables, of sweets, even barbers

small shops and big in the market near my river,

empty lanes and full, bicycle bells, horns of autos and bikes,

I lost them all when I left.

 

I see them stand, chat, smile, live; I can’t.

Like me they live in a city they were not born in,

yet call it their own.

Does their city not call them?

Does it not come in their dreams?

Mine comes rarely nowadays.

 

All I want to do today is to lie down

and slowly breathe my last breath, like Shelley did

in dejection near Naples. No, I’ve no past remembrance

of suicidal drifts. No, people don’t see such tendencies in me.

In fact, I hate death, my mortal enemy,

and every day of my life have been happily shrinking

away from its touch. There are times I forget my city.

Like when I drive like a maniac, which I always do.

When at the steering wheel, there’s only the man-machine,

no man, no machine, that races against time

and anyone else who dares to come on his way.

Only then, when all else is erased, and eternity fits in a moment,

I forget my loss, my ‘self’ and city.

For a moment or two, my two daughters lend me

the salve of oblivion too. While I write, I faintly forget my pain,

my loss, even the city I write about,

because I live at the tip of my finger then,

from where stream my thoughts on the page.

Writing heals, or, at least helps forget for a time,

while I make patterns that suck me in and siphon

all concerns away from the system.

 

My richness of loss has filled me a lot.

It has filled me with a vacuum.

I don’t know how I’ll live whole again,

for fate and time don’t favor the kind

of coward-victim-exile I am.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts race

 

 

Every day, every place the sky

is the same but the ground beneath is not.

The roots go down and spread downwards,

they rarely rise skywards.

 

When float the broken bergs of clouds

over sun’s vermillion tide,

every dawn, every dusk

the sky is the same

but the ground beneath is not.

 

Mind brings to fore my places first

before sky comes and joins,

then evening softly comes in train,

gives pointed, pain to pine with.

 

It’s not known. It’s not planned.

For who would know

stepping up from down below,

after months on flat wide roof,

that evening’s thorn piercing

on tip the venomous layer of past,

on touch that numbs all pain, pleasure too?

 

Breathe yes I do, yet mind is lost,

in the land of dormant past,

escaped present-prison, it happened

after ages that pages blank were filled thus.

 

Thoughts race

so fast, so much, so far!

 

 

 

 

 

Rajnish Mishra

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezinea poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https:/poetrypoeticspleasure.wordpress.com.

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