My Roving Brain

My Roving Brain

For K. Azz. on her Birthday

 

“Happy, happy wishes for you, my friend…”
Sings a voice from inside my roving brain,
another wails like a time ravaged soul,
“But will you and have we ever be old?”

 

I thought I had killed both Prometheus and his dreams,
long ago and buried them deep down the rocky ground
that I thought my mind and heart had become, but woe
they were only suspended in a cryogenic sleep!

 

“Have they begun to stir now from their slumbering?”
Yet another voice asks, inside my head,
in harmony with the song, still being sung,
“… and wishing many many joyous returns,
may your thoughts grow wiser still with each day,
but may your heart remain forever young…”

 

Meanwhile, a thousand more voices, both low and high,
keep voicing their own concerns, not in whispers though
but each trying to have the floor only for itself,
trying to be the lone voice that can be heard.
Sometime one succeeds and I hear a word or two,
mostly though, it is just a noise, both pure and white.

 

Then Prometheus opened his large and dreamy eyes,
and the world knew, this god-man who had brought fire down
to the succeeding rulers of earth as their crown,
was much, much less troubling than his insolent dreams.
(It was one of those that made him do what he did,
to coronate humans as future queens and kings.)

 

“What! He walks now? Kill him! Kill him!” cries another,
shrieking like a spinster, one too many times wronged.
“Kill him! Kill him now, I say, before he can come
and make you like him with a bare touch!” She carried on.

 

Then I could hear his footsteps in my head,
approaching me, the sound was drawing near.
I could not help but shrink, being too afraid,
for I had dreamed before and met its sneer.
Suddenly I caught a flash, wheezing by;
was it a real spear thrown by Death himself?
Perhaps it was all a dream, a figment
of my restless imagination, soaring high,
so high, the sun has melted its feathers down
and now it must fall to its uncharted grave!

 

The silence that followed was far more deafening!
All the voices stopped and their complains too,
even the one singing to my friend took a pause,
that was not what I had thought in the beginning!

 

In that silence I realized the footsteps,
I had shrunk from in my fear for the coming days,
was ringing no more through the corridors
of my roving brain. I grew wary for the man.
In desperation I searched all over the realm
of my thoughts for mighty Prometheus and his dreams;
all in vain! No body was found and no blood stains!

 

Nevertheless, the silence made me look outside,
past the grid of iron bars on my balcony
and the sky was silver blue from the glowing moon,
the wind smelling fresh from few recent bouts of rain.

 

And at last, a single voice, the one that sang, resumed
singing the remainder of the song to my friend.
The melody filled my heart with a light again,
“We are what we are not despite but because of
our ways, unfit, perhaps for our time or this place,
perhaps there is a grander scheme, or there is naught!
Still we must fight each day and night, with blood and tear –
growing stronger than we were yesterday.
I wish you may find courage in these humble, rugged lines
my dear friend, to blossom anew each and every year!”


 

Old Man Talking

Old Man Talking

“This emptiness you cannot fill, my son.”
Said he, like a wise fool.
The air of a man who had seen it all
hung around his mortal flesh, like the fleeting mist of dawn.

“But Nature abhors vacuum, does it not?”
Asked the perplexed listener in reply.
“Nature!” Exclaimed the old man as he said,
“What is that, my dear child, and emptiness –
does it mean anything at all? Or are you full
with a craving, unfulfilled, for too long?”

The listener, a young man in his late thirties,
might have been shaken by the rant,
was old enough, nevertheless, to stop his emotions
from flooding the Savannah of his face,
or so he would have thought, had he not heard –
“Your face is alright, son.” The words followed a hearty laugh,
(as if the old man could read his mind like a book)
“It’s always the eyes that betray.
But worry not, since now I have seen through it all,
I shall tell you what ails thy soul.”

And now the young man was visibly spooked,
as his raging thoughts roared, but how…
“Relax, my dear child,” once again,
knowingly said the ancient man,
“rest assured this is no witchcraft,
our eyes are windows to our soul which, I say, is but one!
What ails thee, my poor child, is not
an emptiness but being full of incomplete thoughts.
So either bury them with you or go
plant those seeds, even if just one or two…”

And as abruptly as it had begun, it was over.
One last time the old man looked into the listener’s eyes,
a long, lingering look, then he said goodbye and turned,
but the young man’s heart was standing still and frozen,
as the hairs on his back stood up –
for those old eyes were lifeless, like two polished slabs of glass.

 


 

Gavisti

Gavisti

Owning land has always confounded me; nay,
not owning but the concept, I should say,
for all my entitlements are contested, not owned!
Still, I hope it does not disqualify
me from having a petty word or two,
for I have seen the desire for more cows and land
making a Titan out of almost everyone –
brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers too.

    

Wherever one stands it would seem as if
the ground below their proud feet and the sky above
are theirs, from mother Gaea and father Uranus,
respectively. Each as ruthless as Ares and
more adept than Loki at cunning and deceit!

  

All for what, I have no idea, not that we live
past a hundred years at best and even then
around one third of the time we are either
growing up or decaying to be on a par with Death!

  

History as ancient as the first words
and the trail of burnt clay and human bones
from the preceding time are full of violent tales
of our desire that grows like a cancer,
in the name of greatness, both great and small.

    

Even when we invented laws and then guards,
the influence and its projection too were reformed
to suit the need of those who held the sway,
with power or wealth or sometime with both;
the sway holds a charm to make its holders alike.

   

In the west, the wealthy are said to be the powerful
but the powerful are the wealthy in the east,
though all for what, I cannot tell, not that we need
any land for good unless we want to be buried
and even then three and a half of arm’s length would suffice!


 

A Blank Page

A Blank Page

And here we are, back at scribbling on a blank page,
me and some broken dreams, long dead;
more than one, decomposed down to their skeletons.

   

The heap of crumpled pages grow like algaes
around the banks of a moribund pool;
the blackish water nourishing that growth is me!

  

Bathing in the moonlit breeze of sweet March,
the astray dogs grow silent for a while,
relieved of their worries of staying alive,
until their memories, with a vengeance, return.

  

And here we are, trying to scribble out the blankness of a page –
some broken feathers and an inkwell, almost dry.
Perhaps some pages are meant to remain that way
as this empty soul without a purpose to its wretched life!


 

Buying Liberty With Life

Buying Liberty With Life

I bought liberty at the cost of life.
For the freedom to close my heart and eyes
on the glittering brightness of the world,
I said adieu to my remaining days.

   

Not necessarily though, I have died;
if one could proclaim, to breathe is living
and breaths stacked on laborious breath is life!
Do we only die with our final breath?

   

The desire to live is a common thing,
found in all life, static or on the run
and the desire to grow and replicate
but if that is so than from the moment
of my birth I have been barely alive,
for the ever gnawing emptiness, lodged inside!