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!”