You are not much of a talker
Maybe that's what has gotten into me
Having to look you in the eyes every time you spoke
Reaching for the words you wouldn't slip
Like a treasure hunt
At the bottom of the ocean
Never much oxygen to breathe yet enough heart beat to keep from suffocating
And if I could stick my hand beneath my skin
I would rip you
Like another dissonant string in the middle of a perfect pitch
Pull you out of my ribs and sit away in silence
Tracing back the days to that one night
You caught my neck between your teeth
Bit your venom right into me and left
The way you leave every burning temple
Like a fucken coward
Afraid the fire would burn further than the back of your hand
Or the broken glass would cut deeper into the side of your eyebrow
And I know I've got both your fears buried inside of me
Ready to sting
But they would never tear you apart
Not the way you're tearing me
Morning sunbeams danced on the ripples
Sparkling on the majestic flow of Mother Ganga.
Noisy crowds of pious pilgrims from all corners,
Pestered by ash-smeared, bargaining priests,
Rushed towards the sacred waters for a holy bath ,
In a hurry to wash off their numerous sins
And save themselves from Yamadharma's* wrath.
Three solemn-looking monks in saffron robes,
Moved briskly past the motley crowds,
Looking for a less noisy, cleaner spot.
At a distance, they saw a colourful launch,
Carrying pilgrims across the vast expanse,
When, all of a sudden, the launch tumbled
And scrambling pilgrims, in panic jumped
Into the river flowing fast over hidden rocks.
Seeing their desperate struggle, the surprised monks
Took a hasty plunge and swam towards the sinking launch
And pulled some of them towards the sandy shore,
While one of the sturdy monks carried on his back,
A woman clinging to the side, breathing hard
And left her after she recovered composure.
Resuming their walk along the river bank,
Two of the monks appeared rather grim and cold.
Breaking their solemn silence, the frowning monks
Called their companion a big sinner
For he had carried a young woman on his back.
Unperturbed, the robust monk said with a smile,
Although he had carried a drowning woman on his back,
He had left her safely on the river bank
While the scolding monks carried her still in their minds
And they hardly knew what detachment meant !
Startled and rudely awakened, the two monks
Prostrated before Vivekananda, the awe-inspiring saint!
** M.G.Narasimha Murthy
Name of the God of Death in Indian mythology.
KING OF THE BOXING RING*
Muhammad Ali, the renowned boxing star,
Thrilled the world with his terrific fights;
Fearsome moves, nimble feet and fiery fists,
Memorable in his own well-known words,
Could "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee",
Cruhed his mighty rivals with awesome ease.
Honoured and loved as a great humanist,
More than titles, he valued respect and equality
And fought against racism and injustice.
Stripped of his title and thrown into jail,
Bravely opposed the Vietnam war,
Refused to join the army and drop bombs
On unknown people who were not his foes.
When ill-treated for the colour of his skin,
Threw his Olympic medal into the Ohio stream,
Roused the conscience of his fellowmen.
Ali, the great pugilist, king of the boxing ring,
Shines in the galaxy with Mandela and Dr. King.
***. M.G.Narasimha Murthy
FACE THE THREATS *
Jostling through the crowds of Varanasi -
Ancient, vibrant and ever noisy,
Vivekananda found at the end
A lonely path that seemed to blend.
With his solemn, pensive mood.
Longing for silence and solitude.
As he walked along the narrow path
Winding amidst lush green plants
Towards a sprawling, lovely lake,
A horde of monkeys, all red faced,
Sprang on him from a nearby branch.
Taken aback by their sudden attack,
He ran very fast, never turning back,
But the menacing beasts were at his heels
And one of them pulled his saffron gown
While the others growled and shrieked.
Shocked to see this frightful scene,
A holy man coming from the lake,
Shouted "Do not run; they will overtake.
Stand there, face the surly brutes."
Regaining his composure and lost balance,
Vivekananda stopped at once,
Held his ground and raised his hand.
Stupified and bewildered, the monkeys fled .
Thus awakened, he soon realised -
"When you are threatened by opponents,
Face them with courage and confidence,
Yet, without malice or vengeance.
To win life's battles, have grit and strength,
For, strength is life and fear, worse than death."
**. M.G.Narasimha Murthy
The kind that picks you up and drops you off in a different state of mind
The kind that leaves you lost in the right direction
it has unexpectedly taken
A kiss so purposeful and sound
Even the force of the wind nor the stares of passersby can break it
The kind of kiss the brain is stubborn to erase
because with every eighth minute
the present veers off its natural course
to travel back to that enchanting space
Back to him and me
planted in front of The Liberty Tree
Back to the heated discussion between lips
and to everything felt and poured out in our kiss
To hello and goodbye
To stoked intensity
And to the eloquent expression of elusive chemistry
Your presence in my life is an illness
A cough I can never quite get over
The symptoms of you
Are both the cure and the disease
My breath struggles when you arrive
My breath struggles when you leave
No matter how hard I try to live happily
Your presence in my life is an illness
That kills me everyday
A little more
We were inseparable
We were something else
We were the beginning of an ending
We were painful tears full of joy
We were desire that could not unfold
The only i trusted
The only i truly loved
Spend my life with you i could
Something i never wanted to let go of
Someone I'd like to have my whole life
Not based on intoxication
Not based on the venom we are fed
Not based on pleasure
Had nothing to do with sex
More than anything it was a life long friendship
Maybe you did not feel that way
Maybe you did not care
Maybe you are happier now
Maybe i was one more of the same
Maybe i was just a passtime
Maybe i gave one too many fucks
Whilst you actualy did not care
Anyhow i hope the best for you
Wish you nothing but the best
I would still drink all your pains away
And do anything to make you stay
But truly i was just food for your ego
I always made you feel so great
I was always there for you
You for me? You were more involved in your own shit
I would still confort you evey day
Make a big deal of every detail
I would still be there and truly care
You'd still be my first choice
I know i was always rebound
I dont really care
Still i hope i mattered
Still i hope you cared
Still i hope you feel the same way
Still i hope we end the war
Still i hope I'll see you again
Still i hope we make amends
SHAKESPEARE'S MIND AND ART
In the memorable words of Ben Jonson,
Shakespeare, the great Bard of Avon,
"Is not of an age,
But for all time."
Endowed with a brilliant mind,
Worldwide knowledge and intuition,
He comprehends the changing trends
And creates enthralling situations.
With his amazing knowledge of man's nature,
Creates admirable, everlasting characters
Like Hamlet, Macbeth, Caesar and King Lear,
Rosalind, Miranda, Shylock and Portia.
Skilful blend of wit, irony and humour,
Youthful merriment, song and dance
As well as poignant scenes of sorrow and remorse.
Dialogues lively, powerful and spontaneous
Enrich all his comic and tragic scenes.
In his inimitable way, he describes -
How "..the poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven
And as imagination bodiesforth
The forms of things unknown,
The poet's pen turns to shape
And gives to airy nothing,
A local habitation and a name."
The world cherishes his poems and plays -
A perennial source of delight and solace.
* M. G.Narasimha Murthy
The Disastrous Quake
Hiding behind a hazy cloud
That hung above the darkening earth,
The pale moon looked portentous,
Sensing perhaps the imminent doom!
Nothing stirred, no noise was heard:
The bustling towns sank into slumber
Under the spreading shroud of gloom.
When all of a sudden,
A strange, sub-terranian thunder
The earth's bowels tore,
Pierced the ominous calm
And shook the silent towns
With a hideous roar.
Stately towers and humble homes
Convulsed and crumbled
Behind clouds of dust and smoke.
Wails and moans and screams and groans
Rent the midnight air.
Men and women, mangled and maimed,
Orphaned children, battered and bruised
Crawled from the gaping jaws of Death,
Their erstwhile homes,
Now their graves, streaked with blood.
Dreadful spectacle, heart-rending,
Of splendid towns, centuries old,
Smashed in a moment of nature's wrath,
Reduced to rubble at one ruthless stroke,
Victims injured, on the verge of Death -
A groaning heap of shattered hopes!
*** M.G.Narasimha Murthy,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Every one wishes for a happy new year,
Not without a feeling of lurking fear:
The reason is simple and clear:
The voice of reason very few hear
In the prevailing intolerant atmosphere -
Selfishness, greed, misery,starvation
And heinous crimes in the name of religion!
May the new year end this monstrous trend
And herald a new era of love and compassion
Through the right kind of liberal education.
* April 8, 2016 (Ugaadi) and April 15,2016 (1st Baisakh, in
Bengal) mark the beginning of a new year according to the Hindu calendar.