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Love: A Trilogy and other poems

Love: A Trilogy and other poems
Illustrations by Moonis Ijlal.
Six poems excerpted from Trips and Trials: A Selection of Poems and Songs by Jayshree Misra Tripathi, published by PepperScript 

LOVE 

A Trilogy 


I 

Molten pools, liquid fire 
Dancing in mischief, 
Recollections of joy; 
Ablaze with passion 
Of a deep-rooted anger 
At mankind’s inhumanity; 
Softly aglow with love’s special light, 
Bedimmed, moist, once the passion’s spent; 
Truly the poets have spoken: 
Eyes reflect the soul. 


II 

Sunlight 
Peeping through crevices 
Into a darkened room, 
Dewdrops
Glistening in the morning sun, 
Starlight 
Beckoning into the mystical beyond, 
Raindrops 
Caressing my face in a light evening shower, 
Your eyes are all this to me. 


III 

Injustice still stalks the earth untamed, 
I sense your pain, the futility of it all 
Each time you walk through the door 
My words freeze, suspended mid-air —
the day’s events shrivel, forlorn, unsung, 
Exiled forever. 
But I do not despair, Life goes on. 
We now find peace in pregnant silence, 
Sipping tea on the terrace, so civilized, 
Growing older tentatively. 
Your eyes flicker, mine respond: 
So much is left unsaid
For another time, another day. 
ls it already too late? 
How am I to interpret this transition? 
With the mercy of a Woman 
Or the sudden anguish 
Of a Child?




LOVELESS

Lost Sunsets 


Will you miss me when I am gone? 
The soft curve of my wrinkled cheek, 
My fragrance at dawn? 
Will you recall all the moments
Of our family, 
Travel, laughter and song, 
Listening to melodies in alien lands? 
Or will you frown, reflecting upon my constant need 
For perfection, in an imperfect world? 
Idealistic, frantic, seeking approval, 
Always placing others’ needs, before our own? 
Will you miss the moments we missed
As we plodded on, decade by
decade? 
In the quiet shadow of evensong, I ask you, 
Do you miss me while I am still here? 
I apologise for all our lost sunsets, 
But you owe me too.........words, just words of faith.


LAMENT 

The Trailing Wife 

My entrance — beside him, 
Ivory brocade Banarasi saree, 
Glittering jhumkas
Golden bangles, jingle jangle 
Rings on my fingers and toes, 
Elicit nods, 
Affirmative Words, 
Power by Default begets Cocktail smiles. 
Apologies! 
Stalwart, feisty 
In the realm of 
Unknown gods, 
Goddesses, 
Repeat after me 
Or him, or her, 
“Really, but really, not really?” 
Non-sequitur Discourses — 
I listen 
Often in covert disdain.
Two steps back, Halt! 
Guilty as charged —   
Non-designated person. 
Futile moments reflect 
Academia interrupted, 
Hemingway, Neruda, missing you. 
Converse — non-political 
Smile social. 
The milieu insensitive 
Ignorant, askew. 
Heart beats 
Mark time, 
Crescendo chatter. 
I falter, gasp 
Puffs of air 
Smother, choke, 
No exit too near, 
Fall in line. 
The Trailing Wife’s Life
Undefined.




LUST

The Yearning 


Boredom breeds disdain for mindless chatter. 
I seek a diversion, adopt tactical manoeuvres, 
Glide past the maddening soiree. 
Now, smiling softly, eyes a twinkle, I shuffle daintily, 
As in the distance, 
the French glass panes beckon. 
Freedom, You are much adored. 
But wait, I cannot deceive You. 
Traipsing along beyond pregnant tables 
Overflowing with succulent cuisine, 
Gastronomic delights, tomorrow’s Page 3, 
I quickly dart behind the brocade drapes,
Presumably for a breath of night air 
Or a glimpse of the glimmering lights below? 
Hush, inhale gently, lips open ever so slightly, inhale — 
Swirl the lemon roundels in my tall glass of crushed juniper berries 
And liquid Indian quinine, 
Smile at the figures near me 
outlined by moonshine, 
But, hush, hush, no one must know my heart’s desire, 
Covertly yearned, my Lust 
For second-hand smoke!


LOSS

Farewell 


I must leave you...... 
And so I grieve here, in my Garden, 
As the purple araliya flowers swirl down 
To rest upon the verdant bed 
We have often trespassed together. 

Rainclouds scatter. 

A sudden turn of events, 
plans misfire. 
Engrossed in deep thought, 
You caress me adieu, 
Vying with the tempered winds, 
That fan my emotions, 
Into splinters of yellow, mauve and pink, 
To still silently descend and expire
When Nature wills it is due. 

The seven sisters shrilly declare 
Their secret, never to be told, 
Chase away the cuckoo as the bee-eater 
Contemplates the prey it holds, 
I unfold my shade, for you to share. 
These flowers are not for my hair 
For you to gently breathe upon. 

Temple flowers, serene, symmetrical beauty, 
May only the Supreme adorn: 
Customs run deep, and I am no disbeliever. 

Dusk flees into the night 
As I pace this land. 
My steps measured in restless thoughts. 
I have aged here, grown wise by your side, 
Inhaling, imbibing the fragrance of you, 
I have grasped the strength of your might.
Eons of Serendipity. 
Trepidations 
Now steeped in distrust. 
War is between countries, not Brothers; Nor Lovers — 
There is no peace 
To quell our pounding hearts. 
My eyes close, I hush 
To the rhythm of your heart. 
There will be no sleep tonight, 
No tender reminisces, 
As I must leave you. 

Kindred Land, Kindred Soul. 
Hope wavers. 

We will weather the storms, 
The same tales bemoan, 
And the Tale of Bloodshed, 
In my Garden, ponder on, 
Our love, at odds with fettered pain, 
Never to be disowned.





LIFE

Fire

 
Eternal Flame 
Symbol of Hope, 
Fearless cosmic force 
Dancing in the wind 
With increasing intensity 
Blazing in fury untold, 
Crackling, smouldering 
Mysterious destinies of Life 
To destroy or unfold. 
Incandescent rays 
Kindling embers in a stony hearth, 
Soothing the spirit, 
With warmth, 
On a dark chilly night. 
Fire. 
Harbinger of Life, 
And Death 
Of the Hindu. 
The benevolence of Brahma
The infinite knowledge of Yama 
Hope and fear twinned forever 
In the fusion of cosmic dance. 
Sacred Fire 
Absolve any remnants of fear 
That I may harbour, 
No, that my soul may harbour... 
When You engulf my spirit 
as they light my pyre of sandalwood. 

Comments


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Beautiful emotions and so eloquently expressed
Mala Khullar
Jan 22, 2019 at 06:22