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The Beauty of Meaning and other poems

The Beauty of Meaning and other poems
The Beauty Of Meaning

I wish to celebrate the sense that is recovered, 
joy that is found, within the beauty of meaning. 

I wish to write: 

Like the gentle jaws of a mother tiger, 
you pick me up, and move me away,
to the safe refuge, of understanding. 

I wish to declare:

You are the nourishment that feeds the thirst,
that is not quenched by love, water, or sleep.

I wish to confess:

You live within me, like an eternal dawn, 
like the light, about to happen. 

I wish to sing:

You live within me, 
like beauty lives joyfully,
within the sad nest  
of poetry. 

I wish to say: 

You are the beauty of meaning, 
or perhaps, it's other, 
that cannot be defined in words,
the meaning of beauty.

Simultaneous Births


I

To be born in this world,
in a country, a region, a neighbourhood,
in a house, overlooking a street,
in a family. 

To be born in a planet, within a system of a star.
To be born in a galaxy, within a universe.

To be born in time,
and space.
To be born with heart, mind,
and consciousness.

To be born into a religion, a culture,
and a language.

To be born, 
with a fate.

II

All such births, which we cannot choose, 
are ordinary, everyday affairs. 

They happen together, simultaneously,
like drops of rain, petals of a rose. 

But the real birth, only happens,
with the flowering,
of understanding,
of wisdom.

A wisdom that tells us:

We are born as someone, from somewhere,
who is everyone, from everywhere.

The mind that unifies, is more real,
than the thought that divides.

We are waves of a single sea,
flowers of a single garden.  

Us and them, is for the ignorant.
Humanity, is for the wise. 


From Time to Time

From time to time, 
time misbehaves.
From time to time 
it drags you out 
like a reluctant prisoner, 
from dungeons 
of my memory.

You are brought to me 
in chains,
made of metal, fire 
and a simple twist of fate. 
You once meant love, 
now you mean distance. 
 
I think about you. I remember. 

The weight of absence
opens the door
to a vacant gaze. 
Moisture gathers in my mind.

Rain of remembrance 
create a hazy puddle 
in the chasm 
left by your footprint.


Lady of Age

Every day she lives, by dying a bit more.
She has none to transfer her love.
Her children are settled abroad;
her grandchildren,
she had seen them grow,
only in photographs. 

So she pours all her affection 
to a family of crows,
living in a tree, 
beyond the iron grillwork  
of her window  
facing west.     

She feeds them every day.
They respond by coming close. 
She looks at the beaks, 
the claws, the feathers.
Then she stops for a while. 
She feels but cannot realise, 
colors of crows — 
metallic blue, black and gray —
are colors of isolation, 
of exile,
her new curtains,
and her aged life. 

She knows, yet she doesn't know,
perhaps she has been abandoned for good. 

To ease herself she visits the market,
to look around, to feel crowded.
To hear her own voice she bargains, 
and smiles warmly at passing children.

In the evening, like an evening, 
she leans back into shadows.
An album of photographs  
rests on her lap 
with immense weight  
of a dead child.  

And then she feels the old tiredness 
of seeing her faded life,
with eyes,
misted with tears. 

But one day it will end. 
One day it will end forever. 

Certainty of death gives her courage, 
to walk to her kitchen, to water her plants, 
to live another day and light another fire.

Sundarbans

The dwarf forests, flat and dense,
surrounded by waters of river and sea,
circled by soft mud, mangrove roots,
and occasional footprints of the tiger,
have a quality of eternity woven,
within its texture of expanse.

Here, time is immense, and slow.
Every flow of thought, 
and movement,
has to cut through 
an invisible fabric of consciousness,
that is moist, cool and liquid.

The silence too, is vast, and aware.
Every sound, even a bit,
has a clarity of sharpness. 

Everything lives in the presence of eternity.
And life flows with the laws of nature.

And when the sun
sinks into the horizon, 
Life gets shrouded by a night, 
that is dense and fierce.

The tigers are on the prowl, then.

The villages bolt their bravery.

One or two dim solar bulbs,
rage their pitiful resistance,
against the onslaught,
of stalking darkness.  

And somewhere deep inside 
the territory of predators, 
the honey gatherers — 
with their love and fear 
of gods and tigers —
prepare to enter 
the vivid realm 
of strange dreams,
which always occur, 
when they sleep 
on their wooden boats
on water.


Excerpted from the manuscript of selected poems titled Love and the Other Madness by Devdan Chaudhuri

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