Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Agony came from nowhere
Like a tropical whirlwind
And blew away my thatched roof
To the last straw and shook me to my roots,
Leaving me like a dazed babe.

Agony, like receding ground water
Took me by desperation,
When I stretched
My root to its breaking point
To hold on to the last disappearing drop,
With my stems drooping
And the branches and trunk
Shrunk by an unexpected pestilence.

Agony took me unawares,
Like a wild anaconda,
Tightening its deadly grip
On my frail body and spirit,
Thereby cracking my ribs
In ones and twos and threes.

I helplessly I pleaded with the reptile
Not to relish my predicament
And in stead show mercy
By devouring me all at once.

Nobody Knows

Nobody knows,
Not even myself
As to why a green leaf
Fell apart from the mighty tree.
Some say,
The trunk was tender.
Others say,
The villain was the west wind.
But everyone was silently sad
To see it lost
Among a plethora of dry leaves
Tossing their heads below
On the swollen sod.

Nobody knows,
Not even myself
As to why suddenly
My vision got blurred
And I could not locate
My favourite starlet
Even during starry- nights.
My mom terms it
The handiwork of an evil-spirit
That eyed on me.

Nobody knows,
Not even myself
As to why the poet
Stopped composing
The last couplet of the great epic,
Some say, he has gone crazy
Others say, his fountain-pen was broken,
Yet some other say, that
His heart was broken.

Nobody knows,
Not even myself
As to why the cuckoo went dumb.
Some say, the spring ditched him.
Others blame it on winter
But all wondered
How was it that last year
He sang deep-throated
When there was neither spring nor Winter?

Nobody knows,
Not even myself
As to why they parted
Supposedly on a fine morning
With throats choked and eyes moist.
Some say, they parted silently.
Other say, they did mutter some words
Of the nature of suppressed whispers.
As she turned her face
And he looked downward.
Everybody looked askance
But nobody asked.

R.K. Das


No more I toil to get out
Of the shadow
Which thickens
Every passing moment.

Strangely enough,
The urge to come out of it
Has given way
To a desire to languish in it.

I took forward to a
Splendid metamorphosis
Of the shadow
Like the one under
The great Peepal tree from where
A shaft of light divine
Enlightened the universe.

R.K. Das

Monday, June 21, 2010

At the level Crossing

Here I come to a halt
At the closed doorstep
Of the level crossing
On my daily path.

From the ashes
Of the driver’s seat
I rise like a Phoenix
And in no time get lost in the remains
Of a drowsy past.

There, I delicately felt
The dry petals of a red rose,
The clumsy lines of a crumpled love-letter,
And broken smiles of a pair of white lips
Pronouncing a few unintelligible
Alphabet at the parting time.

And I lend my anxious ears
To the dying echo of her
Receding footsteps overtaking me
During a heavy moment.

I also remember
How I pitied all and sundry
Who hastened to console me,
For they claimed to decipher
The language of my tears silently flowing
From the Gangotri of my eyes.

Here I wake up
On hearing the deafening honk
And metallic commotion
Of throbbing automobiles at my back,
As the level crossing opens
Before my eyes.

R.K. Das

Ah! You Didn't Know?

In an evening of events,
He and I met together
In the City-Coffee House
And broke the silence of a millennium
Over a steaming-cup of coffee.

He spoke and I listened.
Slowly I discovered
The iron-gates of the castle-in-ruins
Opened up with a crackle before my eyes
And the rusty past shed its darkness
To a shining glory.

He identified the strange and precious gems
Stored in the womb of the ruins
And I, on my part, recognised them
In their antique glory.

Encouraged by his profound knowledge
And sense of beauty I thought;
I could at least show him
The mundane vapours
Flying from the hot cup of coffee.

He observed them,
And admonishing me for
My idiocy, said:

“You thought they’re ordinary vapours,
Nay, they are ephemeral curls of steam
Heading upwards
Like benign souls!”
And further added
“These curls of steam are cycles
Of birth and death,
You didn’t know”?

I said, “No, I didn’t know,
Now that you said,I know.”
R.K Das

A few drops of dew

Bound by earth and sky,
The thin clouds of fertile dew-drops
In the space of an unfathomable vacuum
Assembled in ones and twos
Over my semi-bald head,
Promising a heavy downpour
On the pale leaves of grass at my feet,
During an autumnal twilight.

I was amused to perceive
How those mere dew-drops
Could regenerate
So much greenery
Here, there, everywhere
And even on my bald- head.

I really marvelled
At the sight of those dew-drops
Of such multiple colours
Creating a cascading effect
In their beauty and significance
Which I adored
And many a time imbibed.

At my distant horizon
On the dark boughs
Of a parched gulmohar tree
Red petals appeared
And singing birds perched
And surprisingly I could hold
The fragrance of thin hairs
Grown around her nape
With a solid passion,
Singing nursery-rhymes
To utmost perfection.

In the empty corridors of my ribs
Broken desires and disabled opportunities
Raised their wrinkled scalps
For a few drops of dew.

But, alas! I didn’t know
Such ethereal dew-drops
Could feel so insecureMerely at the sight

The Grass Flower

For years I have been walking
On the familiar
And not-so-familiar
Paths of the city.

The hissing of the
High-tech automobiles,
The rustle of the brisk feet
On the cemented pavements,
The whispers of walkers and
The whistles of the traffic police
Independent of the honking of
Speeding vehicles pierce my ears
And the extra-redness of the gulmohar
From the side-walks hits my eyes.

Over the years
Perhaps I have not cared
To discover you,
My pretty grass-flower,
I now suddenly behold
You, in full-bloom
At a season-less time
Right at my backyard.

As time changes its shade,
Dusty and sweaty days
Get fossilized into
Unidentified pages of history
And starry and lonely nights
Evaporate together
With the morning dew-drops.

You, my miniature grass-flower
Metamorphose yourself before my eyes
Into the significant dimension
Of Krishna’s cosmic image,
Full of ethereal magnificence
And earthly fragrance.

You pervade the vastness
Of my world, my sky, my dream
In a helpless moment.

RK Das