Author Archives: amitapaul

A Future when I’m Not

A future when I’m not
I can clearly imagine
Although it should mean nought
I am quite oddly caught
As I shouldn’t have been
Invested in this plot

Perhaps I think the Earth
And Mankind should survive
To wait for my rebirth
But then is there a dearth
Of planets where to thrive
In many a Universe ?

Now Sonja made me think
About Future and I
Is there really a link ?
Advanced age made me blink
Time quickly passes by
So quite soon I shall sink

And although simple reason
Tells me I won’t be here
For this or other season
The logical cohesion
Perhaps from latent fear
Shows no sign of adhesion

Perhaps I am not honest
For although I imagine
The Future but at best
It isn’t the longest
I’m not in but I’m in
As if a ghostly guest

For I’m the one imagining
Even the Future I’m not in
So without me there is nothing
Now this is not too flattering
Although it falls far short of sin
I fear I am just babbling

( ASA )

Poets in Our Lives


Do you have a Poet in your life ?
Your Son , Daughter or Wife ?
Or a Good Friend or Acquaintance ?
Someone at some distance ?
If not , do you feel the lack ?
That makes you look back ?
It may not be very evident
But every Poem is an event
And every Poet is real
Yet seeking the ideal
Poets are not easy to live with
But interesting to take and give with
If you are yourself a poet , great
But otherwise, importune Fate
To send you a poet around you
You will know when grace has found you !

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Shaardiya Shubhechha

( Festive Greetings )

A lazy morning by a defunct river
Whose mudflats show the monsoon grasses tall
Waving their plumes of Kaasphool large and small
In North Winds causing a delicious shiver

Shaardiya , the Winter Navratra’s here
The Mother Goddess from the snowy peaks
Now lit by the sunrise in golden streaks
Has graciously descended to our sphere

Images of her slaying monstrous evil
As metaphoric as it’s forms are real
Fill all hearts as their belle ideal
For goodness just like evil is primeval

Some fast , most pray , all enjoy holidays
It’s time to introspect or to have fun
Goddess time is special for everyone
All use these holy days in their own ways

Fun outings and street food for all the young
Romance for some culture for others blooms
Markets are happy as their business booms
A song or prayer sits now on every tongue

Little girls prepare to be made much of
On Ashtami , dressed up and fed rich food
Showered with gifts and wished all that is good
Actually worshipped till they all run off

Next day, the Ninth , fasting formally ends
The Goddess slays the demon , and all’s well
At last the night when hearts in peace can dwell
The day that for all sorrows makes amends

Then Bijoya , Vijay Dashmi , Victory Day
When Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarn
Slain by the arrows of Rama’s force burn
In public parks , and happiness holds sway

The humble joys of sucking sugarcane
Cooking and eating winter cauliflower
Nibbling on radish while the grown ups hover
Children enjoy and adults don’t refrain

The Goddess leaves , the joy gives way to tears
But we all know that she will come again
On Earth , there is no pleasure without pain
Ma’s parting smile allays our lingering fears

Shubho Bijoya we cry with strong belief
That Evil ever loses against Good
This basic tenet once more understood
Suffering Humanity finds deep relief

Shaardiya Shubbhecha to you ,Reader Friends !
The very best of wishes for the Season !
Faith gives us Joy and Hope far beyond Reason –
Your Poet with advance Shubho Bijoya ends !

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

The Curse of Shallowness

I was trying as usual to write a poem
And frustrated with it as happens sometimes
When I heard a voice saying , “ Let it not work !
How can the secrets of Life be revealed ?
How can the complex strands of conditioning
Of fresh impulse and of truth and what’s real
Be left to pour out in the ink of her pen ?
Who would believe in Fate and in God
In powers- beyond- us ,the supernatural
And other dimensions than what Man can see
If all were expressed in Poetry ?
Let Powers Unknown on her tongue and her pen
Tie reins and make sure she loses her yen
Let her try simplify
Or rhyme beat time
Or teeter on metre
Or tiptap on rap
The impulse will loosen its grip slowly die
And she’ll say , who cares a fig , not I !
Let rich complex fact her pen elude !
Let everything come out basic and crude !
What would she do ? Invoke intuition
And actually bring a thought to fruition ?
Demystify Soul’s Mystery
Weave a Timeless Tapestry
That cannot be , where shall Spirits flee ?
As the words from her grip fly
Simplify , Sprites , simplify
Simplify complaint to keening
Simplify till nought has meaning
And nothing’s left to signify ! “

Dejected , I write . Then stop .
That’s it . I need no other prop.
Life in all its complexity
Mocks at my plain simplicity .

Come ,Muse,come,and do your best
To fight this out , then go to rest !
Come, Impatience , and do your worst
With shallowness, I am accurst.

( ASA )

Choice

The illusion appeared at times like a shadow in a well
Where one usually sees just dark water :
A child’s bright face undulating on small waves
Then dissolving and disappearing in calignosity;
Or youth’s visage luminous with enthusiasm
Or love , the adumbration of advancing age.
Like a silver coin at the bottom struck by a chance beam
Of sunlight, the only real thing, that too
Seen only as in a glass, darkly ,
Glinted Poetry, and I grasped it.
Some few others ,I saw also , pilgrims at that well . Perhaps it was Samhain. Perhaps the wild-eyed grey-haired man
Was a water- diviner, the woman in green , a witch .
It meant little to me who they were though we exchanged glances .
All I know is, amidst uncertainty,
And the not knowing of who or what was steering me where ,
If it was a steering, not a blind drift ,
Amid monstrous fears and glorious hopes,
And utter, helpless confusion, and time passing,
What I clutched at clutched me,
And like entangled crabs,neither would let go,
Nor has, till now . I chose poetry because poetry
Revealed itself, chose me, and so I live ,
And there are stars, and mossy- stoned waters, and birds, and glory, and tears.

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

The Glass Palace of Mandalay

( A Canzone )

Deep inside lies the Glass Palace
Deep in Mandalay fort is its place
Irrawaddy flows behind the Glass Palace
Crumbling royalty in a Glass Palace
Doesn’t know how little time remains
Before it must leave the Glass Palace
In an oxcart leave the Glass Palace
For exile is fated in Konbaung history
And in King Thibaw’s personal history
Nevermore shall he see the Glass Palace
And his dynasty must separate its story
From now on from his country’s story

It is a November night’s story
An ill- fated night for the palace
It is an eighteen eighty five story
It is an unfortunate battle story
Though hardly a fight took place
It is a British walkover story
It is a Burmese defeat story
The memory of meteors remains
The memory of Comet Biela’s remains
“ The night stars fell out of the sky “ history
The night Burmese royalty became history

For the Glass Palace had a glorious history
It’s gilded teak pillars are fabled in story
It’s mirrored walls reflecting history
It’s ruby- jade ceilings another history
All in all a coruscating palace
Housing the Konbaung dynasty history
The Bee Throne witness to nuptial history
Where Chief Queen’s selection took place
Whence other buildings marked their place
With glass markers.But British history
Of vandalism loot and ruin now remains
The Glass Palace reduced to ruins and remains

The place feels hollow : emptiness remains
The blank black vastness of falling is in place
The looters have gone : lootedness remains
A statue of two royals among the remains
Painted into a corner tells the story
Of dreadful isolation, of sightless remains
Of Chinthe lions, of neckless remains
Of Swan harps, pocked floors of the Palace
Ruby eyes, gold , gems gone from the Palace
The hacked, pried,dug out, scraped remains
Telling stories of a vandalised place
Personal loot the Empire can’t place

The dethroned royals were given a place
A hilltop bungalow that still remains
In Ratnagiri in India from which place
They moved to a Palace in a nearby place
Such was their exiled history
The Glass Palace , ruined , is still in place
In Mandalay , the unfortunate place
Some successors live , that’s another story
And many writers have retold their story
But Hpaan Nandaw is no longer their place
Neither Glass Palace nor Royal Palace
It’s a Museum now , the old Glass Palace.

There are legends about the Glass Palace
Of Mandalay , yes , there’s many a story
Of interest to students of history
And to this day , there still remains
An air of sadness about the place

( ASA )


What shall I write for you ?

( An interactive poem )

What shall I write for you ?
What would you like to hear ?
Something to bring you near
As if you wrote it too

As if you wrote it yourself
As if you thought it too
As if this is how you
Would speak to a little elf

As if you were enchanted
And once again a child
In woods beauteous and wild
As if all was as you wanted

I would only say the words
Leave you to fill in meanings
Like precious golden gleanings
From harvest fields by birds

( Inspired by Ghalib who wrote :
Dekhna taqreer ki lazzat ke jo usne kaha
Mainey ye jaana ke goya ye bhi mere dil mein hai
Meaning
See the beauty of the discourse : All that he said
It seemed to me as if this ( or he )is in my heart, as well )

Centering : Faith, Gratitude

I must confess to a faith- centred life
Without faith, I would be quite hollow
It’s nothing really that should cause strife
We all choose our own paths to follow

The Centre lies deep within myself
It’s the way I relate to the Universe
It’s what lets me ignore power and pelf
It’s the Ocean in which I all immerse

It’s in faith that I love it’s in faith I create
It’s in faith hope and love that I offer
All I can so that my journey I may complete
And God’s gifts back to Him thus proffer

I give thanks for all the beautiful souls
Whom I’ve met in this life’s journey
We are all God’s part yet we also are wholes
So let’s joust while we can at this tourney

There are times for joy , times for fortitude
There are times to live , times to die
But today for me is a day of gratitude
I say “ Thanks” , even as time goes by

( ASA )

A Poet’s a Poet

There was no inspiration
No new enlightenment
No burning aspiration
No deep emotion pent

There was no new word
There was no new thought
No music was heard
No bright glimpse caught

No flower no song
No tug at the heart
No impulse so strong
As to make eyes smart

And yet the desire
To express was strong
This lack of a fire
In sweet measured song

A poet’s a poet
Poetry is his task
He needs must do it
No one has to ask

As natural as breath
Is song to songbirds
In life as in death
A prayer soars skywards

( ASA )

Derelict

One man’s shipwreck
Another’s treasure trove
And thus we bedeck
Our dull lives with love

Do flotsam and jetsam
The blue seas behove?
Not now that we cram
So much in, and shove

The Earth’s derelict
Such greed humans drove
Broke Nature’s edict
Wounded wings of the dove

How may we still salvage
The nook and the grove ?
Float bouys from wreckage
Send prayers up above

( ASA )