The tragic gaps
widening as ever—

between a state of feverish dreaming and contrarian truth

idealism and reality in opposing cycles, perpetual

hope and negation; negation and hope

strife in peace and otherwise.

History—pickled and preserved in museums of minds, places and textbooks composed as per the expediency of a winning force, to be defeated and to rot like Ozymandias
the long pendulum swinging between what- was-to-be, what-was and what-was-not-to-be, nudging towards a future dripped in the grays of uncertainties, like the mists covering the far-off summits, there, yet not there, but visible to the inner eye of an awakened mind.

Memory of a promise, yet unfulfilled
the middle-class primness respectability manners and
maintained by the slave labour kept under the whip and proselytized by promise of heaven and a kingdom for the poor up above—somewhere

the costly life-style of the cruelty, on free estates—in the land of rising democracy
the white privilege posed for camera—for posterity
formal, affluent; men assertive proud; women with dainty caps and demure smiles, decked up, the dolls of the colonial narrative
the power/dominance of a wealthy section and superior colour— framed by a sturdy house with porticoes and discussions of Rousseau and Voltaire in alien settings of dark plantations in a continent over run by exiles
now that splendour—all a shard buried

that vista viewed from the deck of time
the moments of today and gone
lingering or lapsed in the sinking marshes

unlikely combos—meshed together as crushed seeds
in an urban yard gone to the dogs, the master/hunter missing

a poetic mind remembering the futility
of all such ideologies thriving on bloodshed
and inequalities.

(Inspired by Louis Kasatkin’s poem: Lamentations)**

** Editorial Footnote
The original poem referenced can be viewed on this Site.

This entry was posted in Poetry on by .

About Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: For more details, please visit the website:

6 thoughts on “Chasms

    1. Sunil Sharma Post author

      Thanks dear Louis.
      Learnt a lot from you.
      This poem, if possible, be placed along with your Lamentations, as it is inspired by your acerbic verse recalling history and meshing it with memory.
      Great site!


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