From the bedside of the sick

From the bedside of the sick
Between the catheter,
And the steel bed,
Lies a continent of
Despair and hope,
The person frail,
Strapped to the
Drip hanging from
A bald pole,
Beyond your reach,
Responding to your
Calls but feebly,
Eyes fluttering a bit,
Reviving hopes in your
Constricted chest,
On a bitter winter morn,
When fog has eaten up
All the new blocks of
Hospital and other
Famous New Delhi landmarks,
And a highway that snakes around and never sleeps,
You see the face that was once a delight,
Now creased and shrunk,
A gentle hand that was held
On occasions so many,
In the Central Park,
Crossing the Times Square,
—And you had looked back so longingly
At the receding Broadway and the
Seventh Avenue, like a child; the thunder of the
Applause still ringing in our ears; we were so happy,
Lazarus and I, the one who rose from the dead, I remember you
Saying, eyes bright, smile playing on those full lips, the pout, so dear
To my pining heart—
In the Trafalgar Square, we had fed the pigeons before it was banned,
Because, somebody higher up thought, the feral pigeons were a health hazard;
And we had crossed the Parisian streets in the night,
L’Avenue des Champs Elysees and the Montmartre fascinated you the most;
And, in Delhi, we shopped in Connaught Place…
…And we read Dr. Faustus, while you slept in the Roman ruins,
And, in the Colosseum, we heard the screams from the 80 AD,
The screams of butchered animals and gladiators from that place,
You had shivered badly and said, I see ghosts that need to be buried;
The rains had caught us surprised in Auschwitz,
And in the plains left by the Khmer Rouge,
I was holding your hands,
I still do,
In this hospital room,
Thinking of you,
Your lovely voice,
Your concerns,
While it rains,
And I hope to take you home,
One of these days,
Where others wait,
And Homer still stares from the wall,
Eyes glassy but all-seeing,
As you had correctly said…

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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:

3 thoughts on “From the bedside of the sick

  1. Louis Kasatkin

    On first reading I was struck immediately by the portmanteau-like structure,one in which the poem gradually and inexorably unpacks its narrative in a series of contiguous reminiscences. In Proust’s ” Remembrance of things past ” , a madeleine cake prompted the author to recall childhood memories , in ” from the bedside of the sick ” ,it is the hospital room itself that occasions a similar process.

  2. Louis Kasatkin

    Destiny Poets’ International Community of Poets ( ICOP ) are pleased to announce that for January 2013 , the following works have been chosen in the categories of Poem of the Month and Highly Commended . January’s Poem of the Month is..” Calcutta Confessions ” – Mukherjee Twish. Highly Commended ( tabulated in alphabetical order) are…*”Astrakhan Collars” – Gina McKnight ; “Awakenings” – Elizabeth Castillo ; “Beautiful Night” – Gopal Lahiri ; ” Could do better” – Steve Keates ; “Far away friend” – Iulia Gherghei ; “From the bedside of the sick” – Sunil Sharma ; “How can I” – Diwakar Pokhriyal ; “Moonflies on my skin” – Reena Prasad ; “Rainbow surfing” – Rahul Aithal ; ” Stand still ” – Sharon Elizabeth Walker ; “This is life” – Nalini Srivastava ; ” Unidentified Voice” – Prakash Dhamala

  3. Abu Siddik

    what strikes me, apart from its remarkable flow of thoughts, is the technique. with ease it begins, as all great poems do, and then by slow strokes readers are led to higher plains, exhausted with their dues, and it ends as ordinarily as it begins. Marvellous!

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