Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

 -- Pablo Neruda

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Closed.

We lasted only
as long as our photo session.

We held shoulders, smiled.
There was a click and a flash,
by our friendship, and
after a few 'takes'
it was over.

I thought I was close to you,
but the truth dawned,
I was closed to you.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

An eye for an eye

An eye for an eye,
may leave the whole world blind.
But,
What if the people are blind
already, so used to the dark
that even a 'tubelight' can
sun-burn their frozen minds!

An eye for an eye,
may leave the whole world blind.
But,
what if people don't wish to see at all,
content with their 'sixth sense',
happy-go-lucky in their 'perfect' world,
they'll be happy to trade one eye
for a decent fee.

An eye for an eye,
may leave the whole world blind.
But,
what if people want a third one,
forever greedy for more,
to rejoice among chaos,
to destruct everything,
everything but themselves.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hotel Moksha

If you think you're dying,
subject to our verification
that you're not lying,
welcome to Hotel Moksha.
You can die here in peace:
Salvation is guaranteed,
completely free, with ease.

Whitewashed room,
with two extra cots.
No food provided,
at no extra cost.
Thugs and Infidels
beware, and be lost !

If you are still alive,
after fifteen days,
we may ask you to leave!
There maybe many ways,
of dying, but ours' the best.
Please join the queue,
there is a test,
before we can
allow you to rest.

Hurry! call today to book
an assured place in heaven,
exclusively at Hotel Moksha.
Limited seats available.

Note:
If you're caught being naughty,
or having too much fun
we'll shove you out
to live under the sun.


Inspired by this article:
http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2014/04/world/india-hotel-death/index.html?utm_source=On+Being+Newsletter&utm_campaign=161b8c34d4-20140502_Leonard_Mlodinow_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1c66543c2f-161b8c34d4-67545261

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life. 


 --- Derek Walcott

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bye forever

 'Bye forever.....'
A rash heartless line.
Uttered by fingertips,
in a silicon fishmarket
where it will stay
for eons.

'....forever.....' ?
as if our future was
a coin merrily thrown
away in the river.
As if all those years
of camaraderie
meant nothing,
nothing at all?

For you, t'was so
easy to say,
as a knife cuts butter,
a molten heart.
And for what? Just
an impersonal jibe?

'Bye forever.....'
I felt as if I was
shoved into a pit,
blindfolded,
hands and feet tied.
A pit, where
I still am.


(Good friends are hard to find. This poem describes the agony felt when a good friend says 'Bye forever...'. Any resemblance to a true incident is purely intended.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 


  -- William Ernest Henley
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Poetry and prose by Avishek Ranjan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License