Poem

The Lion’s Truth

Your highness, you rule!
[Source – Pixabay]

What shade is the lion’s

Truth? Grassland golden, hunting prey in red

Marking the dark night black

Soaking in wet sky blue

Of the stream, cloudy, stony, fish green

And scent heavy wind’s white

Smelling dry muddy earth’s brown

Resting, playing shadows under the sun’s yellow

Colouring death not in sorrow

Mankind behind great walls checks

Time, never finding how come his truth

Is different from the lion’s.

“It is not, truth is truth, same for all”, said the lion.
[Source – Pixabay]

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In The Sundarbans

Poem

[Source – Pixabay]

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Tides rise to meet the sky

In the Sundarbans

As the sky dives frequently

To borrow some condiments

From its marshy islands

For making rain;

Often overdoing, then hitting

The Sundarbans

With cyclones and storms

Flooding itself, the sky

Meets the tides

In the Sundarbans.

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The Bengal Tiger
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

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Flora and fauna there

Love drama

And everyone’s a fan of the Bengal Tiger,

A method actor,

Its every move, meaningful.

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And us folks, we take our boats

And get busy earning a living or sightseeing

(Hands tied, backs bent, loans taken, empty stomachs

Populated, polluted, dripping blood, we work so hard to make a living)

When we can simply live,

Live simply, now, here and there

In the Sundarbans.

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[Source – Pixabay]


Read more about the Sundarbans and also, “Explore Rohan Chakravarty’s Ecologically Conscious Map Of The Sunderbans.”

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Watch these insightful short documentaries to understand the Sundarbans better –

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Mushroomed – An Ode to the Fungi

Mushroomed mushrooms are talking!
[Source – Pixabay]

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Little umbrellas, soft buddies beaming in damp, dark sites

In the jungle, have more to say, they’re saying now

Through the wood wide web, the underground kites

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Fungi flies, less on whim, on purpose more, humble and old

Hyphen hyphae, thready threads, join the words spoken

By a baby plant and those tall giant trees old

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Together, symbiotic, altruistic, in harmony and love with growth

Of one and all; living, dying, killing like the Armillaria

Its dear host trees, devouring forests, sailing forth

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Layering layered humus, rich, fertile, full with nutrients timely

Rejuvenating the drunken dull poisonous air

Feeding on persistent toxins, stubborn plastic finely

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Breaking, storing carbon in the soil, toiling freely, fungi

And friends mineralise earth, unburdening it quietly

“Decomposing since one billion years“, said fossils of fungi

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Its fruits – mushrooms – mushroom pleasantly,

Well aware of the change hitting the planet

And the mighty meets, sees the ground, underground naturally

There the mycelia run, binding all in one

Showing, nicely, what is to be done.

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Oyster mushroom mycelium growing in a petri dish on coffee grounds.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

Fungi marched onto land more than a billion years ago. Many fungi partnered with plants, which largely lacked these digestive juices. Mycologists believe that this alliance allowed plants to inhabit land around 700 million years ago. Many millions of years later, one evolutionary branch of fungi led to the development of animals.

― Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

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A group of elongated cells (hyphae) from the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

I see the mycelium as the Earth’s natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks. Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.

― Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

Watch these short clips and be amazed –

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Read more about our – neither plants nor animals – friends, the fungi –

A Billion-Year-Old Fungus May Hold Clues to Life’s Arrival on Land

The Untapped Potential of the Amazon’s Plastic-Eating Mushroom

Soil Carbon Sequestration and its Relationship with Climate Change

Benefits of Fungi for the Environment and Humans


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The Great Indian House

Short Commentary
Old gold!
[Image by Vignesh Murugan from Pixabay]

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The great Indian house, stationary, offering shelter to its inhabitants, was no less than a monster said the poet.

With its welcoming smile and thousand arms it ushered the foreigners to come and stay and to become one with its culture – resistance withered itself away gradually. The time of Rajas, Shahanshahs, travellers, envoys, merchant kings, queens all lived and looted and loved this great Indian house.

This monster’s burning red eyes never blinked said the poet, not even when its inhabitants, its children set each other on fire. It swallowed these deaths, warmly, and sang lost songs.

Who met this monster once couldn’t leave, those who left, came back, every single time, as matter or chatter.

The monster – and so maybe for the want of a better word – fits and breaks the spectrum simultaneously, it is a monster but not evil or kind, not entirely, said the poet.

Reminiscing, hating and loving it, the poet’s poem tells that the great Indian house, with all its filthy incongruities and slow, glossy loveliness, is alive, apparently stationary, yet on the move, grappling impalpably with every idea and action that it warmly, blindly has gathered, is gathering.

The great Indian house when hit by a tempestuous storm, though handling it eventually, even now follows the tradition of first welcoming and serving it hot tea.


A modernist bilingual poet, linguist, essayist, folklorist, philologist, translator and scholar, A. K Ramanujan ‘wrote of the home left behind with a remote passion and irony’. Born in Mysore, Ramanujan moved to the US in the 1960s; settled there, he would remark to friends that he was the hyphen between Indo-American.

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Once upon a time…
[Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay]

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His translation of the Kannada novel Samskara and a Tamil bhakti poetry, Speaking of Siva, into English and the essays like ‘Who needs folklore?’ and ‘Is there an Indian way of thinking?’ allowed the readers to see regional literature in a new light.

The following poem, that inspired this blog post, appeared in Ramanujan’s second collection of poems titled ‘Relations‘ in 1971.


Small-scale Reflections on a Great House

by
A K Ramanujan

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Sometimes I think that nothing

that ever comes into this house

goes out. Things that come in everyday

to lose themselves among other things

lost long ago among

other things lost long ago;

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lame wandering cows from nowhere

have been known to be tethered,

given a name, encouraged

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to get pregnant in the broad daylight

of the street under the elders’

supervision, the girls hiding

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behind windows with holes in them.

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Unread library books

usually mature in two weeks

and begin to lay a row

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of little eggs in the ledgers

for fines, as silverfish

in the old man’s office room

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breed dynasties among long legal words

in the succulence

of Victorian parchment.

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Neighbours’ dishes brought up

with the greasy sweets they made

all night the day before yesterday

*

for the wedding anniversary of a god,

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never leave the house they enter,

like the servants, the phonographs,

the epilepsies in the blood,

sons-in-law who quite forget

their mothers, but stay to check

accounts or teach arithmetic to nieces,

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or the women who come as wives

from houses open on one side

to rising suns, on another

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to the setting, accustomed

to wait and to yield to monsoons

in the mountains’ calendar

*

beating through the hanging banana leaves

And also anything that goes out

will come back, processed and often

with long bills attached,

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like the hooped bales of cotton

shipped off to invisible Manchesters

and brought back milled and folded

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for a price, cloth for our days’

middle-class loins, and muslin

for our richer nights. Letters mailed

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have a way of finding their way back

with many re-directions to wrong

addresses and red ink-marks

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earned in Tiruvalla and Sialkot.

And ideas behave like rumours,

once casually mentioned somewhere

they come back to the door as prodigies

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born to prodigal fathers, with eyes

that vaguely look like our own,

like what Uncle said the other day:

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that every Plotinus we read

is what some Alexander looted

between the malarial rivers.

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A beggar once came with a violin

to croak out a prostitute song

that our voiceless cook sang

all the time in our backyard.

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Nothing stays out: daughters

get married to short-lived idiots;

sons who run away come back

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in grand children who recite Sanskrit

to approving old men, or bring

betel nuts for visiting uncles

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who keep them gaping with

anecdotes of unseen fathers,

or to bring Ganges water

in a copper pot

for the last of the dying

ancestors’ rattle in the throat.

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And though many times from everywhere,

recently only twice:

once in nineteen-forty-three

from as far as the Sahara,

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half -gnawed by desert foxes,

and lately from somewhere

in the north, a nephew with stripes

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on his shoulder was called

an incident on the border

and was brought back in plane

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and train and military truck

even before the telegrams reached,

on a perfectly good

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Chatty afternoon.

*

And the saga continues…
[Image by Victoria_Regen from Pixabay]

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Pourquoi – Why?

Dialogue Poem
Who said am deaf? Who?
(Yummy candy)
Tell me! Loudly, louder! Eh?
[Image by Nicole Pineda from Pixabay]

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Pourquoi, say poh-ko-aa… means why

In French. Why? Yes, why! No! Why

French, all of a sudden?

In between an investigation?

Seems like a classic case of burglary to me.

Oi!! Footsteps! Oh! You stepped on the clue!

Huh, sorry, I did? Where?

No, oh, wait I’ll stand here

Or should I stand next to you?

Stay put you… you!


Pourquoi, say poh-ko-aa… means why

In French. Not again! But why?

Caleb please, stick to English!

Note down his name, he is oddly palish

Staring at us, a nut-job!

Ah-ha! His handprints on the door knob!

But he is the one who called, he is the owner.

No, he is not the owner!

Is he? Well, we’ll see, we’ll see.

Oh, a bloodied knife near the shrubbery?


Pourquoi, say poh-ko-aa… means why

In French. Why are you telling me this, Caleb? Why?

A lovely app, see here, language learning app!

Get lo– Why’s the tap wearing a cap?

Where? There! Oh, red spots again, call back-up, this is a gang—

(Bang, bang, bang!)

(Footsteps, door, footsteps)


Caleb, told you, he’s a nut-job, shot himself

“You f-f-found the knif-f-fe, cap on the tap, f-f-footprints, the deaf-f-f

Cat saw me, aaaahhh, am dying, am dead, am dying, am dead,

But of-f-ficers, know this-s-s, the dead body… is dead…”

What!!?? Hey, hey!! Wake up! Oh! Caleb, he killed someone, he

Is, was a murderer! I’ll call the team, give me the key!

Am not staying with a dead body, you stay here, it is always me!

Why? Tell me, why? WHY?

Pourquoi, say poh-ko-aa… and you’ll know why

In French.

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Darkness and Pleonasm

Nonsense Poetry
“Dear giraffes, turn around and look up”, said the moon.
Pleonasm – the use of more words than necessary to convey meaning.
[Source – Pixabay]

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Dark night, night dark

Like thundering clouds sans lightening

And we missed, skipped the enlightening

Message. “You damn fool, think hard,

You didn’t hear anything?”

Lub-dub, lub-dub, quack-dub,

“Quack dub?” Yes, the darkest darkness

Followed us that we failed to see in the darkness.


Lights off, there was no light!

Scared, we threw our candles away,

Out of fear we trembled,

And threw our matchboxes haphazardly,

A few hit my head, I caught one silently

And hid it in the fish tank for emergency.

(The fish lit a bonfire! They tried to!)


“What?” Madness ruled us, yes, madness!

Madly we wept and stood still in one corner,

Or was it the centre? Uncertain, afraid,

We slept quickly, peacefully and

Woke to see the dark knight

Who had come to return our torch light;

Said, it helped him cross the teetering bridge

Twice, for he came to return our torch light.

Listen, not a lie this, later we heard it, all of us,

The breaking of the teetering bridge

And a desperate goodbye.


“It was the dark knight!” O-but we

Couldn’t see anything for our torch light

Died along with that goodbye-cry,

Both engulfed by the darkness and its hands,

Crushed under its dark feet, that we failed to see

In the darkness. For clarity now

We have all blindfolded ourselves.


After heavy rain, hail storm, whispering winds,

We can now feel some warmth,

Feels like the sun, but who knows-ya,

Not us, for it is impossible to see-ya,

Especially in this darkness. “Ahhh!”

(The one who said ‘ahhh’, rushed away.)

Rushed away? In such darkness?

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Interviewing A Busy Ant

Poem
To the right, a bit left, eh, is it fine now, here, I will pose, click now.
[Source – Pixabay]

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Death, destruction, war and earthquake,

Out of these

The path to earthquake site we take.

We are on the move, us ants,

Closer to the ground, we can,

And we will sense tremors and flee,

For it is natural, O giant ban,

“You mean man”, oh, yes, sorry;

We will help the broken, the crushed,

We will liberate the dead.

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Look that’s my uncle, aunty and foster paa-paa

Walking in a line, and my sister is at the top-aa (of)

The horizontal pyramid,

Our grit strategy, forward march, pebbles, and pray,

March, pebbles, pray, for all who died.

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Ants’ reverence pheromone, invisible, strong

Makes a trail that we then track, and tread along

It, until we reach our… “food?”,

No, you want to be on that trail mat?

“Man”, eh, if yes, silly fool,

You must change the track, straighten your hat,

Tap your shoes, turn, leave, then take a right.

Us ants are on the path to the earthquake site,

“But why – last question!”

For it is natural – earthquakes come and go,

Wars don’t, it’s a destination

For some; unfair bullets hide and kill and lo,

No cliques ever enter the battlefield,

Or maybe they do;

A handshake to shield

And seal, a business deal.

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Look, us ants are moving in speed,

The earth is muddy there, but we’ll lead,

“You’re doing a good deed.”

Good? It is only natural.

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The Poet, The Sound

Poems

Phases: A Collection of Poetry

A phase is defined as any stage in a series of events or a process of development; while we all go through different phases in life, at times we either forget to notice or simply become fearful of transitions, inadvertently being ignorant about the fact that this phenomenon is universal. In this short poetry collection, the blogger has attempted to capture this subtle yet powerful phenomenon – phases that are observable in every journey undertaken.

Here are the last two poems from this collection –

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The Muse knows…
[Source – Pixabay]

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The Poet

From the pious to the picturesque,

From the lovelorn to the metaphysical,

The passionate poet enquires about life,

Stock-still like a quiet monument, but alive;

Merging this, that, and all the worlds

Into a rhythmic thought, the words

Together nudge, jerk, rise and fall,

Carrying the mythic, mystic, epic god,

Pulling to and forth and churning

The ink seas; the poet believes in creating.

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Linking the myriad life phases,

The poet sovereign readies

Pen, paper, season and riddles

To record the ever-evanescent time.

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The celebration called life!
[Source – Pixabay]

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The Sound

The trickling, babbling, rippling river,

The chirping, twittering, singing bird,

The whispering, chiming, gliding wind,

The swaying, circling, smiling dancer,

The silken, beaming, talking sun rays,

The messenger moon’s lovestruck sweet bays,

The melodious, mesmerising music composition,

The honied, light, bright hymn’s completion,

The mother’s lullaby and the father’s delight,

The sound softens the silent universe’s might.

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This Sound travels leisurely than Light,

Fading, often breaking on the way;

We are in a phase of celebration and life

Is speaking fervently, for now it is here to stay.


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The Child, The Feminine, The God

Poems

Phases: A Collection of Poetry

A phase is defined as any stage in a series of events or a process of development; while we all go through different phases in life, at times we either forget to notice or simply become fearful of transitions, inadvertently being ignorant about the fact that this phenomenon is universal. In this short poetry collection, the blogger has attempted to capture this subtle yet powerful phenomenon – phases that are observable in every journey undertaken.

Here are three more poems from this collection –

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La-laa-la li-la!
[Source- Pixabay]

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The Child

Running to catch her friends,

Spirited till the day ends,

Happy seeing things just as they are,

Yay, the tuck shop’s not that far;

Folded paper boats and paper planes

Resting in the bag after ruling the lanes;

Little joys and big victories,

Defeats, bad score and sad faces,

The child knows life only too well,

The child lives life only too well.

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Alas! Childhood is but a phase, golden,

Precious, sublime, magical and fun,

Closer to the truth, the reality,

A sweetened blissful individuality.


Here and beyond…
[Source – Pixabay]

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The Feminine

Femininity and infinity, two soul sisters,

One departed to build the worlds,

The other, to build the universe,

Through waves in the space

They saw the birth and death of their creations,

Jostling joyfully the drama to expand further,

One becomes the seed of sentient life,

The other, creator of spinning galaxies.

Inexplicable at times, they shone

In red, blue, yellow and its many tones.

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Femininity –infinity’s one good phase – usurps

The Time, for the time being

As the secret mystical message lurks,

Invisible, for now, to the living.


“And that’s that”, said the god.
[Source – Pixabay]

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The God

Placing the pyramids perfectly still,

Turning the holy text holy,

The will to power or power to will,

The rise of God could not be a folly.

Mythology – a social construct, a tool, a goal

To make this lonely planet a home,

But that this God could launch a missile

And break the back of the buried poor

And let the child die a brutal death

Who failed to understand the ties of wealth…

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This God could be a phase that may disappear

Or grow bigger and bigger and bigger,

Finally engulfing stars, galaxies and all…

Letting some rise, letting some fall.

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The Sun, The Moon, The Earth

Poems

Phases: A Collection of Poetry

A phase is defined as any stage in a series of events or a process of development; while we all go through different phases in life, at times we either forget to notice or simply become fearful of transitions, inadvertently being ignorant about the fact that this phenomenon is universal. In this short poetry collection, the blogger has attempted to capture this subtle yet powerful phenomenon – phases that are observable in every journey undertaken.

Here are the next three poems –

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All hail the majestic fiery sun! Hail, hail!
[Source – Pixabay]

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The Sun

Glorious in this self-sacrificial act,

The sun spins silently on its spot

With an eye open and an eye closed,

Partly seeing the planetary drama and

Partly observing its blind burning core,

Loving-living the old eclipsing folklore.

Never out of tune or shying away

From that routine rotating pathway

As if in meditation and at peace,

Granting us our lives at lease.

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We assume Time is standing still

Because of our sun’s steady will.

It is but a phase like the earlier ones

Where life played a different game and had won.


Moon-lover one, waiting for moon lover two.
[Source – Pixabay]

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The Moon

Like a wave gushing its way through

The barriers and entering our hearts,

The Moon loves playing the darts,

Winking, listening and inspiring like a true

Poet in practice, moonlight as ink

Together the moon-lovers drink.

Such is the friendship between the seekers

And the moon; safekeeping promises and secrets,

Along with a lonely soul’s rising hope

Of fulfilling a decorated dream and Co.

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And this personification of moon into a friend

And a secret keeper, holding hands till the end

Is another phase, another image of the moon;

Quiet, calm, disciplined, it’s coming out soon.


The awesome dancers, all hail the trio! Hail, hail!
[Source – Pixabay]

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The Earth

On a great grand gargantuan pilgrimage,

Orbiting its way, the same old and unique,

Transforming, adjusting with every coming phase,

Our Earth, our only home, this blue-green maze,

Gravitationally inclined, time-space bound,

Nurtures with freedom the beings found

Inhabiting its being, its vision, its dream;

Rhythmically revolving, rising, but never asleep,

Timed its timing with Time, the Earth

Listens earnestly, abiding by the unknown.

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How forgetful are we, who are just a phase,

A passing reality on the way to its pilgrimage…

We appear to be short sighted and too eager

To conquer the unconquerable, our planet, our nurturer.

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