By: Srinivas S
Smitten with a smile*
“Now you are smitten with a smile, I wait
And wonder what its silence saves and says?
Which j’wel its depth encrusts? What light its shine
Reveals or steals? Whose eyes its reach unties?
Now you are smitten with a smile, I sit
But saunter still in dreams—and see the smiles
That I once loved: there was the one that broke
Through clouds as thousand suns. A second twirled
Response with query in its quizz’cal curls.
Another glowed like pride, though humbled none.
Then dimples held my dreams, but off daylight;
While I refused a grin that greyed but stayed—
Until the mirror waded in with naught(,)
Which either flattered or deceived: the scowl
It bears is mine own smile at laughter’s end.
Now you are smitten with a smile, I wish
You well, as wondrous worlds inhere in smiles,
Where love may well be lost to ends; or ends
May lose to toothy isles not spaced in time.
For when plain oaks for flair are pared and mocked
And lightning is then locked to last an age,
I smile… for you are smitten… with a smile.”
*This monologue may be thought of as being part of a conversation between two friends.
How does it feel to be still?
Where does it ache to be still
When thoughts race
Across the unguarded highways of the mind,
Like a multitude of shooting stars
On an inky evening sky?
What does it mean to be still
When words seek
The irrepressible winds of endless time,
With the verve of a volcanic spirit
From a shackling mountain peak?
Why does it pay to be still
When deeds chase
Headlong, the tails of other deeds,
Like rats chasing greater rats
To’ the islands of tomorrow?
How does it feel to be still
When thoughts meet
Words before they become deeds,
With the light that silver-lines clouds
And draws out of a grey drizzle
The gay hearts of a rainbow?
A good joke is a work of art.
It comes trapped
Cleverly in its context,
A cigarette in paper wrapped.
Unroll the wrapper;
Take in the flavour
Little by little
Until the stomach can take it no more.
Retail it; retell it:
Add or subtract details,
But leave the soul intact
‘That the statutory warning rings clear:
Smoking is injurious to health.
The joke is on the lungs;
And pleasantly puff away,
Until the joke can take it no more.
Srinivas S is Assistant Professor in Department of English at SSN College of Engineering, Chennai.