‘Son of a Shoeshiner’ and one more poem by Harjeet Singh

By: Harjeet Singh

Son of a Shoeshiner

An opulent district businessman
lunched in a restaurant,
After lunch, he tipped the waiter five rupees
It boggled the server’s mind and he spoke,
“Sir a few days ago on this desk your son lavished
me with one hundred and fifty rupees after lunch,
“You are a captain of industry!”
Now, the businessman broke his silence
and uttered: “Of course he would pay such cash
because he is the son of a rich industrialist”.
But I didn’t forget bygone days,
How poverty swallowed my father.
Wellaway! he didn’t watch my single success,
my richness!
I am a son of that poor shoeshiner
Who on many occasions used to polish the shoes
of affluent class for nothing, gratis.
And he kept struggling to earn
five pennies a day.


“In the vast lake”

Man of letters enters the vast lake
with soaring hope.
In the vast lake he reads the art of
past great personalities
Who have earned name and fame.
Over there he meets his coevals.
Being fledgling he suffers so much.
He tries to seek some place,
He does his best to swim along with the dominants
He struggles with the storm of several waves
Some are topsy- turvy and some are so chilled.
While going in the depth of lake,
While swimming fast,
He has to save himself from sharks, crocodiles
As their attack can destruct his literary voyage
If his creative fragments are sans mentation.
In the vast lake he encounters with the standard of language, themes, subject matters
and universal forms.
Besides, the tastes of audience and his own
personal whims.
Sometimes he approaches at a distance
From where he can watch the dominant ones
from behind.
Sometimes with remorse he thinks to
abandon all contests and competitions
In the vast lake.
Because he lags behind.
He becomes self-distrustful.
But one thing that tortures him
why he is not among others.
Where does the fault lie?
He begins to swim again with dejected zeal
Because he is well aware, only continuous swimming could save him from drowning.
No matter he lags behind
Or at nearby area with dominants
Constant travelling can keep him in literary background.
Maybe in future some literary shark would
do the evaluation of his work and
would discuss his art before others,
That couldn’t get full- fledged fame in bygone span
It is an honorable point on his side
That he has joined that vast lake to which
No one can cross so easily.
One who crosses successfully, he is victorious.
He will survive after so many deaths.
Posterity would know him through verses.
So he will have to swim, to travel long.
He will have to excogitate,
He will have to delve themes.
He will have to develop creativity.
And to nudge such inclinations
Which induce him to hunker down.

Sharks, crocodiles– critics who criticise someone’s art.

Categories: Poetry

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