By: Chandra Shekhar Dubey
How many times I have whispered
Softly in your ears that I am getting old.
My hair has grown grey and bald patches
have overgrown here and there
often reminding of my dropping shoulders
and sunken chest peeping through soggy
eyelines and thin eyebrows like squirrels
from the burrows frightened and silent.
How many times I have searched my spectacles
in my bed, table, sofa, wardrobes
till reminded it hangs loose on my nose.
How many times I whispered to you softly
to call an omlette a poach and vice-versa.
Let you and me go to that restaurant in
the city corner by the beach to relive those
lost moments amidst the thunderous roars
of waves over a sizzling cup of coffee and
snacks you relished to the core.
Scattered pebbles on the beach ,smashed
red, blue, green and yellow plastic glasses
remind me of my dreams dying at the shore,
body growing paltry, flaccid muscles losing to time
where memories sound sweeter than present
sandwiched between lust and love.
Let us go you and I to relive those days
in some streets on a rainy day to relive
those days like those children with paper boats
setting afloat against the tides of time.
There is a child in every person young, old
Let us speak to that child soul to soul
to know how does it feel when he kicks the ball after seeing the rainbow.
As he giggles with his bulging joyous eyes
Let that spirit reign my soul every morning
When I stand before the mirror with my
dropping frame carrying on my shoulders
the burden of passing spectacles shallow
and shadowy like goblets mystical moist.
There’s something very unique about this poem. Notice the voice at the opening – burdened with the ravages of age, intimate, inward. Notice now, how it transforms. By the end of the poem it’s almost youthful again – wishful, unfettered, outward.
There is a bit Prufrock here, but there also a bit of Ulysses. If it has a taste of Yeats, it also has a whiff of Gurudev. If there is a body that’s weathered, there is also a mind that won’t yield. Also, there’s something very quintessentially Indian about this poem’s temperament – stoic, yet passionate.
Reflections of the past. Lucky are those who have warm recollections. Finding the young in the old, and the long gone in the now is a wonderful discovery. Looking back is as satisfying as moving ahead especially when its shaded with love and comfort.
Well written! 🙂