Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Harvesting Happiness’ and other poems

By: Pramod Rastogi

Photo by Belle Co on

Harvesting Happiness

Clouds brim with ambitions insane
And top up their tank with nostalgia
Ready to besiege the barren farmlands.
Here tears spatter in smoky plumes
And in dance pose is the paddy farm.

The sun is large in the sparkling sky.
Its waves of sunlight dart, glaring
Onto the lands lamenting their famine.
The spring is evaporating fast
But its delight has fallen prey to my longing.

Activists are the ones over-launching.
Passivists are the ones receiving.
One speech, then the next, and the next,
Volatile has gone the intensity swing
And joyous is the writer budding.

As a river has its source of ancestry
A person’s source of energy is within,
Which bubbles up from his inner self.
I must harvest happiness to the rim
And not look at empty eyes to feed me.



Miracles are these pearls in flight
Captivating a man’s imagination
By their take-offs and landings
And the harmony in their glides,
And by the basketfuls of energy
In their tiny bodies, unseen.

On morning walks, I hear them
Chirruping, in which commas
And semicolons are few, but full stops
And exclamations are many,
As they dip their heads to ruminate
On how to make their resources last.

Possibly torn by existential doubts
They look for answers instructive,
And refuel their reservoirs for the toil
That the day has in its store.
Ceaseless in their activities,
They stir us up to kick-start our day.

Moving their heads right and left,
They smell the danger in the breeze
Of, say, a prowler hidden away.
So much to explore,
Nests to build, couples to form,
And life in the community to live.

Taking flights and dives
At will, they have a view
Of our meadows and lakes,
Of our mountains and forests.
Even a fraction of this thrill
A man might never distill.

I admire the birds
For the strength they display
And the melodies they sing;
For the trees they bring agog,
And the heights they reach.
All this, while they shake merrily.


Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He was Editor-in-chief of the international journal Optics and Lasers in Engineering (Elsevier) between 1999 and 2019. He is also a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.

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