The adventure that is Gaurav Rajen's life began in India where he was born. This look back to his native land tries to come to grips with what has to be one of the most complex countries on the face of the planet. Packed with emotions and vivid images, this poem both dances and broods.
A short second poem, Late Night Hells
I live in Albuquerque's NE heights. I am an engineer with a doctorate working on greenhouse gas reductions and other environmental projects, such as waste-to-energy, wastewater recycling and biofuels. I have published an e-book of poetry (not the vanity press), and several short stories in my youth in national Indian newspapers and magazines. I am currently working on my first novel.
India: An Invitation (1988)
A place of sorrows
Living, free -
Of blood-red skies
On a dirty sea.
A leprous beggar, bowl in hand -
My violent and embittered land!
Drink from the bowl, Love, it's for you -
A heady, yet, unwholesome brew.
You'll see millions moving, dream-like, slow,
Grotesque and unlikely bands,
Dumroos beating, conches blow -
Yes! Shiva is dancing on these lands.
The God of Death and Endless Dance
Makes the millions leap and prance
To the dholak's hypnotic beat
They clap their hands and stamp their feet
Yet the temple gongs, the bells that chime
Cannot drown the hideous laugh of Time
Three thousand years! the joke is cruel
The millions dance and dream of gruel.
* * *
Perhaps I should not talk of woe
But of summer nights, the fireflies' glow
Gardens, peacocks, the kiss of the rains
Temples of Love that brood on the plains
With the Earth in its orbit
The sun's outward race
The Love-sculptures drift on
Through stars and through space
"All things are on Fire," they sing as they burn
The world a bauble that glows in our fist
Karma a roulette wheel to turn
Throw in the bauble love
- Give the wheel a twist!
Late Night Hells
Oh tell me why
In late night hells
The heart must cry
And sadness wells
And softly as the rasp of a snake
Sloughing off its patterned skin
Litanies of regrets have to start
Tortures of loss begin
The tragedy of life is not
That we enact what the child forgot
But that -
It lies and cheats and speaks with guile
And that is why the beast can smile.
Poetry submissions are accepted at TheDitchRider@gmail.com.