A tree in the parking lot
Of a commercial complex-
Lovely, flowering in spring,
Leaving a sprinkle of red petals occasionally,
When jostling playfully with the barmy winds,
On the driveway and
on the cars’ windscreens.
A beauty for sure
For nature lovers and
For the cuckoo which
Used its branches to perch and
sing persistent notes of melancholy
for the romantic hearts
at our workplace in the complex.
Then one day a storm raged and
A couple of large branches broke and fell
On a few cars parked in the driveway.
The poor tree had no way to prevent
The damage done to the cars.
Yet, it had to face the human wrath!
“The tree is a pest,an annoyance”, they cried!
“Occupying useless space, not worth at all!”
Forgotten was the beauty,
So much for human foresight!
The tree was cut down;
Chopped to the last inch
of the protruding trunk.
Now the cuckoo’s voice is never heard.
Nor do the sprinkle of sudden red
On the cars’ body
Enthrall the nature lovers.
Only some extra noise and fume
From some additional parked cars
And the ringing cash in the complex’s cash box.
Standing in the wilderness,
I am a tale
Of a struggle,
To hold on to existence.
This was meant to be a check post
On the border,
manned by a few sentries.
I was their workplace at day
And at night, their nesting shade.
Life then was peaceful, full of joy.
My dear friend, nearby flowed the river
In its cool waters, my reflection
Danced and wavered.
Not much activity happened here.
The nights used to come
Dressed to please and charm.
The sentries who stood guard
On the river embankment
Talked in hushed whispers
To drive away their sleep and boredom
And I revelled in many of their secrets.
Then the war broke
Men and machines fought
Against each other,
For pride and to possess,
To succeed in beating back death.
Nowhere was any human dignity left.
The day the war reached here,
It was a night just like any other.
The enemy came
from the opposite bank of the river,
Against a large platoon of men,
The guards, my inmates, were ill-prepared
And certainly, no match.
They tried to fight back bravely
But fell defending my territory;
Their blood was soon left splattered
On my walls and the river bank.
It was all over in few hours.
The enemy moved on and I
Was left standing for many days;
With splattered blood
And stench of rotting flesh
Filling the night air.
I still stand today, forgotten, desolate.
The boundaries have been re-drafted
and I am long forgotten.
Even the river has changed course, deserted me.
I stand alone
Carrying the tales of the past
Etched in my crumbling bricks and mortar.
His stupid heart;
Vehement in its denial
Of all things prudent and practical.
A romantic, by nature.
Living in a fool's paradise.
While his friends were busy
Coping with pressure of the daily grind,
Earning university degrees
A job for the future
Raising a family,
Money for their material benefits,
He wanted to be-
Like the moonbeam,
Over the whole earth,
He wanted to caress the soul
Of many a traveller
Weary with fatigue
On the road of life.
Like the moonbeam
He wanted to lie, floating
On the vast oceans
And swim with the whales.
the depths of forests
Basking in the silence
Breathing a bouquet of fragrances
Of wild moss and lichens
And lie peacefully
with the lions outside their den.
Like a moonbeam
He wanted to sooth and calm,
Induce peace and love,
In all hearts baying for blood
And plotting violence
On humanity and nature.
Sitting by the roadside,
In tattered clothes and unkempt hair,
Lost in thought,
Vehemently shaking his head, sometimes,
While staring at the moon,
He still nurses this wish
Of becoming a moonbeam.
Inspired by a famous poem named "Amalkanti" in my mother tongue.
I knew of a stray named Spotty.
Who lived in the city's main hospital's vicinity.
Of the nurses he was a favourite.
Once a week they fed him rice and meat.
He surprised them by leaving on their apron-paw marks,dirty.