Friday 18 November 2022

A Trio of Odes - Pindaric, Horatian, Irregular - by Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia


A Trio of Odes : Pindaric, Horatian , Irregular


( Pindarics )

January bows down to June when it comes to coldness
June gives in to January in the newness of the year
If we had to hold a test of worthiness of the months
January perhaps would win for June too is not pleasant
Yet what difference does a date printed on a calendar make
What is new and what is old in the constant flow of Time ?

Time is of the essence when you don’t focus beyond Time.
Focus on the Timeless One Who is always in His prime.
Yet we creatures of few breaths needs must be aware of flux.
Change occurs in real time. That is of all things the crux.
That which we set out to do, of that goal let’s not lose sight
Then and only then shall we cross beyond Time’s constant flight.



 ( A Horatian Ode )

O Wondrous Beauteous Mango of my place !
Growing in gay abandon in those plots
Of orchards that continue by God’s Grace
To grow on Ganga’s banks like deep green spots

When seen from planes flying over the river
These Emerald Orchards look like precious gems
That Building Sharks are always lusting over
And seeking to destroy by stratagems

They have succeeded often and built flats
Where God’s Own Mango once flourished for miles
Where once were orchards now there are mere stats
Numbers of Concrete Towers raised by wiles

So what is left is held by us more dear
The Trees so noble green-leaf-canopied
The Fruits to treasure as Summer draws near
The Gourmet’s Love decries the Builder’s Greed

The Milky Dudhiya Maldah whose young seed
Is given Milk not Water at the start
Whose roots once sweetened thus forever breed
Mangoes fragrant and creamy at their heart

O Milky Maldah blessed by sacred waters
Of Ganga Heaven - born flowing on Earth
To sanctify Mankind , the Divine Masters
Knowing of our sad spiritual dearth !

Most Beauteous Maldah of pure Paisley Shape
A modest green ripening in part to Gold
Not Red like fruits that seek the Rose to ape
Not Vermilion like the Sindhuri bold !

Munificent Maldah, prodigal of juice
A golden nectar, yet not without pulp
But plump and firm, liable to produce
Chorus of Oohs and Aahs by those who gulp

Your Golden Goodness, enhanced by your scent
That makes bees drunk even at blossom stage
The Fruit’s aroma doubtless heaven - sent
Loved by all humans regardless of age

The gummy smiles of infants and granddads
Grow wider as your generous sweetness yields
To toothless sucking, loved by college grads
City slickers and toilers in the fields

Darling of all Ages and of all Classes
Beloved of all creeds and every gender
Maldah the Magic Master of the Masses
So soft so sweet so scented and so tender !

Maldah my Heart is heavy when I think
How everyday your habitat grows smaller
Every chopped tree causes spirits to sink
We watch helpless the advance of the Dollar

What Dollar Rupee Gold Diamond Platinum
Can equal this magnificent gift of Nature ?
Maldah of Mangoes is the Summum Bonum
Of Ancient Patliputra the Signature !

Let FAO and UNESCO pay heed
And stop the ruthless destruction of Deegha
No other place this gem can ever breed
Why lose this treasure for some petty geegaw ?

Blessings on Maldah Trees , our Patna’s Pride
Blessings on Maldahs of Sadaquat Ashram
Blessings on Deegha’s still green Riverside
Kurji, Xavier’s, Fairfield, Atmadarshanam

Blessings on Taru Mitra , Friends of Trees
And all who work to protect the Maldah
O help them, help them , all good people, please !
Save the Maldah , the World will say “ Waah , Waah ! “

For Maldah Mango Trees are gifts of Nature
To Mankind , and we can’t afford to lose them
The onus lies on us and legislature
To save their land and most sparingly use them .

Wake up my friends to save this Crown of Fruits !
I cry, alas, but no one cares two hoots !

3 .


( An Irregular Ode )

You usurper of peace in my old mind !
O evil restlessness, let go of me!
When I had found soul’s eyes you made me blind
When I was free you snatched my liberty.

There’s a dream , of many one
That I have often dreamt upon
It’s kind of heaven that I see
Doves and clouds and clarity
Skies of deep cerulean blue
Notlhing left for me to do
But to sleep and laze about
And of course write poetry
And some fiction now and then
Are you bored ? Just say when.

Dear Reader, has my restlessness
Infected you ? Are you restless ?
Disturbance , leave my friends alone
From Restless move on to God bless

Dear Restlessness I understand
You too have uses and value
That’s if your scope you don’t expand
And let me do what I must do

Restlessness is the stage when
The seed of poetry is sown
And fiction and most other art
This fact of course is widely known

Restlessness , come in little packs
That I can use, with some life hacks
In large doses you hurt my art
So leave when you have played your part
I need the storm to stir me up
But also calm to fill my cup
As Wordsworth said for Poetry
Emotion does get priority
Emotion that however must be
Recollected in tranquility

I’m okay with you , Restlessness
Just need you to reduce the stress
Leave me in peace occasionally
So I can write some poetry
And also grab essential rest
If not , you risk turning a pest .

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia is the pen name of Amita Paul, a retired civil servant who is at heart a poet and teacher. She writes , mostly poetry, in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. She was awarded the NISSIM International Poetry Award 2019 and then the Reuel international Award 2020 for Non- Fiction Prose, while Destiny International Community of Poets UK, declared her Poet of the Year 2020 as well as Critic of the Year 2020, and again in 2021. Women Empowered India have just declared her their WE Greenheart 2022 jointly with Bengal based poetess Rituparna Khan. Her work has been published in several international anthologies and also in many journals and online magazines such as Das Literarisch, Doaba, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Yugen Quest Review, Setu Bilingual Magazine, GloMag, Fasihi Magazine, and Spillwords, besides twice being among selected featured poems on the global NaPoWriMo Website, once in 2021 and then again recently in 2022.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed these three. Love thé virtuosity, humour, wit, emotion.



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