Sunday 20 November 2022

Three Poems by Santosh Bakaya

 




The Grumpy Man at the Door


The man at the door gave the impression
of being a red- eyed, grumpy clerk,
maybe a superintending clerk- bored stark.
I heard someone belching explosively in the dark.
Why was I hyperventilating?  Palpitating?
Grating my teeth, hating every moment of it. 
I was fighting
Fighting
Fighting panic.
“Turn on the light, will you?
The lights were turned on.
The man was there, file in his hand.
He adjusted the spectacles on the tip of his nose,
and glared through them.  
“Can’t you turn on your inner lights?”
 Then he ticked a name off the list.
The lights again went off.
In the pitch dark, I cried.   
None heard. Had I died?

 

Do…do …do


Do…do …do

Why was I psyching myself up?
Jumping up at every sound.
Was someone pounding at the door,
stalking me, hounding me?
Don’t you know a drought is round the corner?
The sea is rising. The sea is rising.
The ice is thinning.
Wake up wake up
Hear the mosquitoes buzzing,
or doing whatever mosquitoes do?
Do…do …do!

The nocturnal surroundings echoed.
Do…do …do
greenhouse gas emissions
have increased heatwaves, you know, don’t you?
You!
You! You! You, the culprit,
You!
You!
You!
I am sweating. It is so hot …
So hot
Do…do …do!

“You are adding to the noise pollution.
Stop yakking, and pounding at my door.
I will do what you want me to do.”
Yes, do …do… do…


The pounding stopped.
I hopped back into bed,
perspiring in the month of November.  
No kidding. Of course I was sober.     

 

The Howling Owl


Ever heard an owl howling?
 I mean a real owl howling in a real way?
 Mine does. It does, making a fuss about something.
It is almost morning, I part the curtains.   
There it is, sitting on a branch looking directly into my eyes.
 Its eyes move towards the Kitty lounging on the sofa.

Another sitting on the mantelpiece.
The third one snuggled in my lap.
Clap – clap- clap go the leaves.  
Flap- flap- flap go the owl’s wings.
 
 Flap- flap- flap.
 I snap out of my reverie
I wish I could slap the owl out of its flapping. 
 It is sulking and moping, pouting and brooding.
Well, can an owl pout with a beak? I doubt.
But it definitely is a lout, trying to wield its nocturnal clout.
 I venture out, not exactly to meet that lout,
or fish for trout, but to find out what this is all about.


Silly, I am not rhyming.
Well, did anyone say that rhyming is a crime?
I go on and on and on
walking on an undulating lane,
the trees are rustling, singing some nostalgic refrain.
The lane takes me into a forest,
there is some fidgeting in the nests. 
A thick undergrowth dotted with elegant cottages. 
Would I find the melodious birds of Christopher Marlowe
singing madrigals near some waterfall?
The owl has followed me here. Do you hear its call?
Well, I tell you,
 a fertile imagination can make things appear pretty droll.
The owl is still howling, sitting on the grassy knoll.
Owls are wise, they say.
 Pray, what is this howling owl trying to say?
Perhaps, warning me against the looming clouds, grey?






Santosh Bakaya - Internationally acclaimed for Ballad of Bapu, poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, [Vitasta, 2015], Dr. Santosh Bakaya, poet, novelist, essayist, TEDx speaker, is the recipient of the Reuel International Award for literature for her poem, Oh Hark! [2014], Setu Award, 2018, [Pittsburgh, USA] for ‘stellar contribution to world literature.’ HerTEDxTalk, Myth of Writers' Block is very popular, in creative writing groups.
Morning Meanderings is her column on Learning and Creativity website. Her more than 20 books encompass many genres.

Where are the Lilacs? [Poetry, 2016]
Flights from my Terrace [Essays, 2017 ]  
Under the Apple Boughs [Poetry,2017]  
A Skyful of Balloons [ Novella, 2018 ]  
Bring out the tall Tales [short stories with Avijit Sarkar, 2019 ] 
Only in Darkness can you see the Stars[ Biography of Martin Luther King Jr, Vitasta],
Songs of Belligerence [ Poetry, 2020]
 E-books [Blue Pencil,] Vodka by the Volga, with Dr. Ampat Koshy
From Prinsep Ghat to Peer Panjal with Gopal Lahiri are amazon # 1  bestsellers.   
Runcible Spoons and Pea-green Boats [2021]
Collaborative e-book with Ramendra Kumar, [Mélange of Mavericks and Mutants, [Blue Pencil, July 2022]

Collaborative book with Dr.Ampat Koshy, A Sonetto for the Poetic World [October 2022, AuthorsPress]

    

 


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