Sunday 18 June 2023

Three Poems by Santosh Bakaya


The Nocturnal Gab Fest

Why was my larynx so tight, so dry?

Dizziness clawed,

grabbing me with all its might. Sigh!

The night lorded over me, gabbing- gabbing-gabbing-

The garrulity of the night, heightened.




Stabbing me

With scary tentacles malevolently.

I tried to slither away -crab-like.

But failed. The night wailed.

I was jailed.

Perennially Incarcerated,

I slouched, as night crouched.

In hushed whispers, berating me for my cowardice.

“Have you lost your tongue? Can’t you speak?

Come on, burst your lungs. No point being meek.

The gabfest continued.

I clung on, passing the test,

imbued with the notes of a new, loquacity-

lilting and befitting.

I gaped as I saw the dark night slinking away,

afraid of my newfound confidence.

The dawn was just an hour away.

I had decided no longer to be silent.

Crisp, hard-hitting words hovered on my lips,

and with the dawn of the morn,

I lisped out a new song, no longer inchoate.

Red Tape

The morning was overcast, the sky grey.

We hopped and skipped, singing songs.

Some off-key too.

Many off-key ones, in fact.

Then you stopped near that majestic pine,

a naughty twinkle in your eyes.

I watched, amused,

as you pulled a penknife from your pocket.

Penknives were in vogue then.

So was love. Till it was not.

So was the sight of love-besotted couples

engraving their names on tree barks.

I am told, it still is.

Ah, that blast from the past!

I peered closer, my eyes marbles of curiosity.

Here and there, driftwood marked the memory

of many storms.

Just two letters you etched on the bark.

You were a mischievous one!

Then you put a red tape over it.

Tell me, is bureaucracy treating you well?

Let me confess, in many a vulnerable moment,

I have often rued the brevity of that dream.

Just a few weeks back, I again had a dream.

I found myself standing outside a cottage,

flaunting a fresh paint of green.

Two silhouettes standing close together,

eyes riveted on the westering sun.

The scene blended into the luxuriant green.

If you ever go to Gulmarg, do go on that narrow road,

[It was a goat trail then], you will find a pine tree

next to a green cottage.

Please tell me are those letters still engraved there?

Or maybe they now lie buried

under the palimpsest of time.

A cruel rhyme.


The Broken Cup

The night was a frisky colt.
Unimaginably so,
as though drunk on rum or may be whiskey,
behaving in a pretty absurd manner.
In a comatose stupor,
it cocked a languorous eye at the earth
and shook as though in self-congratulatory mirth.
I bet, there was a pattern in the absurdity.
A sliver of sanity in the surreality.

I got up with a nightmarish jolt.
Was that machine gun fire?
What a blurred, impossible dream -A nightmare actually.
I saw myself drinking
freshly - brewed coffee from a broken cup.
Why was it broken?
Who broke it?
I choked on the last sip.
The night looked at me with a brutal, deadpan expression.
Little knowing that I had mastered the art of deception.

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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