Tag Archives: poet

The timid satirist

I shall write satire
When I am old –
I shall die laughing
(Die, as in after-life.)
 
I shall write honestly, for once,
About the men who used my money
To pay the police
Keep an eye on me;
And about those who smiled politely
When I bowed;
And of those who had the slyness to make it
And could fake greatness to perfection,
Most of the times,
And of their gracelessness,
When caught.
 
I shall not write about God –
He has been kind, most of the times,
And also because, to be honest,
I know not where I may land up.
 
I shall write about the gas
That fills up in the tummy
(And helps you fly high)
When you have too much money or education,
And of other ailments
That afflict the poor
And makes them drunk and indolent and smelly.
 
I shall spare no one
And, shall let myself go.
 
I know I shall have no one near
To pry into my thoughts
(I am that sort of guy)
And I won’t care
What they do with my diary
After me.
 
***
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The Missing Poets

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All the poets have disappeared
Behind the glistening glass buildings-
Making brochures
Of rare beauty.
 
Beyond the hills and the lakes,
Beyond the daffodil farms,
Some say, minstrels still sing
Ballads of heroes
Who fought for love,
And of heroines
Who priced their honor
Above their lives.
 
But that is not true.
 
Beyond the fields and the hills
Are the resorts
Where the waiters wait,
Upon the tables,
And think, vaguely,
Of the ballads they had heard
Long ago, in their childhood.
 
***

The poet of hate

As the ducks
Die in the lakes,
As the smoke
Dims the sun,
As the one percent
Loot the rest,
As the vocabulary of love
Gets buried deep
In old dusty books-
Which self-respecting poet
Will dare repeat
The old lies
Of order and justice and love?
 
How will he not rage
Against the given truths,
How will he not burn
The old books?
 
The poet of our times
Knows his burden well-
He must,
If he is honest,
Write not with love, about love-
But with hatred, about hate.
 
***

Why I write poetry

I write poetry
To bring a smile on your lips.
 
I wish I could meet you
One of these days
When you are reading my poetry
And your lips curve slightly
Into a faint smile,
Before you move on
To more serious things
And forget the words that you liked.
 
I write poetry
To impress you.
 
I wish I could read your thoughts
When you tell yourself
That you too had felt the same
And wonder how I knew
Your feelings so intimately,
Before you shrug and say
‘Poets! They live in an airy-fairy world.’
And get back to your prosaic world.
 
***

A Poet’s world

A poet lives on a rainbow.
When he descends
to write about the poor,
he fails to notice the tattered clothes,
or the stench of disease
in their sweat, in their breath –
he can only see a brave man
loved by the Gods.
 
The landscapes in his poems
are either sunrise or sunset
(preferably on a beach);
and when he writes of deserts
he misses
the fierce mid-day heat,
the searing sand,
the cacti and the scorpions.
 
The world of a poet
is rhyming, metered, musical.
His ears are not tuned
to register the jarring note
of jealousy and sarcasm.
He believes
that all laughter is joy,
and all smiles are honest.
 
Let us drag the poet
to a market and make him sit
with the ledgers, or the beggars;
let’s make him carry coal
on an empty stomach.
And in the evening, let’s take him
into the graying lanes
where the mobs feed on the innocents.
Let’s squeeze poetry
out of the poet.
 
***
 

A reformed poet

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have decided to make my poems more poetic,
And hence you will now find them less didactic.
 
I shall not care for the harsh word of the critic,
Or the sly grin, the underhand compliment of the cynic.
 
Thus, for example, when I see a madman I will call him a mystic
And ask him about the mysteries of the life, both worldly and cosmic;
 
And I shall report back all his abuses, and other words cryptic
And shall convince you to follow him, with the faith of a fanatic.
 
I shall not draw your attention to all that is rotten and sick
But will move with the powerful, and call their fortune karmic.
 
I shall sing of their greatness, and will get a mighty kick
When awards start raining on me, fast and thick.
 
***
 

The baby drives a car

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stomping feet, tantrums, ‘I can, I can,’
And you give in. The baby sits on your lap
Steering firmly in hand, eyes wide,
And with the cry of ‘Zooom, Zooom,’
The car takes off. Yes, takes off,
To some distant galaxy.
 
The cautious hands, the worried eyes,
The tense legs control
This flight of fancy. The passersby
Smile at the proud young man.
‘Bang, bang,’ some aliens
Are taken care of, on the way.
 
‘See, I told you, I can drive.’
And you say, ‘I know, great,’ and smile,
Happy in his happiness.
 
I am the kid on the wheel, my poems
The car. (I think we are passing Andromeda!)
Meanwhile, you smile, and say, ‘I know. Great.’
 
***
 

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