ACROSS THE OCEANS I (ISSUE 7)
Two Poems by Santosh Bakaya
TO THE WOMEN OF ACCRA
(Written in Accra, Ghana during my sojourn there in May 2016)
Your glowing skin
Speaks the language of love,
Of hope, of diligence immense
Your untiring hands wield the ladle
Your child snug in a cloth tied to your back
Serving as a cradle.
Onward, you plough
‘On the pulse of morning’
Songsters singing untrammeled
Kneading dough, baking cakes and bread
There is power in your tread,
In your waltzing eyes and lyrical body
Your tactile warmth, your glowing face
Your lissome grace.
I feel love cascading in joyous profusion.
Dormant lies a creative explosion
Your open arms embrace many
To your throbbing, pulsating bosom’s core
Leaving one yearning for more.
“Now she is rising ‘
‘Now she is striding’,
Maya Angelou utters through the mists of time.
Yes, she is rising, she is striding,
I can see the reason in her rhyme.
THAT COLD DECEMBER DAY
Why does my mind keep going back
To that cold day in December
When that tired laborer,
[The one with deep sunken eyes,
And a tubercular chest]
Tried to steal some warmth
From the prosperous neighbor’s fire
And was branded a ‘thief ‘
With red, hot words?
This morning hobbles forth, on arthritic feet.
Does it also recall that cold December night
That starry, starry night
When the poor laborer lost that fight
With a dreary night?
The blue-lipped forefathers smirk
As the irked calendar, winces
Flutters and turns
Goes into labor
Jaundiced it is, lackluster too.
Sitting atop a withered tree a raven caws
Lording it over the tiny birds,
Making and unmaking its own laws.
The warm morning hobbles on
But I still feel that chill
In the month of April.
The chill that killed
That shivering labourer
One cold December.
Santosh has authored three mystery novels, ‘The mystery of the Relic’, ‘The mystery of the Jhalana fort’ and The mystery of the Pine cottage for young adults. Her essays on Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr have been published in Gandhi Marg, a quarterly journal of Gandhi Peace Foundation. The Poet Laureate award instituted by Poetry Society of India was conferred on her for her book Ballad of Bapu recently.
She resides in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India with her husband and daughter.