ACROSS THE OCEANS I (ISSUE 8)
TWO POEMS | SANTOSH BAKAYA
I was a pilgrim, plodding forth, my ankles heavy
with a dead weight.
I dragged my feet over the treacherous terrain
Ah, I was in pain.
In the battered skyline, lightning flashed
a tattered byline; bruised and bludgeoned.
Everything was dismal and dark, I gave a start.
The lightning reminiscent of a gash in a broken heart.
Morning came with sunbeams bright.
The white-breasted kingfisher sitting on the telephone wire
looked golden in the morning light.
Though a far cry from being a show stopper
I was eyed with interest by a robust grasshopper.
A koel burst into a dulcet number
As though a plumber, plumbing the depths of a clogged pipe
had suddenly removed the blockage.
In the tree something stirred; it was a tiny bird,
the young one of the Monarch – black necked,
answering its mother’s pecks.
A lullaby meandered, and settled near my ears,
humming, singing, warbling and cooing.
Lo and behold, my jubilant heart started twisting and tangoing.
In a jiffy, this lullaby spiffy, banished my worry lines.
Was it magic – black or white?
I heard a child’s rattle
Tinkling from some subterranean depths
with all its might.
No longer did I feel battle-weary
Just a little teary
MY PEN BURNS
When the long arms of the violet night embrace me
and tear-etched faces jump at me from cracks in the skyline
The stream gurgling behind my tiny cottage
Serenades me with pastoral songs,
erasing those traumatized faces haunting me
till I go into raptures of delirious delight.
The soft hill breeze wafting from the trees
sends me into a reverie, unending.
The moonbeams, in a burst of shimmering compassion
Pierce the all-encompassing fog
Pouring their glimmer on a skeletal man
sitting on a gnarled log, in patched dungarees.
He sighs a long drawn-out sigh,
tapping a tattoo on one pathetic patch
as tears glide down his cheeks.
A new song strokes his tired heart, slowly, silently.
The water ripples on in the creeks.
Peace goes seeking a peacock flaunting its plumage
Bright; settles under a lush tree, listening to the mockingbird sing.
My pen burns, yearning to turn into a paintbrush and splash
the hues of love on the canvas of the sky.
The trees whistle, as the night woos the moon.
My heart dances and applauds this sudden boon.
Although she has a doctorate in modern political theory, Dr Santosh Bakaya has always been intensely passionate about Literature. An academician, critic, poet, essayist and novelist, she has made her mark both in prose and poetry.
Her three mystery novels, [The mystery of the Relic, The mystery of the Jhalana fort and The mystery of the Pine cottage] for young adults were very well received. Ballad of Bapu, a poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, published by Vitasta publishers, Delhi , is also being acclaimed internationally.
Her essays on Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.have been published in Gandhi Marg, a quarterly journal of Gandhi Peace Foundation. She has also been published and interviewed in Cafe Dissensus and has contributed in national and international anthologies, like those published by Poets, artists Unplugged [Colours of Refuge and Resonance]. Her poetry has also appeared in Learning and Creativity – Silhouette magazine, Incredible women of India, , Mind Creative, In Brian Wrixon’s anthology, the online magazine Episteme, [ Mumbai].
She has also been a featured poet in Pentasi B World Friendship poetry and was conferred with the Universal Inspirational Poet Award jointly by Pentasi B and the Ghanaian Government in May 2016. She received the International Reuel Award for writing and literature 2014, for her long poem ‘Oh Hark!’, which now forms part of ‘The Significant Anthology’ and also the Incredible Woman of the Year 2015 award instituted by The Incredible Women of India blog .
The Poet Laureate award instituted by Poetry Society of India was recently conferred on her for her long poem ‘Oh Hark’ and her books ‘Ballad of Bapu’, ‘Flights from my Terrace’ and ‘Where are the Lilacs ?’
Although hailing from Kashmir, India, she stays in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India with her husband and university-going daughter.