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Dhananjay Singh

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Dhananjay Singh



Crimson Sunbird Male, Kaziranga. Photo by Nitoo Das




The Farmer of My Village

 

There was a farmer in my village

A village of barren land

Though he tilled and tilled and tilled

For Hope itched on his hand

And the green paddy fields

Woke him up in the middle of his sleep

So he tilled and tilled and tilled

Till he smelled of the earth and the sky

Oh, the farmer of my village!

 

His wife and children had died

In the last drought

That hit bright Television screens in New Delhi

The newsreader read the names of his dear ones

In an impressive English accent of MTV.

 

He moved alone on his land

Like a madman

Until one morning he was found

Fallen upside down on his land

His neck was bent with the yoke of hunger

And his eyes were wet with the want of rain.

 

 

Fire in the Blue Sky

 

When the blue sky whispered strange things into my ears,

I looked up with fears.

The eternal blueness laughed at my mother’s love,

The whispers clattered various envious sounds,

Stiffening my ears with anger.

My little nose, my frail ears and beautiful eyes, all began to bleed with anger,

And seeing all this, my mother fell down.

I bled under the sky,

I fell from her lap;

And was nowhere to be found

Until the blood stopped running down;

Suddenly the mirror greeted me,

But the blue sky still moved in my dreams.

It hurled fire, becoming dangerous shapes.

Not the black or the crimson sky, but the blue sky, I mean,

 

I played a game with my mother, once

I wiped her tears, saying, “I am now a man.”

She laughed, “Come near,”

Tears glittered in her eyes, as she whsipered,

“Let me measure your years.”

And when I rose all but to her shoulders, she smiled

“Ah my boy,” “it would be ages before I will call you a man.”

 

Ages have come and gone by without her calling me man still,

“I have few years left on me now”

She wrote me once,

Spending her tears on words

She wrote me again dropping surprise, “tell me, aren’t you a tall handsome man

now?”

I did not write her back;

There was no time for her silly letters!

Until there was no real need to write her back

But she would still know

I still weep with fears; my eyes are still full of tears

When the blue sky whispers strange things into my ears!

 

 

Rites of Creation

 

A girl walks out of her broken school

Up to the edge of an overloaded road,

And sits in the posture of lotus

In the lake filled with toppled trees, human bodies,

Cringing angle of bent streetlight posts

Hit by the freed bricks from the newly built flyover.

 

The girl meditates like the Buddha

In the state of detachment

The next moment perhaps she would smile

Upon all that momentariness defeats.

She rises, leaps, and wreathes her body

In the air above the road

And performs the rites of creation

Creation of a forgotten city before the last one.

 

 

Rain

 

The dusky eyes

Under her dark hair

Looks at me

 

The moon escapes the mango grove

Behind the cloudy sky

That gathers breaths from ancient passions

And sends forth the first drops on the mango fruits.

 

I feel the wet drops of her eyes

On my lips

I am reborn

My body becomes a flower bud

My soul is now its honeybee.

 

The birds in the foliage unseen

Sing the melody of romance

As the branches broom the breeze

My lips sweep her breath

 

Songs spring from my heart

I grow rhythmic with the trees. 

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