They poured in, before the deluge
To surpass the natives in numbers
folks in their cribs -through-hearse stages,
trusting like kids, a burnished sky, blue-white,
a cocktail of the wrong and right,
and the mountains, inwardly grumbling ,
Snaking it up to the high spots of primeval Gods,
thro roads, loosely wrapping the giant, like gray ribbons,
sleeping in structures disputed by the rivers
on questions of right of way ,
they milled about, haggled and honeymooned,
peed and pilgrimaged, at Badri and Kedar,
belonging to the likes of Sankaras, long before
touts and tours stirred their sequestered worlds .
And the super giant suddenly fancied a good shower,
with unusually heavy cloudbursts , landslides
And down flowed
decades of filth with silt settling to ceiling heights.
The crowds, local and visiting, clung on to life like limpets
watching their kin, their life’s bearings, settings and links,
uprooted, tossed and broken,
Escapees from being buried in debris,
now cornered in hell, bereaved and battered,
famished and plundered, living and dying from moment to moment
on nothing, save air laced with fumes of rotting death
at the tipping points of sanity , pondering
their turn of fates;
development vis-a-vis disasters ;
disasters vis-à-vis puny mitigation measures
tragedies-in-the-making vis-a-vis remedies forsaken;
freak instances vis-à-vis climate changes.
They remain stranded , for days on end,
despite the IAF, army men and their copters
( not the other services or their detractors)
risking their lives on a huge rescuing effort.
The natives, rescued or not, stranded for life, though.
@24 jun 2013. By :S.Jagathsimhan Nair
* This is about the thousands of tourists and locals remaining stranded in the Himalayan heights for about a week now, with dwellings, roads and bridges washed away/ blocked by heavy rains , landslides and floods.
Sankara refers to Adi Sankara, the saint of the 8th Cy AD.
Badri and Kedar mean Badrinath and Kedarnath, two important places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan heights.
IAF : Indian Air Force
For Deb’s 'Referential' contest , referring to the loss engendered by the Himalayan geography which finds expression, different, though, in the metaphors of Kash's poem, 'My emotional geography', with ref to expressions like valley of pain, ocean of sorrow, tearful rivers,foggy mountains etc.
For Giorgio Veneto's Impress me
A summer evening
The senile sun still
burned us with the foul intent
Of its mid day rage
But, lacking in bite, gave in
Quickly to the taunts of breeze.
It tottered about
In the beach, ran its weak hands
Over wheat fields and
Rested awhile atop the
Banyan’s crown and went to sleep.
8th Dec 12.
Form: Personification in TANKA ( Sylls: 5-7-5-7-7)
By S.Jagathsimhan Nair
For: Giorgio's 'Impress me-3'
A valentine poem
YOU and I just do not make up a TWO
ARE we not already one, as it WERE
MINE is a life surely with yours ENTWINED
FOR no other pair would’ve loved each other MORE
EVER to remain so, and to fail NEVER.
Encoded Message: “ You are mine for ever. Never more entwined were two”.
(The message is decoded by putting together the first words of the lines in the order in which they appear and the last words in the reverse order.)
13th Jan 13
For Suzette Crous’ “My valentine” contest (with a coded secret message)
Now.. entry for PD's 'Valentine poem' contest...dated 14 Feb 13
Jungle by night
In the far jungle
The big bear of darkness lay
Crouched all night on leafy ground.
It glared through eyes of
Oil lamps of far away huts.
When dawn came, it slunk away.
Form: Personification in Form ‘Sedoka’( Syllables: 5-7-7, 5-7-7 )
For Giorgio's 'Impress me-2'
The rain startled the clouds and fell like
a scare of possibilities. The day toggled
from then to now like a withering widow
A flustered squirrel sat and squirmed
and still nibbled at a dry stump
like eliciting poetry off ancient prose
Some never knew the intent of need
others feigned disinterest in inquests
turning over their earths again and again
I read the prognosis of your vertigo
And derived a rider. That it was mere
Math to team up or to sleep in the buff
An unpredicted rite of passage
after all shenanigans stand erased
to uncover new aquifer in antique spandrel.
To discover that the sky was never this blue.
10 Nov 13
For Chris' contest
A is for Antenna
A is for Antenna, the two-in-one, receiving in and transmitting away.
B is for Broadband, to fire away on the high speed digital highway.
C is for Current, what a beauty, it is all but free- electron- flow.
D is for decibel, not the horrible, but a logarithmic unit and a ratio.
E is for Electrons, the teeny weeny charged particles, so light
F is for Fibre, or simply glass that passes streams of bits as light.
G is for Gain, could also mean loss, a measure of what’s in and what’s out.
H is for Harmonics, often unwanted multiples that are up and about.
I is for Ionosphere, the upper reaches of appreciable ionization
J is for Jitter, Who wants this unwanted, random fluctuation
K is for Klystron, just a tube which, in the microwave range, oscillates
L is for Limiter, thank God, the input to a system , it limits.
M is for Modulation, a wave-on -wave super imposition
N is for Noise, the hated disturbances due to heat’s action
O is for Oscillators, they are from low to ultra high frequency
P is for Pulse, not of the heartbeat, but a quick shot of energy.
Q is for Quartz, the stabilizer that is piezo-electric
R is for Regeneration, recuperating-the- sick- signal- trick.
S is for Semiconductors, not semi-precious, but indispensable
T is for Transmission, making communication finally possible,
U is for Unlimited Plans, the veritable godsend for the customer
V is for Voltage, the difference of potentials, one should remember.
W is for Waves, electromagnetic waves not the ones in the ocean,
X is for X-rays, against which the engineer should exercise caution
Y is for Yagi, it’s only an antenna, not a yogi or a tribal totem
Z is for Zirconium, hungry for neutrons in the context of atom.
That puts in a nutshell the revolution
Of electronics and communication.
02 Mar 2013
For: Cyndi Macmillan’s “ Z is for Zaria-ABC poetry” contest.
Home like a poem
Whatever its chosen form
Life’s loveliness and meaning
Because it’s where your heart is.
Form : Tanka
For Leonora Galinta’s contest
By S.Jagathsimhan Nair, 20 May 13
Hymns of salvation
That my own body
is my greatest enemy
was unknown to me.
O Lord, I was reveling in its pleasures.
The ones that
do not listen to Your tales,
never speak the truth and won’t feed the starving,
worry not about what is right and what’s not,
would not obey the Guru,
do not remember Your name;
O God, why should anyone care if such folks
are alive or dead.
O God, fed up we all are
kinsfolk with weeping ,
relatives with cremating ,
moms with giving birth ,
I with getting born.
Form: “Suzette Prime” with the syllable count, per line, of 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13 etc , all Prime numbers.
For: Su Crous’ Prime numbers and Philosophy contest.
By: S.Jagathsimhan Nair.
* The philosophy of the poem is borrowed from the hymns ( in Tamil) sung by one of our( Indian) saints named” PATTINATHAR”, revered for his words of wisdom and deeds of miracles. The reference in the 3rd stanza is to the innumerable incarnations each soul has to go through, age after age, till it gets freed from the cycle of births and deaths on attainment of salvation. Here he is praying to God for his own salvation : ” In this never ending cycle of births and deaths ; times without number, have my close relations wept for me whenever I died, my near ones cremated me as many times; times without number, mothers gave birth to me and times without number I was born into this world. We are all totally fed up, going through this process repeating itself again and again. O God, deliver me once and for all from this terrible fate”.
Stanzas 1 and 2 are self-explanatory.
For SKAT's contest on 15 Jun 13
S.Jagathsimhan Nair, 23 mar 12,
for Sidney~Lee Ann's 'Haiku from the heart' contest
In this October day, as usual,
Late in reaching fulfillments
Memoried paths resenting familiarity
Historied tracks crumbling
A cloud-shred trailing a mass to merge
I walk into Taj and stop to find
Adorned love placed in an ornate pedestal.
Still selling their lights profitably are the sun and the moon
And getting her name yet again and finally is the Jamuna
O! unsung architect, why does not
This wafer get blown by the wind?
Where did you get this sky from,
To stick your vision on?
Does the full moon become fuller
By holding a royal Mughal lantern
Will Jamuna loiter dazed by the punch-drunk fort for ever?
The Taj is in its all-white contemplation
On love birds, dogfights, nemesis and Nostradamus
And I walk through faded print with all words spent
Watching clouds forgiving crowds’ trespass into the skies..
* Written some twenty years ago and included in my book “RAINQUAKE”
For PD’s ‘Seven wonders of the world’ contest
For Andrea's 'Faves' contest again