Wednesday, January 3, 2018

He was a King, Though!

He was the king who reigned for years,
so phenomenal a grandeur
The archetype of sovereignty
He steered thousands of gallant warriors
and stood stunning like a golden swan 
So he held the opulent crown
with the twinkling turquoise in its crest

Time passed by, and the king grew old
It was then the old age frailties
He was confined to the bed,
and was like a rumpled brownish rag
The once tight muscles, 
now shrunk into hanging wrinkles
His lips were just quivering
with words struggling to come out
All day long, he was immersed in a trance
waiting for the eternal silence
And, at last, he was buried beneath the soil
Yes, it was common for every man

He was a king, though!      

Blissful Vesak

The flowers are all in a magnificent bloom
The full moon glistens like a golden plate
The flowery canopy over the foliage
looks like a shimmering bridal sari
The tiny birdies crisscrossing the air
like twinkling sabres
The silvery lined butterflies
embracing the flowers
The shallow streams
flowing melodiously
with the bluish waters
The breeze blows, so soothing
The whole world glows
with the dawn of happiness
The most sacred season of the year
The day when the truth
was revealed to the world
The greatest gift of the pristine Dhamma
leading to the eternal emancipation,
The highest virtue of Nirvana!


Glossary

Vesak – A highly important Buddhist festival which celebrates the three main events namely the birth, enlightenment and death in the life of the Gautama Buddha
Dhamma – The teachings of the Gautama Buddha, Buddhist teachings
 
To a Street Girl I Saw

 Your permed hair
 and gaped mouth
 still do I remember
 Between your dried lips.
 there were the brownish stained teeth
 that never gleamed.
 You had made your home in a grey corner
 of the scruffy pavement
 and a companion in a skeletal puppy.
 The torn out frock with its receding thread
 attached to the thin figure of sickly constitution.
 The sputter of a coin or two
 in your stained, discarded sardine tin
 was your sole communication.
 Goggle eyes fixed upon you
 and pupils in them dashing up and down
 While the night gorilla hurrying
 amidst the street buildings 
 your soft whimper heard by nobody.
 At times you were beside a public dustbin
 scavenging leftovers amidst a heap of cellophane.
 Your still eyes, I know, bore an expression
 and they revealed everything.
     
A Portent Warns a Soldier's Wife               

 The gutter of the wrenching lamp flame
 twisting itself wildly
 made a warning
 It jumped, skipped, pulled
 and spun round and round
 And was,
 in the end,
 dragged away by the roar of a brisk wind
 Her pulsation was hit for a moment…
 Throughout that night,
 she was armed against her heart
 The next day,
 it was late in the morning
 as she learnt he was gone,
 Gone with that very flame of her lamp. 
               
An Anthem for a Warlord  

Sought refuge in underground bunkers
Nor did you see the sunlight
while groping in the gloom of the underworld
At the fall of sky hugging mansions, 
you shrank into earth drilling luxurious bunkers
and fortified them with many a snare 
Isn't it due to your fear,
the repulsive fear of the death?
 Clad in armoured suits,
 what was your expectation?
Above all it was the fear
that quivered throughout your body
Despite your exorbitant wealth and excessive power
the fear burned your heart
almost like a rolling fire ball
You draped a chain attached to a capsule of Cyanide
around your Tigers' neck, 
just like a noose
to hasten their journey to the
penultimate destination
Yet, never did you wear one
The truth surfaces,
you were afraid of death
that you have bestowed on thousands
without the least sense
 Thirsty, you must be,
restlessly running after a mirage in the desert
The fear followed you like a shadow
Perhaps you wished mental relief,
relief from fear,
that you lacked in abundance
Yet, you are late,
too late,
 The dead may already be holing your heart!

Indunil Madhusankha














Travel Plans III
It was so cold
on the boat last night
I had to put on a sweater.
The crew was still wearing shorts,
so I guess it’s me.
But I like it warm.
My trophy wife
prefers the city
and its culture.
The only culture
I care about
is agriculture,
because of my investments.
It’s just about time
to go south.
She can stay here
for all I care.
Wherever I go
on my mega-yacht
there are always willing women
eager to come aboard.

Gary Beck



Advancement
Symptoms of disease
course through
the body politic,
ambition and greed
vectors,
bringing newcomers
to the public trough,
eager to dine,
most loath to serve.
None understanding
their first concern
should always be
well-being of the nation.

Gary Beck



Sterner Stuff
I discovered early
I had a taste for power,
but lacked the means
without family, friends, mentors.

I labored for others
my brains bringing attention
from alert bosses
eager to find talent
to further their ambitions.

I soon became known
as daring, inventive,
reliable,
and earned recognition,

I was richly rewarded
as I made money for others,
ruthless, brilliant deals
turned millions into billions.

Soon I ruled
an economic empire,
where thousands obeyed
my decrees
hoping to get rich.

Their combined efforts
got me mega-yachts,
Monets, Picassos, Warhols,
trophy wives,
all the treasure
that money can buy.

I sit in my tower penthouse,
in a rare moment of quiet
and look out at my city
where I have risen
to the pinnacle of success.

I idly wonder
if I’ll ever have enough
now that I’ve achieved
the trappings of power.

Gary Beck

'Mortal Coil' is an unpublished poetry collection that grapples with the frailty of this conflicted life.

He was a King, Though! He was the king who reigned for years, so phenomenal a grandeur The archetype of sovereignty He steered th...