This Old Lady & Other Poems

by Percy Bharucha

This Old Lady

In the light, of the fading sun
As bit-by-bit, this shadowy horizon grows near
Like a mother, tucking her children to bed
A blanket of darkness, that envelops them all

This old lady, she beams with pride
As the weary ones trudge home
And one by one, these lights flicker,
The empty struggle of a sleepy eye

These walls, have cracked
And many, have given way to time
Her age lined face, is wrinkle crossed
Each line, a symbol of beauty, once held

This old lady, in her lap, I rest
Her scent, no fragrance, so dear
Her heavy breathing, upon my brow
As I lie curled, in her safe embrace
Even if death were to come, I’d make it wait.

 

The Man Who Reads

There is a man I know
Who, while I tremble with life,
Quake with anxiety at the future,
Strive to find purpose and meaning,
Sits by a brook in quiet solitude and reads.

While I lament, repent, and fritter away
What has been, the course of my destiny,
While I rage on about injustice and manipulation,
His finger reaches to turn a page.

In my highest highs and lowest lows,
When I found God and rejected him so,
And I cowered in drink and avarice after,
He moved on to a book new.

There is a man I know who reads,
And in the final days when I make amends,
He finishes a novel and his own;
And with quiet smile he lays down knowing
He has lived more and better than I.

 

In Memory of Rain

I often remember words –
Words of a different hue
That have no memory of meaning,
Words I know shouldn’t exist;
But they are there
In the fullness of their body and sound
Like rain.

I have lost all memory of rain.
It creeps into my nightmares
Like the devils of yore;
But I have forgotten rain –
Pearlescent, precipitated, evanescent.
These are just words and so is rain.
I have no memory of it.
The closest I’ve come
Is tear stained cheeks,
Sweat engulfed shirts,
Flower petals laden with dew;
These are not rain, though.
Rain haunts me –
Torrential, downpour, drizzling.
These are just words and so is rain.

Is it nature’s coat of glossy paint?
The faucet that fills the oceans?
The giant water cooler in the skies,
For the gods and their office banter?
Is it the hand that wipes the slate clean?
So that we may get a fresh start?
How would I know, I’ve never had one
For I have no memory of rain,
And my world is poorer for it.

 

Editors Note:

The Man Who Reads and In Memory of Rain were previously published in Vol.03 Issue.08 of eFiction India

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