Almost withered, the lean, leafless flower
Smiles in half of twigless green
Like an aged woman
Banished from the heaven of beauty–
Smiling as a gesture to shower, in vain,
The sprinkles of youthfulness of expired skin,
Rusting in ageing bony pits
As if left in lurch like an exploded balloon!
Smiling in hope of regaining the lost world
Or painting the little beauty
In the hues of joy and happiness
To replicate those young budding days.
So what if lights of the day bruise the skin
In the flickering twilight of life
The beauty of life ever glows with hopes
Even if darkness folds it in its nighty gown.
2. MASS EXODUS: BACK AND FORTH
Millions of legs, tight and stout, step out
Of their weak doorsteps
With their empty but mighty hands;
They never shirk working anywhere,
In any way, or so many ways
In any circumstances
Melting even Dallol, the hottest
With their cool-mindedness
Or heating even Oymyakon, the coldest
With their hot blood.
They leave no stone unturned
Even for meagre means or daily wages
Just to quench the flaring fire in their belly,
All stuck to the bony back
With parched tongues never seen by others.
Days and nights matter not!
Far from the trajectory of joy and pleasure
They, remaining stoic, keep working
Untagged from their safety and security,
Losing all stately tags and badges
Forgetting their own true identity
As human beings!
How strange! Even dogs get a better treat
In the land they till and toil.
Sorry state of affairs!
Where human chains get loose or broken
By iron or golden rods of high-handedness
Pathetic! Apartheid rules the roost
In other way round
Maybe sound to some affluent insane
Flaunting their power or fear
Against mute, dumb, numb, homeless bodies.
Forced and scared! Fleeing legs head back
Back to the hell—
The beehive of evil and suffering,
Yet protected from the volley of abusing stones
Hurled on their faceless faces
Dreadfully defaced in the new valley of violence.
Let their conscience be hurt and bruised today
For tomorrow their heart hurt and mind wounded
Are sure to discover a healing balm
For their long rusty blues–
Under their own bright and blue sky
With the green bed spread out
Resolving the conflicts between hands and mouths.
It is better to find the ground under the feet
Than build the sky over the heads
As Milton’s Satan was right to say-
“Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”.
–Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar
Bio of the poet: Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is a trilingual poet (Maithili, Hindi and English), short story writer, critic and reviewer. Regularly published in various national and international magazines, both printed and online he has to his credit three collections of poems in English: Soothing Serenades: Straight From the Heart (2018), Two Indias and Other Poems (2019) and Thoughts in Solitude (2020). One of his poems on Nelson Mandela is included in the academic syllabus prescribed for the school students of Philippines. Besides, he is also a contributor to journals like The Criterion: An International Journal in English, IJML (International Journal On Multicultural Literature), The Anvil (Forum of Literature & Academic Research in English) and Harvests of New Millennium, The Interiors, Taj Mahal Review, IJES (The Indian Journal of English Studies). He is also a part of several anthologies like ‘Epitaphs’, ‘Purple Hues”, “Whispering Winds”, “Just For You, My Love”, “Heavenly Hymns”, ‘I Am a Woman”, “The Significant Anthology”, “Umbilical Cords”, “A- Divine-Madness” (Five Volumes), “Poetic Prism” – 2015 & 16, “Searching For Sublime” (Australian-Indo Poetry), “She the Shakti”, “Whispering Heart”, etc. He is also the Review Editor of Asian Signature, a literary e-journal, managed from Kolkata.