AnilSaari tmbAnil Saari Arora

 

…. poems in the footsteps of Sant Tukaram

 

I

the simple things bring me to you.

it is your sudden revelations
of the breath of life
that bring me to the doorstep –
the simple Good Morning, namaskar,
of a neighbour
who returns from your shrine
with a heart full of prasad
and a face full of smiles.

as I bow to your breeze,
i forget the bag of demands
i want to offer at your feet,
and with you plead;

as the breeze stands at the window
and says, Hello, how are you?
Namaskar.

do you bless me with this bath
of fresh air
because I pray and pray,
several times a day,
begging you for money and wealth
– because whenever I come to you
all I do is ask?
about dreams that have disappeared
in the invisible earth below my scars.
why not me, too, my Lord?
i daily ask.

*****

II

i look at the torn kurta of my dreams,
the worn-out shirt of my youth.

these i preserve,
to dress up
when i come to you

and confess:

this is not what i wish
to redeem
for what you make me believe,

nor to lose the breeze
that sometimes moves
within the narrow lane
stretching above my eyes,
into the small, closed space
of my mind.

i look at the roadside vendor
who helps me feed,
feed on the dreams that come
with that brief breeze
that stirs inside my head;
and like his bread,
for it to work,
and let me sleep.

*****

III

those who’re richer than me,
aren’t they closer to you –
with more to offer
and more to be grateful for?

i come to you to tell myself
i am so much a nothingness to fill,
to understand
why you could not listen to me
or nod at my prayer.

for this is not a world
that can be unworldly;
a world that is, otherwise,
so close to you.

*****

IV

i make these poems
as honestly as those
who make rich offerings;
i make these poems
as others make jewels
out of gold.

i am like a baboon
that has lost its way
in the trees along the city’s edge.

these are like leaves and branches
coming out of my head,
as I stand, a slump upon the earth,
outside the courtyard of your house,
talking in the shade
of mere prayer.

*****

V

do I come to you
because the pain
that echoes in my mind’s garret
rebounds against your name
and tells me to write
the pain
that burns my lane?

*****

VI

perhaps I do not know how to pray.
i cannot read the signs or omens.

i am left to my own devices,
which show me out to be a fool
despite all the books I have read
and all the hours I have meditated upon
– searching behind all the small things
which I cannot comprehend

as I sit on my tree
outside the courtyard.

*****

VII

they who are the most crooked,
and the ones who are daily helpless.

they worship you most frequently
and seek you through the day

: those who feel so close to you
and those who fear you do not care ?..

such are the temptations of faith.

*****

VIII

because all my life
i?ve been wrong wrong and wrong,
i wonder whether once again
i’m wrong when I feel
that you don’t care for me,
don’t even listen to what I say.

maybe you do –
because I am so stupid;
and keep me out of harm’s way
by ignoring me.

*****

IX

i come to you
with a body full of greed
and a mind full of ego.

but I also come with the desire
that you will keep my hopes alive;
that somehow
in coming to you
i shall be able to preserve
my sense of the future
and a search for the truth,

and feel from time to time
a certain peace
when I’m awake.

*****

X

i come to you
because I have nothing more
to lose
apart from my mistakes.

i come
because I’ve nowhere else
to go
outside my dreams.

i come,
to escape the reality
of my nightmare,
and to escape
the end of my illusions

… is this what makes you real
for me?

************* end *********

Advertisements