Durlabh Singh: Bitter Lemon and Other Poems
I want to cut my teeth
On the rind of a bitter lemon
And feel the veins of wintry night
Caught in eddies on the frozen lips.
To follow the paths of the sea
Or to the creatures of sultry nights
Places where agonies kept vigils
In tear stained cheeks after saline.
In the love I embraced
Within my arms some pallid form
But strident heart betrayed its strain
Catching breaths for some ancient storm.
Graces of dead leaves in splits
Half remembered tales of ancient bliss
Some strivings for hankerings of heart
Looking for solace in a venomed start.
OBTAKA- The Magician
Moon goddess came to visit the forest last night
Riding on chariots driven by the velvet monkeys
Guarded by hornets and the armies of wasps
Beleaguered in obscurities by Obtaka the magician.
A maker of charms for the thieves and the lovers
Talisman of skies from paled skins of foreheads
Nail maker hooved webs of the antelopes
Shifter of the sharp swords for the reddish ants.
Striding solid at the hour of the midnight
Giving way to doorways to enter the corridors
Illuminated by the translucent light of the moon.
Tender are the dreams under the wider skies
Where buffalos roam in mud staked stripes
Conversing with mirrored spirits of golden ghosts
Witches, wizards, nymphs or other watery sports.
The chameleon on converse with the blizzards
Obeying the command to put spur on the lizards
The crocodiles, hippopotamus, ibis and the lion
Drinking at water holes under direction of wizard
Rocked white, stone turned hatches for the rabbits
Skin rigged, log wooded dug outs for the jackals
The eel of the deep laughing on its trailed dance
And Obtaka the magician roams in rugged stance.
You did not love the sceptred sunshine
You loved the summerís undiluted sun
Which in the end took its bitter revenge
In depriving you of your saline serenity
Into the depths of crazed pivoted symphony.
Rest assured in your diverted quickened steps
That nobody loved the soul within your crest
The crazed straw hat topping your yellow hair
Your red beard drenched in the crowds, a fear
It was enough to drive the crazy sickened mob
For a revenge on your enflamed tortured throb.
Children will mock you
Citizen will lock you
Women will scorn you
People will disown you.
Dawning clouds and rustling winds
Broken strokes of the lemon rinds
Vermillioned lamps amid ochred yellows
Cobalt blues of the sulphured mellows
Embittered flowers in the wasted vase
Vibratory landscapes in twisted grass
Pavement cafes under the starry skies
Purpled deeds in hallucinatory nights.
With colour and the light
And amid a creative start
An explosion within your soul
And a bullet in your heart.
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