Posted by: Ron DuBour | September 1, 2014

BARABATI FORT IN RUINS~by Saroj Padhi


 

 

BARABATI FORT IN RUINS

Looking from here,
this blind alley
seems to stagger out
into unending chaos;
biting the ancient earth
under burden of dead leaves, cow-dung
fish-scales, flowers and filth;
blotches of spittle on its hardened face
hide clots of blood under the surface.

Look how it claws at
senseless wheels of civilization
to assume a modern face;
with shameless cracks all over
lolls out its cancerous tongue
to nip the tips
of the dying aspirations of our day.

They say long back
the princess walked on
its bare subconscious layer
storming the waters
of a placid river
flaming the moon
to jealous cries
maddening the rose
to break head
in lovers’ half-shut drunken eyes;
drawing swords from flanks
to clank and spell
the tragedy of true love
in syllables of metallic sighs.

Tonight as I look at
the spectre of the princess’s hair
dangling from the moon’s bruised face
with clouds propping her aged body
see how her half-crazed smile
mocks our broken love;
in the whispers of these muted
stones of Barabati
sound but the suicidal wind’s
cry of a trampled dove;
and on the ebony of this sad night
the dead telephone wires
woo the splinters of beams
in a hot ecstasy of hasty love
only to end up in simmering screams.

The street’s darkening body
tries to hide the contours
of our sad love
under the blanket of a whorish night
when hard cash
decides hours for skin’s over-valued fight
buying false hearts
on way to a short labyrinthine flight.

The street bleeds here
in the shadows of a late moonless night
in its wounds of betrayed breath
echoing in its secret cave
the hollow whispers of false men
wedded to the clang of coins
thrown by hands aloof
to beggars at noon.

Dogs howl here
in the shadows of spiritless love,
cuckoos repeat sad refrains
for still-born mangoes
that drop at the death-touch
of the last super cyclone
that killed many
and still kill many more
with its oft-repeated
sounds of fright
from the bay’s near shore.

Comp. n copy right:
Saroj k. padhi
01/09/14


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