written by: Dilip Mohapatra
The bouquet of yellow roses
that was delivered the other day
on our wedding anniversary
with a note from our daughter
and that adorned the crystal vase
on our mantelpiece is gone.
I can see it no more
yet I know it was there
and I feel its faint fragrance
in every breath that I take
which perhaps will remain for ever.
Your slender fingers plucked
the strings of the tanpura so very softly
in repeated rhythm
levitating me into infinity
and now in your arthritic numbness
as you see it standing silently
in its glass case in the corner
I still feel the soundless notes
weaving the sonic canvas
on which the ragas are waiting to be inscribed.
The stars appear to have disappeared
behind the layers of clouds
yet I can see a flying Cygnus
or Cassiopeia reclining on her chair.
The sparrows are gone and so are the mynahs
and the cuckoo no longer coos
with the sprightly spring pushed away
by an oppressive summer
yet the familiar tweets echo in my ears.
The hourglass gets turned
up and down
again and again
on and on
and the deaths continue
to complement the lives.