Eternal Blooms: In Defense of Poplars
written by: Dr Santosh Bakaya
Peering through my window bars
I inhale the mild fragrance of the laburnum blooms
Gulmohars too, but, I think of poplars, why?
Sigh. In my room, hangs a reproduction of a Monet painting
Of poplars four, blooming in linearity stark
Eternally, lifting me from throes of gloom
Catapulting me to bygone times, those pristine climes.
When sitting on the patio of our cottage near the Lidder*
We sang off- key rhymes, flailing our limbs hither –thither
As birds applauded from the foliage.
A stout cloud hitched a ride on sun’s fiery shoulders
Making place for the drugged night, hugging the boulders.
It was the month of June. Lo and behold!
The moon dipped low [Or so it seemed,
Or maybe we dreamed?] Suddenly you screamed,
“Stop frowning, the moon is drowning.“
Of course, I knew you were clowning.
But yes, I saw, the moon; it was there in the water
Gasping for breath.
Were the waves trying to strangle it to death?
Near the Dal Lake, the boisterous throng, sang a happy song,
Their notes swaying with the mesmerizing canopy of the poplar trees.
Walking on the promenade, furtively looking at the watch
“Was it time to go, huh, already?“
I asked foolishly, heart unsteady.
Now time wriggles on arthritic legs
But then it was Usain Bolt,
Bolting fast, like a frisky colt.
These poplars on the wall
Keep transporting me to that cottage small
And our joyous walks on the boulevard
As time takes heavy breaths, a tired colt,
An exhausted Usain Bolt.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
*LIDDER is a 73 kms long river, in the Kashmir region (India)