TEN POEMS

1.

SOLITUDE

I don’t seek the stone bowl
Buddha used while here:
she dwells on moon beams

I can see her smiling
with wind-chiselled breast
in sexless solitude

her light is not priced
but gifted to enlighten
the silver-linings

2.

VALLEY OF SELF

I don’t know which psalms to sing
or which church to go to feel
the flame within for a while

sit or lie still with
faith weather the restlessness
brewing breath by breath

I don’t know the god
or goddess or the mantra
to chant when fear overtakes
my being and makes me suffer

plateaus of nightmares
paralysing spirit to live
and be the promised fulfilment

I see no saviour come
to rescue me when mired
I seek freedom from myself:

my ordeals are mine alone
in the valley of self
I must learn to clear the clouds
soaring high or low

3.

SNAKE

Hiding or waiting
it raises its head when least
expected, snake

glitters in the eyes:
looks for the moment to slip
and reveal the fangs

4.

WISDOM

I always dreamt the world
as one and thought I belonged
but none let me live

my simple soul at home
with differences
they kicked me into exile

for their prejudices
forced me seek my nest
in myself

I share the wisdom
of peace and life in tune
with nature

5.

HELPLESSNESS

I have no magical power
to change my restlessness
into glory radiating
peace or purpose in living:

they give me no room to better
men or myself but condemn
as one hanged for nothing:
poets are no living lessons

I stand aside ruminating
what I couldn’t do or be
or await miracles through
circles and zigzags of the mind

even corrupt faith and curse
destiny for the maze
of my own making and yet say
I know the spirit’s upward fire

6.

ELEMENTS CLACK

I don’t know how
the bones grow in the womb
still in darkness

elements clack
in the small house shudder
the harp and strings

the heartbeats pronounce
the balance of nature
against heat wind rain

look for body’s love—
the mystery song echoes
some truths not spoken

7.

IT’S MORE VOLUPTUOUS TO FLOAT

We cover our hells with roses
and fear foreigners digging deep
into our glorious projections

the stinky growth from diseased weeds
no gene therapy can erase:
we reflect the chaos as gold

trying to shed the crust of small selves
invite death for a change and lick
the narrow lake between the thighs

it’s more voluptuous to float
in the sky and come out transformed
with Kali’s blood-dripping light and grace

and recast the seeds of destiny
in undying flowery perfume
without fear of quake or collapse

8.

EYELESS JAGANNATH

I can’t understand
their mystic heaven or thrills
housed in awareness

time’s intricacies
or sources of plastic mist
through mythical depths

the wings of my thought
are too short to climb God’s height
or blue deeps of peace

I stand on the edge
of earth’s physicality

waiting on the brink
with shadowy lines
and curves to image march of
eyeless Jagannath

if nobody sees
the collapse of procession
and the dark precinct

don’t blame the poets:
there is too much emptiness
and gloom to ignore

9.

DECAY WITH DIVINITY

Away from home in academia
sex, philosophy and religion
I’ve been skeptic about all these years
revels of hell in lost memories

couldn’t be a new dialect for spring
turn nude with refreshing orgasm

I still wander in my mind with fire
but no heat or light, sterile emotion
routs the spirit to live making
all presences dark and absence

fears are no bread from heaven
nor unfilled emptiness any sky

yet the eagle flies with wide eyes
nose opened to stinking patches
the mud- and ghostscapes that yield
mandate for dreams wrapped in nightmares:

I live preying for liberation
and decay with divinity

10.

NIGHT’S SILENCE

Unmoved in the wind
the rose still stands erect

in the night’s silence
I imagine my teens

the street is lonely
and love-ache ever fresh

with stolen fragrance
now halting rhythm of sex

--RAM KRISHNA SINGH

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About the Author

Ram Krishna Singh's picture

Biography
Born, brought up and educated in Varanasi, R.K. Singh has been writing and publishing poetry in English for the last three decades. His published volumes include My Silence and Other Selected Poems (1996), The River Returns (2006), Sexless Solitude and Other Poems (2009), Sense and Silence: Collected Poems (2010) and New and Selected Poems Tanka and Haiku (2012). Professionally he has been concerned with teaching English language skills to students of science and technology at a leading technical university in India since 1976. He holds full Professorship with specialisation in English for Specific Purposes.