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Note on the set of poems:
Reaching out and reaching places are realities that stay with us.
From huffing and puffing in your dreams to blazing away on the Information Highway
to the daily relationship with the asphalt on the roads ... travel is unavoidable.
This set of sonnets is on some of the experiences, thoughts, observations, and probes
one comes across on the roads.
Hope you enjoy listening ... I loved writing about them.
These sonnets were broadcast on the AIR Overseas Service in May 1999.
And Then The Cows Looked Up In Surprise.
When buses stop and the drivers jump out
To be one with the crowd to catch a thief,
When horns do not scream and the brakes don't shout,
The cows on dividers sigh with relief!
While whistling with joy on zebra crossings
As mechanical toys don't rush or crush
Even this hope, if true, unhindered brings
Cows out in herds to moo in joyous flush!
When sanity reigns and life's in its lane
And no one is swerving from right to left,
Perfection as this will not go in vain
And every morning will find roads cow-swept!
But these are just thoughts, and they will arise,
No cow will ever look up in surprise!
As Though He'd Stop To Ask The Way.
Sometimes, someone will match my speed and look
Through a dusty visor to say something
That I can't hear though when I slow, the look
Unhooks our new-formed bond, passes a sting
And surges ahead to leave me unzipped.
Is it so bad to stop to hear, to help?
Such wonderment has grown with time, unarmed
Thus helplessly I've slowed down my stops to help.
Sometimes when I must match my speed and look
Through my dusty visor to ask something
That can't be heard and when I slow, the look
Simply unhooks all bonds, passes a sting
That leaves me shaken, lost, and seems to say:
As though you'd ever stop to tell the way!
Anything Is Fit Material For Poetry.
For each that pass there's one that's left behind
For each that stops there's one that starts afresh
For every rush of blood without a mind
There must be someone gentle as a creche.
Unnerving swings and roguish spins will hurt,
And so will sudden stops and bursts of speed.
The best part though, and this may really hurt,
Is that none must be done away indeed.
A phrase that's new against one that is worn
Can make a writing true and full of verve,
Pushy scalps and the meekest hides adorn
Equal space that the mild and the wild deserve.
I wouldn't say they be unfettered, free
Both are fit material for poetry!
The Roads Are Faithless, Dumb, And Lost.
These roads do not belong to me, yet I go
Rushing over them each day, though my
Fate Needed them more. Fates travel and Fates grow,
Like escape phrases within an inmate.
Roads do not take me anywhere. I go
From one uncertainty to another
Only to hear people say that Fates grow!
Me, my Fate, and the roads seem one.
The other Is the destination that we look for.
Treacherous turns and the unending turns
Lead into the vast misty world of lore
I can only loose my way, so return.
We forget though that journey's end travels
With us on the same road and stays unravelled!
My Pillion Rider is Robinson Crusoe.
On my bike is Crusoe to help me out
His experience with barbarians might help.
He's a fighter and he's known to shout
At things that sulk, or the moments that yelp.
He said he liked that stretch at India Gate:
No stops and no traffic cops presiding,
And the swiftness at which all challenged Fate
His ease of adjustment was surprising!
Pot-holed roads made his day. Happy curses
Told me so. And then with unbounded joy
He clapped our life through converging buses
As I drove in and out his novel ploy.
I was the thing that yelped but I liked it
He made me live life bit by risky bit.
Do Not Let Them Fly Past You.
Here skids are known by absence than presence.
There will be no black marks on melting tar,
And anyway where people have the sense
To move on even though there is a scar.
All I do while I drive is look at all
The big and the small, the smiles and the scowls,
Those who fall, then those who make others fall,
The silent ones and the ones who notice fouls.
They are all there and so many more too
The bold and the bleeding, the unsung dolts,
Hands that reach out for profits on a cue...
I look at them all the asses and colts
And move on I never stop, lest one more
Goes past me to give me a slower score.
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