Fables of The Self

Second Meeting

Welcome partner,
your face shines with mischievous smile,
and an innocent child looks from your eyes,
had you been to the place we discussed?
I can't wait anymore, sit beside me, and
tell me your story of journey in separation.

Grey hair and a few wrinkles I had anticipated,
and your old impatience still fascinates me;
that's my chair, and I begin from the beginning.
At the crossroad you did not call me back,
that left no option for me but to proceed alone,
I looked back in expectation till I reached the turn.

These turns are strange; they change the terrain:
the meadows and the birds, and tempting silence!
The brook said: O lady alone, may I accompany you?
We talked about fish and flow, love and life.
'I must depart at next turn dear, but a bird
would accompany you in your travels further.'

The bird came low, its wings making effort
to steady itself at my level, and mused:
I am a loner; the sky speaks to me of vastness,
the rainbow shows me the way in rainy days,
a migrating friend sends me an occasional greeting,
and below, the river flows as a dancing company.

The next turn led me to the dessert at last,
you had reluctantly agreed to let me explore.
There I experienced oceanic splendour; majestic
camels and pigmy humans merged in sandy attire,
the bells in their neck jingled in a sound of music,
as lines leading to last frontier slowly vanished.

Wind played with my clothes, but I felt no shame,
senescence left me as I drank nectar at the oasis,
a white-robed monk whispered truth in my ear -
a mystic word of heavenly power. The sun was cool
and sand cooler. Lost in myself I remembered you,
and here we are together; no more crossroads!

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The Threshold

Do not blame the stone
at the threshold
if you have stumbled there;
the line demarking the two vistas
always throws up obstacles.

Be Careful

Do not blow up the bridges,
for there is always a possibility
others might be following your precepts;
or, you may not be all that correct.

It is not always wise to disagree,
for their arguments may contain
the truth that you might have missed;
or, you may be talking of the same subject.

Try not always to run away,
for the fear might be misplaced,
it may be the rope rather than a snake;
or, 'facing the snake' might actually help.

Mirrored Face

A glass is a glass, may be
a plane to look beyond,
but a powder-coat converts it
into a reflective surface.

It reflects condition of mind,
proportionate to the intensity
and the distance one keeps
during a caress, a hug, or a kiss.

The mirror judges the value
we attach to gems and jewels;
and, with panache, measures
the depth in an eye that weeps.

It's same either way

You came into my life
like a magician,
but the problem remained,
albeit in a changed form.
We wept in silence
and in silence we laughed;
you said the rabbit is an illusion and I said so is the hat.

all poems by c s shah