Fables of The Self

In Search of Peace

From dazzling civilized crowd,
where culture was in short supply,
I moved away
to the distant land for peace.

Under the shadow of protective mountain I tried to ferry across the mighty river but my boat capsized and drowned me with my desires. It resurfaced on the other side, centuries later, with new weaknesses.

In the midst of sandy desert
I surged ahead,
burned my feet and scalded my skin;
face pinned to the ground in disgrace.

A camel limped, and terror laughed.

Buried under the heaps of sand, your voice reassured my crying soul and led me to a new panorama - a cool and moonlit night where innocent laughter of tiny stars awoke me to a new dawn.

Here sun was bright, but cool,
human frame weak, but divine,
and here I could worship you
without 'I, me, and mine'.

In the dazzling crowd of civilization,
culture was trying to sprout, and
I was no more compelled to wander
to distant lands in search of peace.
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The Watermark

It is faint but sure, on every page,
the basis of words I try to extrude.
The watermark silently tolerates
regular, vulgar, and cheap expressions -
the graphs and pictures in the foreground.

May be the watermark itself is a distortion,
the ignorance - the darkness - the faintness,
the non-clarity of incomplete imprint.
The fugitive expression masquerades
as a piece of art - the water mark!

Would you like to keep the background clean?
- rub off the shades of distortions - thosee grays
drawn from the mixture of black and white?
Only if it were possible to separate
the green of earth and the blue of sky
from intervening thoughts and clouds!


In labour he does not see capital,
but finds love;
in work he expects no return,
performs worship;
in contemplation he is sober,
discards scholarship;
he meditates as naturally
as one would breathe;
line of demarcation fades
between secular and spiritual;
the ochre scarf contrasts
nicely against his white collar.

all poems by c s shah