Fables of The Self

The Long Period of Twenty Years

"Just a minute," said I
and was engrossed in my work;
"Carry on, old boy," he replied,
and was comfortable with his smoke.

Twenty long years was the time
when he had opted to work,
and I continued my studies
and became a person with perks,

"How was life?" I inquired,
but regretted:
'should I have really asked?'

Years of hard labour had etched firm lines on his rugged face, mark of his inner strength?

"Life appears to have agreed with you," said he; and patting me on the back left the office as easily as he had come.

River of Hope

The river waited and dried up in the end,
as much-awaited rains passed by her bend.

A feeling of guilt has since entered her soul,
that she cannot shed tears in grief anymore.

The flow has reversed and affects her interiors,
music and fun having become fugitive outsiders.

Since then many of us inherit her depression,
as guilty conscience and suppressed emotions.

I tried to revive her and seek her company,
by silently shedding a tear or two in secrecy.

Nothing has helped as the satellite picture shows,
not even melting of ice from those mountain slopes.

O rain-god, be good and pour yourself in torrent,
for the river is dry, but surely isn't dead yet.

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The Effect

That day,
as I was washing my face,
I saw myself without a mask.

I had just returned
from the monk's cottage;
had I seen myself then
in the mirror of his sermon?

For, of late, it was unusual
to find a clear face,
without lines of worries
or blemishes of hatred.

The hermit had said:
experience creates a mask,
even though no one desires it.

He Is Never Late

The pigeons had started long back
with the message of peace and prosperity;
why have they not reached yet
to announce the dawn of a new era?

The swans had left for their mission
of elevating tranquility to new heights;
why then is there no trace of them
in the lake of my restless mind?

You promised to come to our rescue
from one age to another, in every age;
what holds You back, O Lord,
my eyes are closing in Your wait.

Look, my son, look around,
in those huts and shanty towns,
in their sufferings and wails,
there you shall find Me, and
pigeons and swans as well.

The Change

The drop evaporated
but did not perish.
Penetrating the soul of the sun
it continued to shine,
as lightning,
in those vaporous clouds.

all poems by c s shah