The Happy Prince in New York City
“Could you please carry the ruby
of my eye and give it
to that little boy?”
asked the happy prince.
The little sparrow flew over the city
watching the festivities in the park,
fluttering over wide roads,
tall structures, shopping malls.
Crossing the East River,
reached the narrow alleys,
where women sat on steps
of brownstone buildings.
It was a warm summer evening,
the young men and women
milled outside the glass-door –
a thud, synchronized shrieks,
the limp body of the sparrow
plopped under concrete columns –
The darkness thickened,
no god’s messenger was seen around,
a man in uniform swept the sparrow
into a garbage bin.
[Almost a year back, I saw a dead sparrow outside Bobst library. Suddenly, I remembered The Happy Prince. This was written almost a year back.]
Playing with God
into a sea of blue sky:
green foliage, alien breeze,
a feel of fall on my skin.
The tottering bed touched
the window ledge; we siblings
found the gloomy haziness
of the room comforting.
In the grove outside rested God,
the uneven stone smeared with sindoor.
every day at the same hour,
we welcomed the priest.
Our game spilled over the window;
we plucked leaves, cooked
unripe fruits; we cleaned the grove
where God lay in noontime stupor.
I look out of a different window now;
brighter, transparent, bereft
of the innocence of playing
[In my childhood, outside the window of the house we lived in, there was a small grove which served as a place of worship for the Hindus. This came to my mind a few days back.]