Two Poems

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

I look out of my windowwindow image

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

with God.

 

[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.]

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