By Binit Priyaranjan
Presumptions of Purity
Come to bed. Switch off the light.
Leave the music be, so we might
Fill with darkness, and unwanted speech
Spaces otherwise silent. Out of reach.
Darkness enhances the music’s sound,
Drowns your breaths, and the profound,
Feeling of both our lives entwined,
Is for some welcome moments declined.
I drink my scotch, stare at the ceiling,
Trying to keep at bay the feeling,
Of nostalgia, loss, and the thoughts
Of “I must”, “I should”, “I ought”.
As I chase ghosts that aren’t there,
And a familiar perfume fills up the air.
You write on my bare back an Urdu verse,
The one that I taught you; the one that was hers.
You get it wrong. It doesn’t irk,
But all the same, it doesn’t work.
I stop you; I caress your breasts.
You give up; your tired body rests.
Long have you been my shadow lover,
Under darkness, music, and its cover.
Darkness that shields me from liability, cause,
Darkness that hides your face, my flaws.
Darkness that helps me to pretend.
Darkness that is my truest friend.
As for your willing participation,
In this, our unique situation,
I know—no—I like believing,
“An honest night’s job; an honest day’s living”
So The Eagles, night and sensory seclusion,
Together sustain a grand illusion.
And on quicksand turf, held in unsteady hands,
For a few peaceful moments, my Eden stands.
Until, reality, as if it were jealous,
Of a moment so joyous, marvelous,
Invades the dark—my friend so dear,
And on the ceiling, patterns appear.
Helplessly I watch my dreamscape falter,
Smitten to submission at the altar,
Of presuming, self-righteous light,
Fighting un-asked for, a needless fight.
Light that’s so sure all dark-dwellers are haunted.
Light that can’t conceive of being unwanted.
Laptop, bedpost, ceiling-fan—
Soon the entire room’s span,
To Trojan specks has fallen fully:
Conquered spoils for Light the Bully.
I close my eyes, desperate to keep,
My dream, if not in darkness, in sleep.
But the music fades: tired, diminished,
And with it the last of Paradise is finished
Candles in the wind
The wind is strong, but candles burn.
Till the night is done, and the sun returns.
While wise men stupor, and darkness descends,
The balance of light is for candles to defend.
When the battle’s stiff; the odds are slim
When sunlight is a distant dream,
Doubtless candles must brightly burn away
Stare night in the face, say “Not today”
And warm breaths, from cruel winds derive
For only thus do candles in winds survive.
Daydreams are, but fickle things.
Like dewdrops, they, in sunlit day,
Mere moments stay, then melt away,
Coloured rainbows on clouded fancy’s wings.