Poems by Malathi Jagannathan

Had the Rose chosen to wither…

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Oh, Ye young ones, just bloomed into buds!
Long journey Ye have in the ocean called life!
Why do Ye yearn to give up thy life
At the fall of a hat or a bat of a lid?
What worries Thee torment? What aches in thy heart?
That torturous death ye dare to seek?
Jumping off the terrace or setting thyself ablaze?
Do Ye not know that if Ye survive per chance
It’s death while Ye live for both body and soul?
A guilt-filled life that is forever strife,
Your loved ones shattered even if cause for it they be.
Expectations high? Too difficult to satisfy?
Failure in Love, that couldn’t find another Love?
What is it Oh, Dears?
That to die Ye dare and to live Ye fear?
Oh, Ye fresh blooms yet to blossom!
Ye know not thy fragrance!
For if the rose had chosen to wither
When still in its infancy,
Would the world have smelt the rose
And made it the Queen of flowers?

(A tear-filled Elegy to the young teenagers
who make an attempt on their own lives
without giving a thought to the after-effects of their
momentary daring / cowardice act)

Internet, a virtual reality

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Hey friends of mine through net!
Not one I know by face,
Nor do I care to know
Your caste or creed or race
Nor religious background too
A criminal or a saint,
An intellectual or a fool
A celebrity or a non-entity
All I have to say is that
Bound as one we are
Through poetsindia.com
We share our poems and hearts,
Exchange our views and points,
Show concern and love,
No personal queries asked
Yet warmth there is aplenty
In this tiny world of ours
I love ye friends a lot
From the bosom of my heart
Thank you poetsindia.com
For the friends provided true.

The generous and the selfish

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Oh mighty tree! How barren you stand, this wintry day,
While mortals, we, are wrapped up full,
In Clothes all warm, to keep away chill.
You shed thy leaves and give warmth
To the bare feet of men, poorer amongst us,
While we greedy men
Grab all the wool from yonder sheep
To keep us warm and snug.

Oh lofty tree! How proud you stand, flowers all in bloom,
All through the spring, spreading thy fragrance to one and all,
And we petty mortals, care not at all,
We squeeze them in bottles to be sold as perfumes
For the exclusive use of a privileged few.

Oh generous tree! You stand so tall
All full of leaves on a quiet summer day,
We hapless men stand almost bare
To shove away the scorching sun’s glare.
You give us fruits, so tasty and sweet,
They tickle our taste buds and make us go crazy!
And yet we men, we merciless men,
Cut down ye trees to fulfill our needs, oh what a pity!

Religion and Spirituality

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Religions may come, religions may go.
But spirituality is here forever to stay.
Religions talk of Gods so many,
Spirituality speaks of love infinity.
Religions narrow down our vision-‘My God, My religion.’
Spirituality expands compassion -‘Love all, bless all.’
Religions preach virtue and sin through ‘scriptures.’
Spirituality speaks love through ‘silence.’
Religions are the alphabets that help master spirituality
As a, b, c are the alphabets to master the language, English
Religions and alphabets are symbols just,
With no meanings any, when on their own.
Yet they are a must, the very first steps
To master the language in the respective fields.

Let religions hold on to us
Rather than we clinging on to them.
When religions hold us we become divine,
But when we hold on to religion we are called fanatics.
Like all mothers who know when to set kids free,
Religions too will let go of us
The moment we are masters of our own true selves.
To love ones religion is a commendable act
But to hate all others is a crime on God.
Let us not in the name of religion
Spread the venom of hatred and farce.
Let the bud of religion
Bloom into a flower of spirituality
And the whole of this universe
Flourish in prosperity.

Peace! Peace! Peace!

An ode to Diana- The Queen of Hearts

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

The world hasn’t come to a halt,
The press has yet not accepted their fault
For hounding her, thus killing her
In world’s most tragic accident.

Not a day passed in peace nor rest,
The paparazzi competing to shoot the best,
Intruding her privacy ’cause she was a celebrity.

And now she’s gone for an eternal rest
For God couldn’t bear his child being harassed!
He called her back ‘fore the mission she accomplished.

One sole request from an admirer of Diana
To the dirty press that hounded her like hyena-

‘Let her have a peaceful sleep
At least in her grave where now she lies.
Don’t dig her story in her grave
And make her restless even there.”

Soul Searching

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

I love my sweet self
The self that is past,
The self that is no more,
The self that I would love to be,
But am not able to be-
Where relationships were precious to me,
Where mother, father, brothers, in-laws,
Friends, husband, children, strangers-
All meant so much to me,
But now they stand reminders of past-
Shattered, scattered and dreaded the most,

Oh, my precious old self!
Where art thou gone?
Oh, where art thou?
Who is residing in me now?
I feel like a stranger unto myself.
Where has gone my confidence?
And where my talent, where my sense?
What has brought me to such a ruin?
I feel like I’m in a stranger’s feet.

Will I be my same old self?
The same old self that I love to be
The same old self that I am no more?
The same old self that I crave to be?
Loving, caring, soothing, free?

Straight out of my heart, dearest friend

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Oh! How you would be wishing,
Time had ceased to be,
A day earlier or two,
So the man nearest your heart,
Could live eternally!
Earlier you’ve come to me
Tears brimming in your eyes,
Looking for solace
In a dear friend that’s me.
Alas! Cruel fate!
No more have I the face
To look into those eyes,
Those tear-filled eyes,
For solace I have none!
As you hold my hands
And look up at my face
For some magic, healing words
That could bring you back
Those glorious years of past-
I look down at the floor
Avoiding your tear-filled eyes
Lest mine too begin to flow
And break thine little hope.
Oh, How I wish I could
Just put my arms around
And delight you with the words-
“Oh, cheer up my dear friend,
It was just a dream!”
But words have failed me now,
Thus leaving my friend forlorn
To brood her fate alone.
God, I beg of thee!
Give my friend that peace
That ever elusive peace,
Which she desperately needs
And give her back that smile
That adorns her face.

(Dedicated to my dearest friend Geetha,
who lost her beloved husband on 8th January, 2002)

A tribute to my Mother

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

It’s hard to believe that you are entering your seventies soon
You still seem to me the sweet mother of yore.
You’ve sweat blood for us, for me and brothers two,
With father by your side, as a pillar of support, true.

Even now as I think of the way you’ve toiled
Balancing your work between office and home,
My eyes turn wet for the care so perfect.
At the expense of your health you have worked for our best,
Caring not for rest, duty always first.

And now that you are old, your children well-settled,
Each leading their own lives, in the way they think is best,
It makes us proud to feel that shattered dreams of yours
You’ve never thrust on us.

Bad times you’ve tided, with all the courage in the world
You’ve always been for us, a friend, philosopher and guide.
Your zest for learning things, with age being no bar,
Has always inspired us, me and brothers too.

And now at the zenith of your life, you are the guiding light of our life
Basking in the warmth of your love, we’ll walk the path you have laid
Remembering one thing in our minds-
“How famous to become, we will think not of that,
How best we make of life, is what will matter most.”

(A tribute to my mother – On her sixty-ninth birthday)

The debt we owe

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

I have a plea to our countrymen,
Rich or poor, mighty or meek,
There is a debt we need to keep,
And about that debt, I’d like to speak.

If you are a billionaire,
Don’t hoard even a penny unfair.
By taking just this much of care,
You contribute our country its due share.

And,
If you are a millionaire,
Just go and pay your taxes fair.
By doing just this little bit,
You contribute to our countries net (worth).

And,
If you are a salaried class,
You too could put in your little bit.
Go, lend the poor a helping hand
And pull them up from where they stand.

And
If you are too poor a man
That meeting ends are an uphill task,
Still you’d have some wee-bit left
To care for the needs of the creatures bereft.

For from nature we should learn-
A lofty mountain or a lowly worm,
They all perform their duties sound,
To nature’s order they are bound.

A mountain blocks rain bearing clouds
Thus bringing to earth rain abound.
An earth worm too performs its task
By tilling the soil without being asked.

From womb to tomb

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Deep within, in her cosy home,
nourished and safe, in her mother’s womb,
she awaits the day, for a life of her own,
little aware that it’s danger prone.
Even in the womb, she’s not all that safe.
Every passing day is a new lease of life.
Violence against her starts right in the womb.
“Will she survive, or will she not?”
Even Almighty God, He knows that not.
But lucky she is, she survives the first bid
When her whole lot, wants the girl child rid.
Now there she lies, on her mother’s lap
waiting to grow, into a beautiful lass.
She grows amidst violence-
physical and emotional, all but in silence.
Even as a child, her virginity is at stake.
In bud she may be nipped even before she blooms.
Lucky if she is, for a second time yet,
From school to college she enters next.
Eve teasing, acid attack and a dozen more crimes,
Waiting to stalk her as every step she climbs.
At home or in office, she’s always pushed around,
Discriminated, dominated, bruised and battered.
Yet bravely she walks, from womb to the tomb,
Through the battle-field of life, all fully prepared.

Tranquility of dawn

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

As the moon bids adieu to night
And ‘fore the sun gives day its light,
There is that peace, that tranquil peace
No price can fetch with so much ease.

Do you not hear the cooing sound?
That comes from yonder trees around?
And the cawing of the crows,
And the chirping of the birds?
One can go ecstatic here
In such a serene atmosphere.

And as the day gets fully bright,
Thanks to the sun’s glaring light,
The tranquil peace is shattered through
By the blaring sounds those horns do.
And then the dreams are shattered too
Reminding of another day’s woe.

Innocence

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

There she lay bedecked in red
On the bamboo-coco-palm leaf bed
Rosy petals on her body spread
Awaiting the last journey ahead.

Awaiting the last journey ahead
The blowing conches rent the air
And beating drums create a scare
There is a silence everywhere.

There is a silence everywhere
Except a few moans and groans.
Once in a while a head or two
Pops up to have a glimpse of the corpse.

To have a last glimpse of the corpse
Bubbling with life just moments ago.
Oh why did it have to happen so?
To her children it would be a mighty blow.

To her children it would be a mighty blow.
Ah! The children! Where are they?
“Two gems they are”, so people say.
Down in the garden they seem merry and gay.

Down in the garden they seem merry and gay
Quite unaware of the happenings around,
Laughing and playing with energy abound,
Not at all perturbed by the conch and drum sound.

Not at all perturbed by the conch and drum sound.
Oh! Innocence! Art thou a gift of God?
To the children of this world
To guard them from being harmed?

To guard them from being harmed
From the woes and sorrows
All mortals are cursed to nurse.
Oh innocent children! Thou art really blessed!

Oh innocent children! Thou art really blessed!
For-
As the cortege leaves,
The children from the garden
Come running past the crowd,
“Oh sweet mummy dear! We are back here,
Come serve us our food, hungry we are, for sure!”

Light at the end of the tunnel

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Wrinkled face, toothless smile, vacant looks, shattered hopes-
This, the woeful sight in an old age home.
No goals pursued, no joys to be shared,
A forgotten past and a forlorn future,
They await their end, arms outstretched.
My heart aches for them, my heart bleeds for them.
Long stories of woe, down memory lane-
Oh, humanity! Where hast ye gone?

No near ones or dear ones
Come to meet them I learn.
They weep for each other,
They laugh for each other,
They console each other,
They condole for each other.

Thrown away from their homes
In the fag end of their lives,
For no fault of their own,
For no crimes ever known,
The old age homes, their last resort,
They seek refuge, with hopes in their eyes.
Their last lap of life, they wish to spend in peace.

Salutations to the old age homes!
They’ve brought humanity from the dead.
They’ve rekindled hopes of the suffering lot.
Let us join hands to tread their path
To bring some cheer amongst those miserable lot.
Let’s make men realize-‘the inevitable is not far off’
When old age they near, history may have a laugh.

The songs they sing

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

Oh lovely flowers,
To thee they sing
The song of love!
While hovering past
From flower to flower,
The bees, they sing
To thee of love.

Oh fluttering birds,
To thee they sing
The freedom song!
Blowing across
Forests and deserts,
The wind, they sing
Thy freedom song.

Oh raging seas,
To thee they sing
A lullaby!
Back and forth
The dancing waves!
They sing to thee
A lullaby!

Oh mighty warriors,
Guarding our frontiers
For thee we sing
Our prayer song!
“May Lord Almighty
Protect thy kin
As ye stand guarding
Our beloved land!”

An ode to the astronauts

a poem by Malathi Jagannathan

In time they flew, high up to space,
To bring new fame to human race.
Seven were they who knew no fear
In shuttle Columbia, all full of cheer.

Six and ten successful days,
Up in space, doing research
Oblivious of the cruel date
They were having with fate.

Alas! On their downward journey from space
Six and ten minutes, if only they could race!
For away they were snatched ‘tween time and space.
The cruel fate they had to face.

They, who had broken the laws of gravity,
Could not alas, break the laws of mortality,
Yet they gained eternity
For their endeavour towards humanity.

Salute to thee, Oh astronauts
For in your death that came in haste,
The space research has had a jolt.
Yet the mission will continue at a greater pace.

(Dedicated to the astronauts
who lost their lives in space shuttle Columbia)