Author Archives: Matthew Adukanil

Like the rest of Mankind

Daily I thank my creator
He made me like the rest
With no crippling handicaps
Equipped to live life best.

He made me wonderfully whole
Fully enabled to play my role
Ears open to sweet sounds and sighs
To float and glide on music’s magic.

My eyes click nature’s loveliest hues
Feast on sumptuous works of art
I can give tongue to my inmost thoughts
Soothe hurts with honey words

My legs take me wherever I wish
To roam freely in hills or glades
My nostrils intoxicate with scents
The dowry of prettiest blooms.

Thank I God I am entire
Sans a single handicap
That I am like the rest of mankind
Like the best of the rest.

Glamour

All dolled up in grease and paint to kill
Condemned perpetually to consult the mirror
Burned by harsh ultra-violet rays of glamour
Licked by scorching flames of fame.

Hounded by sensation-bitten paparazzi
Driven to flash always a pasted smile
Forced to endless rituals of body cult
Starved to near death to maintain figure.

Strapped to ventilator of fashion critique’s rating
Facing fade-out threats from younger rivals
How long will I top the charts?
The unspeakable fear
Past heady bloom cruelly destined for the dust bin.

Why not cultivate rather the inner self
And be for ever in unfading bloom?

Searching at Dawn

I rise early to catch
The scent of your passing in the garden
I join the warbling birds
To sing your glorious praises.

Let me spread the dew of my song
In the path of your anointed feet
To take the imprint of your foot steps
And kiss the holy ground.

Let the doors of my eyelids unfold
To catch a glimpse of your dawn
Like bees that seek nectar
I long for my heart’s lord.

Why is the dawn so long in breaking?
Why do the dark hours drag on?
My eager eyelids ache to behold
The first streaks of your glory.

On Ennore’s Shores

As I sat by Ennore’s shores
And gazed at the placid back waters
I saw life’s throbs and pangs
Explode in a quiet eco-system.

Away from the hustle and bustle
Of Chennai’s traffic jams and crowds
Life ambled at leisurely pace
By the glassy waters.

Fishermen in slow boats
Cast nets in languid waters
The catch they haul on board
Yields life to city dwellers.

All good men must pay taxes
Fishermen are no exception
Swooping crows, nature’s tax collectors
Make tax deduction at source.

Long legged white cranes, too
Age-old, expert fishers,
Dive in low tide waters
And snap up prey in firm beaks.

God set up this ancient system
And appointed the sun watchman
He is faithfully at his post daily
And the show goes on merrily.

There is none like him

No man ever spoke better than He
No man is ever better than He.

His gaze searches my inmost recesses
And unearths there hidden treasures
His voice most inviting, soothing, comforting
His words most challenging.

His gentle touch heals and restores
His heart brims with the milk of kindness
Dogged and unwearied his feet
Seeking the lost on highways and byways.

In courtesy ever the best
A boundless ocean of mercy
His presence a gentle balm
To the troubled, reassuring calm.

A royal who rode a humble ass
A master who washed disciples’ feet
A prince born in a manger
A god who featured in a census.

I know none kinder than He
Of all the great who walked this earth.

Seeking at Dawn

I rise early to catch
The scent of your passing in the garden
I join the warbling birds
To sing your glorious praises.

Let me spread the dew of my song
In the path of your anointed feet
To take the imprint of your footsteps
And kiss the holy ground.

Let the doors of my eyelids unfold
To capture a glimpse of your dawn
Like bees that seek nectar
I long for my heart’s Lord.

Why is the dawn so long in breaking?
Why do the dark hours drag on?
My eager eyelids ache to behold
The first streaks of your glory.

Cracker Barrage

Oft have I wondered at festival times
Why crackers fascinate us Indians so
What’s in us that generates
This compulsive obsessive urge to explode?

The cracker bursts with a deafening sound
Ear drums shudder, shiver and quiver
The cracker shoots splinters, shreds and smoke
Gasping lungs recoil, living beings choke.

Are they a potent loud ad for hell?
For human ears a splitting, blasting bombshell?
A flying arrow in the dark, a stab on the night air
An ear-splitting bang to test the stone-deaf?

It’s a deafening call to scare and scatter
Shattering the nerves of man and beast
Dogs shiver, rabbits dart off, elephants panic
Perching birds flutter to escape the airy lash.

Diwali’s a harrowing time for light-sleeping folk
For a relentless noise barrage assaults their ears
A spluttering burst shatters the night calm
Sparks fly and gleam mocking the sky.

How I wish more lights and lamps lit up
The festival night like soft twinkling stars
From scintillating airy displays, pearly sparks
Parachute gently on the festive earth.

Noise encroaches, shocks, violates your sanctuary
With bangs and bursts of intense decibels
Kindly light beckons mellow, gives a warm glow
With courtesy and grace invites you gently…

Fleeting or Enriching

The moth flies to the flame
The bee to the the flower
Moth’s wings singed, it’s roasted
Bee builds the honeycomb.

Pleasures seductively beckon
Money bestows power
Flesh pots are fleeting
Riches deceiving.

These mere shadows of night
Peel off like make-up in day
Noble deeds like wholesome food
Enrich for ever the core self.

Pipes carry and hold water intact
But sustain no living grass
Free-flowing water in river
Sprouts lush vegetation on banks.

The Dead Sea is a world unto itself
Receiving, holding and hoarding
A sick picture of stagnation, death and decay
A parable of absorbing pursuit of pleasure.

An unspeakable loss

There’s a sudden vacuum
An unprepared for absence
It had to happen ,we all knew
But who expected it this soon, just now?

I feared making long trips home
At unexpected, importunate hours
But mom quit life so soon
Even before I made the first long trip.

I may lose many loved
Even bosom friends so dear
But none will I miss so much
As entirely, totally devoted mother.

Home is no more the same home
It’s charm is gone, it’s no longer so warm
Folks at home will still care
But a thin veil has dropped from above.

Mothers deliver us at birth on this earth
After sheltering us for long, heavy months
And when they leave for their eternal home
They carry a part of us as baggage.

All waters proclaim the Lord

Pearly dew drops
Holograph his splendour
Fleecy snow expanses
Flash his brilliance
Pregnant dark clouds
Deliver April showers
Gently passing streams
Murmur his name.

Massive glaciers
Imprint his might
Roaring falls
Thunder his fame
Mountain gorges
Explode his power
Deep winding rivers
Yield his mystery.

Cascading falls
Pile up his mercy
Rippleless pools
Guard his wisdom
Extensive lakes
Soak in his goodness
Raging tsunamis
Sign the Almighty’s name.

Cell Phone Menace

The family is at meals
Conversation gently flows
A cell phone rings
The magic web shattered, attention scatters.

Then beeps another – and another
And Babel ensues
As a pool calm is scattered
By plunging stones.

The visible community is fissured
Unseen airy partners break in-
The knell of table conversation.

The stomach revolts at the ring tone
Digestion shuts down as when a novice kitten
Encounters a mighty canine in its tracks.

The addict alienates family and friends
As he hooks on to a remote cyber circle
The wireless invader intrudes irreverently
Into even moments of communing with the Divine,
The user’s eyes lose focus as he becomes all ears
Elephantine lobes would suit him.

Oh for an hour of quiet silence
Mortgage free from electronic traffic
When ears may spring-bathe in nature’s sounds
Or in genial laughter of family and friends!

The Yellow Canopied Tree

The golden mantled yellow canopied tree
Standing in a cluster on playground fringe
Caught my eye and stirred my thoughts this morn.

From its tent of myriad yellow flowers
A feather-light blossom gently floated to earth
Then a series of fellow-comrades followed in tow.

Some inner clock timed their snow-like fall
In leisurely, phased manner unlike traffic snarl
Till they wove a soft yellow carpet on earth.

These gently landing blossoms regale the eyes
Their maker showers blessings on us all the while
But we see them not in the blur of fast lane life.

Colours of Temptation

The grandest fraud on man
Honey-coated worm-wood
A scented embalmed corpse
A gamble doomed to remorse.

Life-insured bubbles
Dreams that fake day
Falsehood clad in truth’s clothes
Counterfeited face of gladness.

Sweet deception in dim light
Hags passing for sweet seventeens
Tin glows like silver
Broken glass like diamond.

Irresistible in promise
Bitter in aftertaste
Bloating with excuses, betting
Next round satisfaction for sure.

Promises written on sand grains
On wind-licked desert plains
Offering gourmet dream banquet
On sinking luxury liner.

Three toughest words

Many breathlessly utter it
Others fervently swear by it
But who can say truly
‘I love you’?

‘I love you’.
Three toughest words to utter
But why?

I will tell you
See if you can pass this test.

I love you
Not my shell
Not my riotous passions
But my abiding self

I love you
Not cling leechlike
Not exploit and smother
Not use you

I love you
Not your wrapping
Not my pet fantasies
But your core self

Now dare you say
Those three words glibly?

Fusion of Contraries

Life is a fusion of contraries
A string of paradoxes
As light and darkness make the full day
Contraries weave the woof and warf of life.

Fresh energy and vigour for the day
Are distilled drops of quiet nightly sleep
Words of wisdom and profound insight
Well up from the depths of silent thought.

Admirable advances of the present
Sprouted from long quests of the past
Highest reaches of soaring space ships
Are propelled by strongest retro rockets.

The higher you aim to leap
The farther you back up to start
The taller you intend to build
The deeper foundations you dig.

The sparks of wit flash better
Against the ashes of dullness
Kind words and acts are soothing balm
On throbbing stabs of hate and spite.

The noble lotus is more regal
Against a murky pool
And noblest men are forged
In hardest, harshest oppression.