Poems by Pavalamani Pragasam

Waiting Matters

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Fast is man’s pace-
Rocketing beyond space,
Webbing across cyberspace:
Yet waiting has much relevance!

Mother Nature certainly is patient-
Trees have years inside seeds spent.
Buds wait for the proper moment
To blossom and waft their scent.

Eggs hatch on the precise date,
Feathers appear at the set gait;
Nestlings must but wait
To fly and for the season to mate.

Neither is birth fast or easy-
The womb must but carry
For the counted days the baby
Till the mother’s happy delivery.

It is after so many semesters
And studious, exam papers
Any university a degree confers.
Wait again for the job one prefers!

Queues are endless here and abroad-
Be it for the ration card or the green card,
Or for the green signal on the crowded road.
And the last wait is for life’s burden to unload.

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You and I

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

A figure has its shadow,
And a sound its echo.

You and I are a similar pair-
But not so well do we fare.

‘Cos you’re my distorted shadow,
And a perverse, contradictory echo.

I gaze at the rainbow with childlike glee,
You just shrug at the natural phenomenon.

A flowing, silver cascade again
Is for you a mere force of gravitation.

I rejoice when I hear wedding bells,
But you think of fetters and shackles.

Marital bliss as I see
Is for you a doom in disguise.

I find in the babe a bundle of joy,
The same, for you, is a burden of yoke.

I love youth, mirth and laughter;
Brooding alone is what you prefer.

I greet the day that is born;
You weep the day that is gone.

You scowl at the black cloud,
I smile at the silver lining behind.

Firm is my faith in Providence;
Resigned, you are, to Destiny.

North and south poles are, indeed, opposite-
Yet, there’s an attraction they cannot resist.

An eggshell houses yolks two- yellow and white,
My soul, alike, holds minds two- grim and bright.

An intriguing psycho-paradox, perhaps,
Hard to define, harder to live with.

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The Beach

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

On the beach I sit for hours entranced
Seeing how the world around me danced
A feast of cheerful sights and sounds
The spice of life’s variety here abounds

Kids squealing in joyous laughter
The elders only happy to run after
Lovers are transported to paradise
The surroundings lost to their eyes

Friends gathered to forget their care
Breathing in the freshness of salty air
Fun and entertainment for all ages
Even fortune-telling parrots in cages

The kaleidoscopic scenes make me wonder
Making my harrowed mind cease to ponder
Lost in a state of blissful reverie
A magic eraser rubs my memory

I feel not the fine sand in my palm
Dripping through in celestial calm…

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A Soft Pillow

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

My heart doth now become leaden
With aches and pains gets laden
When hearing news that are sordid
Evil deeds of creatures too horrid

Demons and monsters in stories read
Come alive to wreck lives unhindered
With their fangs and claws so hideous
And wicked to harm in ways insidious

When heavy sadness fills my heart
To some pleasant memories I resort
The happy carefree childhood days
Of fun, frolic and friendly plays

Beaches, flowers, hills and dales
Any scenery that my heart regales
Little favors that life brings
And a lot of my favorite things

Those little acts of my kindness
Deeds of tact and thoughtfulness
That brightened a worried face
And emboldened to run the race

Unflinching always in my duty
Guarding the kin with loyalty
To gather knowledge my thirst
And to share it was I first

Let the ugly face of life recede
Let me only the bright spots heed
Unknown are the ways of Providence
In its kindness have I confidence

A branch is not destined to carry
Fruit bunches that are too heavy
No grudges and ill-will I keep
A soft pillow I have to sleep

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Two Faced

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Is life a gentle, caressing breeze
Weaving through the leaves of trees?
Or a tumultuous gale with malice
Tossing the boat in rough seas?

Is life a baby’s cherubic smile,
Utterly void of craft and guile?
Or a wicked grin born in wile,
Filled with cruel venom and bile.

Is life an uplifting wind blown,
Bent on bestowing the winning crown?
Or a deadly mire pulling down,
With definite design to drown?

Does life bring joys in bundles,
Where only easy jobs one handles?
Or a bitter race of non-stop hurdles;
And a hateful animosity, it kindles?

Is life a sweet bed of roses,
Which never a harm poses?
Or a game one always loses
And every exit to escape closes?

Is life a rare delicacy
Spiced with endless variety?
Or a path of unfathomable mystery
Thorned with merciless treachery?

Life indeed is a Janus-
With a face , fair and wondrous,
And another, freakish and callous.
Oh! Lord! hide the second from us!

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Cyberspace

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Space is the place where
The heavenly bodies revolve;
Cyberspace is the internet world where
The human beings evolve
Global communication techniques.
After the tom tom beat and pigeon missive,
The horseback courier, airmail and wireless
Flash now instant messages
On the monitors of home computers.

Oceans of knowledge, tons of printed treasure,
Packed in pin head spaces open to view
Without our straining a sinew!
Oh! The silicon wonder of bits and bytes!
Surf across the net and get
Latest findings and hottest news,
Tho’ authenticity of a lot is not warranted!

It’s an amazing world of fun:
Brainy teasers, hilarious cartoons,
Gambling casinos, chatting cafes,
Bizarre websites, perverse pictures
Are online pastimes round the clock.
Masked identities, dropped inhibitions,
Strange lingo, stranger etiquette,
Naughty chattings, naughtier greetings
Are marks of this virtual world.

Also, hackers with negative genius
Are up to endless mischief;
Virus, the thief prowls with stealth
To corrupt wares hard and soft;
The highway teems with cheats and freaks
Pandering to vices, abetting heinous crimes,
Leading unsuspecting prey to devastation.

It’s thrilling to be another Columbus
Sailing through unending seas
Of sites, sites and more sites.
Pride surges within at power
To command knowledge and information,
To demand service and recreation-
Too heady a menu hosted
To escape intoxication full and thorough.

And addiction seems inevitable-
Estranged from the real world,
Alienated from living creatures,
Living in self-imposed confinement,
The mouse-potatoes put on weight,
Are prone to illnesses many, the statistics say.

Communal sharing via electronic media
In lieu of physical contact-
Does it bode well for man
Basically a social animal?
Will the computer surpass and overpower
The human brain that begot it?
Posers worth contemplating-
Problems pressing for prompt solutions.

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Two-faced

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Is life a gentle, caressing breeze
Weaving through the leaves of trees?
Or a tumultuous gale with malice
Tossing the boat in rough seas?

Is life a baby’s cherubic smile,
Utterly void of craft and guile?
Or a wicked grin born in wile,
Filled with cruel venom and bile.

Is life an uplifting wind blown,
Bent on bestowing the winning crown?
Or a deadly mire pulling down,
With definite design to drown?

Does life bring joys in bundles,
Where only easy jobs one handles?
Or a bitter race of non-stop hurdles;
And a hateful animosity, it kindles?

Is life a sweet bed of roses,
Which never a harm poses?
Or a game one always loses
And every exit to escape closes?

Is life a rare delicacy
Spiced with endless variety?
Or a path of unfathomable mystery
Thorned with merciless treachery?

Life indeed is a Janus-
With a face, fair and wondrous,
And another, freakish and callous.
Oh! Lord! Hide the second from us!

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Life

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Blooms there a bright flower-
But alas, after a short hour
Begins to droop and whither;
A turtle might for years prosper.

Whimsical as a wind passing by,
Life’s truths in deep mystery lie,
No one knows why newborns die
Or old bones for euthanasia cry.

No life on earth is without reason-
How long is not the criterion,
How well be the spirit to go on;
Be a meteor in history’s horizon.

Uncertainty is life’s certain quality,
Some want to eat, drink and be merry,
Some like birds chirp without a worry,
Some like bees build order for posterity.

Realise life’s not a yoke to bear;
Take time to stand and stare;
Drink in the goodness everywhere;
Fill your heart with joie de vivre.

Poise and benevolence in viewing
Make life a curse or blessing-
Nature holds joy for the asking:
Let love and innocence fill our being.

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Spice and Candy

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Three sisters there are
With grown up children seven-
Three sons and four daughters in all,
Living in different cities and countries.
Closely linked they are
Through a common network-
An egroup on the internet
Exchanging juicy news and spicy tales
Day in and day out,
A happy lot indeed!

Though cousins in reality,
Like own brothers and sisters
These youngsters react and behave.
Kind remembrances sail back and forth
In e-cards carrying witty, naughty messages-
All greetings from the heart.
Useful information and latest developments
Are promptly forwarded and duly discussed.
Fields of interests are nurtured, notes compared-
A healthy family activity on the net.

Now an occasion has come
For congratulation and celebration-
The wedding bells are ringing
For the fourth time in the sisters’ families:
A son is getting married.

Only three sisters of the groom could attend
The betrothal ceremony
Since the others were far away.
The three sisters present,
One married, two unmarried
Loved fun and enjoyed to bind in
The new-found member, the bride.
They unwrapped a chocolate
And thrust it into the groom’s hand.
Cheered by the loving sisters,
The brother took the chocolate
To his would-be’s mouth
Which was but waiting for the treat.
Ah! The clever girl!
She didn’t take in the whole chocolate
As is the wont of most brides.
She, instead, with style and design
Nibbled a bit from the chocolate.

In the hasty formal proceedings
That followed, the chocolate was forgotten.
Not forgotten fully, though!
Next day an e-card flew from
One sister to the groom brother:
“What happened to the half chocolate, brother?”
Another unmarried brother away in America
Was bitten by the curiosity bug.
“What’s this half chocolate matter?
Will someone enlighten me quickly?”
Was his hasty query.
A newly-wed sister, also in America
And unable to be at the function venue
Teased him,”Come on, brother, don’t pretend”.
The mothers in the meantime conferred and chuckled:
“Of course, he must have eaten it”.
The groom enjoying tremendously the net buzz
Parried the emails with matching mischief:
He calmed the bachelor brother’s excitement,
Baffled the teasing sister saying her guess was wrong,
Riddled one and all declaring the half chocolate is safe.

Prank is a spice to be relished,
Joy is a candy to be shared,
Love is a perfume to sprayed,
Youth is a period to be cherished.
The net aids and abets
Fun and enjoyment
Among attached persons
At such jubilation times
Teeming with great experiences
Of love and youthful pleasure-
Seize them with frenzy,
Store them in your memory.

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Animal Train

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Our Earth is Lord’s wonderful domain
Bound by one long, intricate food chain.
Man is the leading engine with a clever brain,
Animals trail behind as bogeys of Nature’s train.

Engine and bogeys are in no way similar-
Man motored by intelligence is singular;
Pattern of living in animals is regular,
For primal instinct are they popular.

From man do animals entirely differ-
To walk on four legs they prefer,
Beautiful feast to the eyes they offer
Gifted with convenient aids to live safer.

Tails, mane and whiskers are their speciality
Each equipped with for a specific utility.
Gorgeous coats with dots and stripes of variety
Flaunt the Creator’s imagination and its fertility.

Unwritten law prevails on their roaming territory,
Herds obey leader’s orders that are peremptory.
“Live and let live” is their general policy;
Survival is their motivating force, not any vagary.

Unlike man they mate only in the season;
To kill, purpose not pleasure is their reason.
Tooth and nail, horn and hoof their weapon-
Thankfully no catastrophic, nuclear poison.

Untainted with wanton evil,
Too naive for disastrous skill,
Unaware of the impending peril,
The unthinking bogeys may derail.

Engine with necessary direction,
Heeding some proper correction,
Hastening towards animal protection
Heads for journey’s happy completion.

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Dreams

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Heed not half-baked cookies called night dreams!
The mind goes crazy during sleep, it seems-
No sense or reason they ever show:
Empty nothings helping nowhere to go.

Not so the wakeful hour dreams-
They’re bright, power-packed sunbeams
Making the future colourful,
Keeping the trudge meaningful.

Inside cocoons of dreams lie
Lovely works of art waiting to fly.
Walk with the umbrella of dreams unfurled,
Unscorched and undrenched in the world.

Out of acorns of dream seeds
Grow oaks of tremendous deeds.
Out of wombs of dreams are delivered
Monuments that are for ever wondered.

Dreams often have sparked off revolutions
Ushering in the much-needed solutions.
Mental and literal shackles were broken,
Sprightly steps towards liberty were taken.

A cure for pain and misery,
Aims the researching visionary,
Wants to wipe out sorrow
From the world’s golden tomorrow.

Lifting spirits above the mundane
Dreams are an energy gain-
A kite soaring in the sky,
A guiding star to navigate by.

Dreams turn on hope’s spring,
Roses out of thorny bushes bring,
Like a battery in substance
Form the soul’s very sustenance.

Of dreams can we afford to be lavish,
All the goodies in life to wish-
May our dreams teem in thousands,
At least hundreds will land in our hands.

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My Dreams

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Dreams of a similar kind
Haunt me almost every night.
A pattern in them do I find,
Let me bring it to the light.

Putting all my fervour into pen,
Sitting in a silent exam hall,
My hand becomes heavy and leaden;
Hard as I try I cannot write at all.

I chance to see a horror,
On first impulse I want to shout
And cry with might for succour.
Alas, no sound from me comes out!

Close danger by me is sighted,
‘Run, run’, shouts my brain.
But my feet stand rooted,
All efforts to move are in vain.

My body, no doubt, is agile
During the day when awake.
But in dreams the limbs are immobile
And quite a strange stand they take.

Sense and order stand behind
Senses and actions during the day
When in control of the conscious mind-
Productive and progressive is their way.

Unreal and unbelievable are the deeds,
Utter chaos and confusion prevail
In the dreams night’s sleep breeds-
As good help or useful guide they fail.

Be they vividly remembered
Or only vaguely recalled,
Dreams are best ignored
And from memory uninstalled.

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Worth of Dreams

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

The mind wakes in the morn
Greeting the day that is born
With countless thoughts surging,
Like waves on the shore raging.

It’s a scene of buzzing activity,
A site of wonderful creativity,
Churning out apt answers
That find right action transfers.

All the bustle comes to a close
When the body lies down to repose.
The mind calls it a day
And shuts all thoughts away.

An odd thing then happens,
A secret screen soon opens-
A midsummer night’s dream comes to view:
Acts and scenes are bizarre and quiet new.

When the conscious mind goes to sleep
Its freakish twin lying down deep
Pops up with impish vigour,
Begins virtual thoughts to trigger.

Both sweet dreams and scary nightmares
Are bodings- a faith the gullible shares
With millions across the globe
Over ages- interesting to probe.

Even if wives of Ceasars feared,
Heroes have trod on undeterred.
As superstitious holds dreams persist
Which the prudent strain hard to resist.

Though a subject to be pooh-poohed,
With perverse piety is it often wooed.
Mountains of molehills people make,
Pride of place Freudian theories take.

Dreams are worth not a thought,
Dissections of psyche they deserve not.
To the conscious mind remain geared;
The subconscious mind is best ignored.

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A Sculptor

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

He is a sculptor by trade-
After a day’s strenuous task
He returns home at dusk.

Is welcomed by old father’s racking cough
Which might vanish with medication
Too lavish for his means.

The asthmatic mother leaning against the wall
Tired of peering through the dim light
Is resigned to another cold, sleepless night.

The bickering wife with sunken eyes
Serves him food and the day’s woes-
Neither palatable or energising.

His puny heirs in tattered rags
Make their own petty demands-
Never met with favour or fulfilment.

He sighs at the penury
Peeping from every corner
Of his humble hovel.

His back is paining
And wrists are aching-
Fearfully weak and old he feels.

Yet oblivious of his surroundings
Fondly thinks about his unfinished statue
Even as sleep descends on his tired eyelids.

In his dream he chisels away
With rapt admiration a stone poem,
An eloquent monument for all posterity.

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Happily Employed

a poem by

Pavalamani Pragasam

Day in and day out,
Throughout the year,
Till retirement,
Or the last breath,
Everyone pursues an activity,
Walks in a chosen path,
Works in a job,
Practises a profession-
Bating the pressures,
Braving the odds,
Bearing the yoke,
Brooking resistance.

Not for money,
Not for passing time,
Not out of compulsion,
Not with aversion;
With involvement,
With dedication,
With satisfaction,
With perseverance.
That is vocation-
A soulful mission,
A sincere employment,
A creative career.

A doctor feeling for the patient,
An engineer adoring the construction,
A carpenter loving the woodcraft,
A teacher relishing literacy mission,
A Florence Nightingale carrying the lamp,
An Abraham Lincoln abolishing slavery,
A Mahatma Gandhi wielding ahimsa,
A Mother Theresa lifting up the miserable,
Not only the history-makers,
Even the ordinary workers,
Plod through all gruelling,
Ever poised and smiling.

Led by love,
Propelled by conviction,
Unafraid of opposition,
Not affected by drudgery-
That is vocation:
The vigour to trudge on
When the seas are rough
And the steering is tough.
A calling they find wonderful
Making life purposeful.
The job remains meaningful,
Showing the world as beautiful.

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