Poems by Sheela K . Sharath

Cold Comfort

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

When we met,
we had the world
and all its simple pleasures
at our feet!
As time went by,
you graduated to
flashy, worldly pleasures!

You coveted the ‘Kohinoor,’
the ‘Cullinan.’
the ‘Star of Africa!’
You wanted ‘De Beers.’
when, all I could afford
was ‘Estelle,’
the imitation sparkle!

You raved about your friend’s
Belgian-cleaved
‘string of ice…’
its cut, clarity,
colour and carat weight!
Amazed at your knowledge
I was instantly humbled
by my lowly 9 to 5 job
and meagre bank balance!

Predictably,
you left me for a guy
who gave you a 3 carat Solitaire,
veritably,
a piece of the rock!

Chastened, bitter and dazed,
I watch you
hitch your wagon
to an imagined star!

Years later we meet,
you are dripping in diamonds,
you now have
what your heart desired!
Why then
do I miss
the sparkle of happiness
in your eyes
and contentment in your smile?

Is a diamond really woman’s best friend?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

An ace Juggler

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

We need to be a little bit of …
a clown – to laugh at daily misfortunes,
a slave – to attend to tasks of drudgery,
an artist – to find inspiration in beauty,
a wit – to laugh at one’s enormous ego,
a thief – to steal moments of bliss in our
everyday struggles,
a philosopher – to find meaning in living,
a friend – when all else fails a shoulder to weep
on,
… all this and more
to rise above the misery of our humdrum
existence.

Who said `dreams are for the young
and memories for the old,’
was a pretentious fool!

By all means be a dreamer
but more importantly be a doer,
in order to survive
the ratrace in this
good,
bad,
difficult world we live in!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Glimpses

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

I saw but a glimpse of you
in the milling crowd
yet I cannot erase
you from my memory …
the face of my dreams!

Obsessed
you haunt me night and day.
Where do I begin my search?
I have no name.
I have no reference.
It’s hopeless!
With time the
intensity of my longing
wears thin!

Years later … you surface again
an acclaimed writer
with a best-selling book
about a face of a stranger
in the crowd.

Restless,
I’m back to square one,
tied up in knots …
Could that face have been mine?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Free as a Lark

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

To the world, he’s just a vagabond
a boat with no moorings,
a rolling stone,
a tramp!

He wishes to possess nothing
for possessions weigh him down!
The sky is his roof,
The warm earth his bed.
The stars and the moon his lights.
He has the wind for music
and the wild animals for companions.

He needs nobody
for he was born alone
and will die alone.
He’s at peace with the world,
harbours no grudges
suffers no depressions
as he lives the lifestyle
of his choice – unfettered!

Don’t we all have a
`gypsy’ lurking within us
straining at life’s absurdities,
raring to be set free?

Do we have the guts to
untie the chains
and stroll free … unencumbered?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nature’s Aria

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

In the depth of the woods,
nature’s symphony
surrounds you
if you’ll only
take time off to
stop in your tracks
and listen!

The cadence of the breeze
as it softly stirs the leaves
of the tall trees,
the shrill chirping, twittering
and dulcet tones and madrigal notes of
birds big and small.

The gurgling of the stream
as it wends its way
past mossy rocks.
The resonant timbre
and majestic sounds
of wild beasts
that stalk the jungle.

The tamer euphonious
cacophonous, chatter of
smaller animals,
unsure and
afraid of mankind,
as they scuttle down
into dens and holes.

Such mellifluence,
as nature’s orchestra
takes up its happy medley
of sounds …
so restful, as you learn
to feel at peace witht
he universe,
just as nature intended.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beast of Burden

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

Sometimes,
it is difficult
to believe that
you exist!
I find it harder
day by day,
as you pile on the problems.
My back can
bear only
so much load.
All it takes is
just a straw now!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Son of the Sea

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

His face leonine, lined and craggy,
His body lean, hardy and toughened
with sea-faring adventures.
His hair coarse, Viking-like and
unrestrained.
His beard free-flowing with an energy
of its own.
His hands weather-beaten, large and
generous.
His heart unfettered and capricious.
His character boisterous, sunny and
uninhibited!
His wisdom deep, culled from
hard living.
His voice unschooled, booming with
self-confidence.
His language colourful, peppered
with salty phrases.
His religion God-fearing, respectful
of the elements.

A free spirit,
born to tame the waves
and ride the seas!

A fisherman to the core of his being!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Identity Crisis

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

He thinks he’s actually a
Yankee from Yonkers.
So what if his
U. S. Passport and
Social Security Number
makes him think so!

Take away the New York slang
and the acquired accent,
take away the clothing
from `Gap’
and `Nieman Marcus’,
take away the contrived
mannerisms and
socially acquired
skills.
Deep down he knows
he’s still
a Rao from Elluru,
or a Krishnaswamy from Trichi
or a Shah from Ahmedabad.

Of course,
there is a veneer
of sophistication
that sheathes
him from tip to
toe,but place a
dish of idlis / sambhar /
roti / dhal

in front of him
and watch him eat
and you’ll be sure
you can place him
in his native home state,
– his favourite food
a dead giveaway,
inspite of his coat
tails and peccadilloes!

Watch him uncomfortable
in a tuxedo
in an opera with a glaze in his eyes,
chances are that he’d
rather be miles away
on a charpoy
listening to Jagjit Singh’s
ghazals or M.S.’s mellifluous voice,
or watching Raveena shake
a leg on the silver screen!

See him on sunday
lounging at home;
the maharaja of his palace,
and you’ll see the true blue Indian emerge
… chances are that he
will be sporting a
lungi / kurta pyjama /
veshti and feeling
at peace with the
universe.

So next time you
meet a Sadanand (call me Sam!)
from the US of A
sporting a thick accent
with a know-it-all flair,
don’t be turned off,
… he’s really a desi at heart!
He’s neck deep in an
identity crisis
and certainly won’t
admit to it!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bereft of Hope

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

While the crops wither in the fields,
starved of timely water!
… while his wife and children
grow paler and weaker everyday!
… while the money lenders
having already bled him to death
continue to squeeze whatever’s left!
… while farmers like himself losing courage,
use the pesticides on themselves
instead of their crops!
… while fear and hunger pangs
are his only constant companions!
… while his old parents survive
due to the compassion of neighbours
much the way the street dog does!
… while the farmer losing hope
grows more desperate by the hour
and more suicidal by the day …
The fattened politicians
fight it out in the full glare
of the media; state vs state;
squeezing political mileage with their
melodrama of words,
ensuring their seat, securing their vote bank,
for the coming election!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Path of Hope

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

Why has my protective shield
been destroyed?
Why has my self-defense sword
retracted?
Why has my armour rusted?
Why has my security blanket that
I have enjoyed over the years
been withdrawn?
Why do I feel so exposed,
It’s as though you’ve turned
your back on me …
For suddenly
there’s a chill and
nothing shields me
from the lurking,
softly advancing
enemy.
Something is wrong, terribly wrong,
I feel it
I sense the tangible
presence!
There’s a long
lonely tunnel
ahead,
I see no light.
Pray give me strength
to attempt to venture
down that sinister
tunnel.

Help me light a candle
to dispel the unnerving
darkness.
As I take my first step,
steady my hand
that holds the light beacon
and please,
don’t snuff out the
candle light,
for it’s the
only hope
I have
left!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Shifting Sands

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

Under the canopy of a
brilliantly blue desert sky,
I awake,
I stretch … startling
a desert creature.
Lazily, I watch it change colours,
its natural camouflage
for survival!

The breeze stirs the sand
in a whimsical manner,
suddenly, without warning
the sandstorm picks up in a
sweeping whoosh,
whipping and lashing everything in
its path.
As suddenly as it starts,
it settles!

The arid desert stretches endlessly
ahead
with the shimmering oasis in the
horizon.
The nomads laugh at my seeming
ignorance for
this is only a mirage …
… nature’s duplicity, were
the mind and eye
connive together
to play tricks!

The desert has many stories to tell,
many virtues to teach!
In the clarity of the inky-blue night
when the stars are sparkling bright,
the winds are low
and the sands cool,
I come to terms with life!
There are no manmade pressures here
for in this vastness, time stands still!

I track the sun’s position in the
sky to keep time,
but of what use is that to me?
Dispensing with city trappings
I eat when I’m hungry,
I drink when I’m thirsty,
and sleep when I’m tired
following my body’s dictates.
No time tables, no stress!

In the concrete jungles of
urban civilization
we do the opposite,
we pay no respect to the laws of
nature,
we continue to eat long after
we are satiated,
we continue to drink even
when our thirst is slaked
and resist sleep when our
body craves it and
fight it with endless cups of
caffeine!

We build up pressures like a
thermostat
till we are ready to explode
and continue in the same
self-destruct mode;
All because we’ve lost touch
with ourselves,
with reality,
with humanity.
Are we as civilized
as we think we are?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

An Eulogy to the Rose

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

You are the
quintessence of
nature’s perfection
and the
pride of it’s
garden!

Paeans of praise
have been written
on your flawless
symmetry!

You are the symbol
of love,
purity and innocence!

Such is your supreme sway,
that people the world over
swear by your
fragrance …
ethereally sublime,
sensuous and
lingering!

May you bloom
in nature’s bounty
forever and a
day!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Madrigal Singer

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

The mellifluous
soothing dulcet tones
of a singer,
vocal notes that flow
with the rythmn
and merge with the
tune in
distinct harmony!
Now soprano
hitting the high notes,
now base,
scraping the low,
stirring emotion-tinged
memories
carrying you with its
tide,
as if the singer
was preview
to your emotional state of mind!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Five stages of Wedlock

a poem by

Sheela K . Sharath

To begin with …
peals of laughter, mirth and child-like
innocence,
good-to-be-alive days brimming over with
effervescence!

Soon …
for no rhyme or reason, clouds of moodiness
and fretful outbursts,
totally unnerving and jarring at first!

Then …
complacent, slothful will-do-
nothing days
with a huge dollop of stubborn
wilful, nagging, take-you-for-
granted ways!

Transition …
petulant, whining with negative-
attention seeking behaviour,
by this stage, you’ll be down on
your knees pleading sanity from
your saviour.

Finally …
frustrated, hostile and angry at
anything you do or say …
icy, cold, withdrawn and silent …
just the beginning of parting of ways!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~