Poems by Sunil Rajagopal

In the end, the Sea

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Where goes the sun at
long day’s end? To douse his red
flames within the Sea.

Where goes the monsoon
and her clouds after their dance?
To drink from the Sea.

Where goes the river
after meandering course?
To sleep in the Sea.

Where goes the Hilsa
tired from swimming up the flow?
To die in the Sea.

Where goes the sailor
who returned with his bounty?
To live in the Sea.

There may come a time
when I too shall return home,
to be with the Sea.

A Deer in the Mist

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Still as the morning
He stood in the gloom
Slivers of mist drooped
Over his haunch
A glint of dew in
His spreading crown
Warm puffs of breath
From his cold, wet nose
Crack went a twig
Beneath my feet
I looked up and
The stag was gone.

It is better to dream

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Don’t wake me yet
For the real world
It’s better to dream
Let me sleep awhile.

What is this reality
But make believe
False smiles, fickle faith
Lives on borrowed time.

What is past, will also be
Years like dried leaves
Each as the other
Running the same miles.

They say its wrong
To love too many
Not trust in gods
Walk on lonely roads.

Many seas to sail
Sweet songs to hum
It would be a sin
To not pay heed.

On the cliff’s edge
I close my eyes
Fears fall, Wings grow
I step out and fly.

Don’t wake me now
For this real world
It’s better to dream
Let me sleep.


a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

I did not wait for such a morning
whose dawn the darkness stole;
Burning with lies and yearning,
Truths, bitter and never whole.

I did not wish for such a night
watched by empty grey skies;
Even fancy dare not take flight,
this world is but shadow and guise.

I did not seek such hefty dreams,
Enough to sink this trivial life;
Like the sun caught in streams,
blown to bits by a breezy knife.

For none of this did I ever ask-
Only, a veil to shelter under,
Only, a beacon in the dark,
Only, to be filled by wonder.

In Search of the Other

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Two eager travelers set out from home,
One from the East, the other from West;
Carrying only a cheery world in their breast,
Till their fates crossed in the ocean’s foam.

Here a reason the wanderers found to stay;
Knew they well when flitting together,
Without one, there would be no other
And yet, each should soon go their own way.

One seeks to kiss the ends of the bluest sky,
One only to touch the magic of darkest night;
Where one’s path ends, the other takes flight,
They may be grey when in foam again they lie.

Two true travelers now too far from home,
One from the East, the other from West;
No cheery worlds allow them any rest,
In search of the other, they forever roam.

Just a Road

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Ask not where I turn and lead,
Near, far or whether you shall bleed;
Ask not where I begin and end,
Others may wait beyond my bend;
Ask not who shall follow with you,
Those that stay will be but a few;
To write my story, that is your load,
I am just here you see, just a road.

I let the firefly go

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

When days grew too bleak and stark,
I clad my world in velvet night.
I kept walking, led by my lamp;
through paths unseen, but not alone.
This steady lamp, it showed me the way
when the moon and stars fell asleep.
The lamp was dear, my only warmth
when all around was cold and dank.
Then I saw the little firefly,
a fallen star gleaming on grass.
Shimmering green and molten gold,
in its allure I stayed awhile.
Dreams I now saw in fair lamplight,
my world I dreamt in fairy glow.
Kissed by magic, I hid that spark
in a glass jar and held it close.
Then I knew that beside my lamp,
the flickering flame would not burn.
The lamp is mine, it shines for me;
it gives light where my feet take me.
My fond star, it shines for the world;
its spry light, but transient charm.
Needing to see, wanting to dream,
I broke my jar and let fire fly.
But this is no end, cannot stop
shadowing incandescent trails.
I must take the arduous road,
a lamp in hand to safely bear.
I must take the arduous road,
a firefly to shelter and care.
I must take the arduous road,
to a place of perpetual light.


a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

It is very strange
that we fear old death
and his sister change,
until our last breath.
Nothing is ordained
but the dire siblings;
they are not the end,
just new beginnings.
When rivers change course,
it is not the end
of their ebb; their force
heals beyond the bend.
We may feed the earth
when we are all gone,
forests may take birth,
birds may find new dawn.

This Glass Cage

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

I toil in this glass hall
With tiled floors and snug walls,
Glowing screens and polished people
All they talk is of plants’ time-
Ticking clocks and
Monsters belching smoke.
When I look for stars,
All I see are Hawkers;
Lucre is the only wonder.
Cool air is everywhere and yet,
My head is hot and I yearn
To be out gulping hazy air.
Free your mind and
Think out-of-box, they say;
Surely, they know this is a cage.

More than you know

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Do you know me, sir?
I speak not of the colour
of my face and hair.

Do you know me, sir?
No, not by the tongue I speak
Or where I am from.

Do you know me, sir?
I meant not the name of my
God or what I eat.

Do you know me, sir?
Not by where I live and work,
Or my golden hoard.

Do you know me, sir?
I ask not how loud I talk,
Or my love of stage.

Do you know me, sir?
Not by how much I know and,
how fast I can run.

Do you know me, sir?
Never by what you think of
my man-woman-hood.

If you think you know –
This is but a bit, I am
more than all of these.

Know me when my heart
is in what I say and do;
By the paths I take.

I am how I treat
the old and poor, weak and meek,
And other men’s gods.

Know by how I let
my friends and better half fly;
By my dear folk’s pride.

Read me from thoughts in
my head, the flowers I smell;
By how I know you.

If you still must know,
We are all rivers that must
once end in the sea.

Winter is not forever

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

Weary clouds are nearly spent
Painting the vault in even blues,
Soaking days in honeyed hues;
Myriad birds from where they went,
Sing that Winter is not far.

Tang of old in the morn chill-
Devil’s flowers shed on the streets,
Dying leaves spread in sheets,
Last night’s fires burning still;
Smells like Winter is nearly here.

Swiftly swooped in the cover of night,
Silent winged like a great gray owl,
Shrouding the world in a dusky cowl;
Knight of Day too has lost his light,
Looks like Winter is here to stay.

Snapping jaws bite to the bone,
Road and morrow mired in gloom,
Feet and mind snug in woolly womb,
Hearing dogs howl and moan;
Feels like Winter will never leave.

Sombre shadow gently yields,
Spring bound wings heading home,
Gay are those that stay and roam,
Grain and straw in sunlit fields;
If Winter comes, then Winter must go.

When the Sea calls

a poem by Sunil Rajagopal

My glass is clouded;
In this driving rain, a whiff-
of the salty sea!

Listen to the rain-
Like many running ripples,
Like gulls on the wing!

Sailor I am not,
Nor fisher or diver deep;
Yet I hear her call!

It rolls and it tugs,
This rising swell within me;
Deep, soft- all at once!

Its shores are not mine,
Nor to its waves I belong;
Yet for them I yearn!

When the sea beckons
from afar, I close my eyes-
It roars within me!