a poem by Manjushaa S

Is there a greater game than the game of fate?
It is a matter for thought, not for debate.
Last evening I fell asleep reading a book,
About Elysium and the errand of mercy
Of us mortals, every sinner and every crook.
That evening I dreamt of the ultimate, celestial empyrean.
I was enthralled by the numinous serenity,
Of the palatial dwelling of the divinity.
The whole ambience overflowed with melodious humoresque,
That reminded me of scenery picturesque.
I was invisible to every angel, every soul that flew by,
And was inquisitive to know about our life after we die.
I mischievously sneaked into Zion, God’s own spectacular castle,
Its inner courtyard left me in total bafflement.
The floor was embellished with flamboyant aromatic carpets
Of rubies, sapphires and jade,
Fit for the King, Queen and Ace of Spade.
I crept towards the enormous wreathed table with numerous seats,
The flamenco seemed to shift to slightly faster beats.
Suddenly, a mysterious note dropped on my palm labeled Lesson 1,
I was puzzled, (I thought) is it a pun?
The tableau companions of the table were arranged in apple-pie order,
First, there was a hydrous bowl of knowledge from Proteus.
In it I could see the mayhem that the menagerie of the earth has to embrace,
Caused by none other than the Homo-sapiens race.
It struck me that-
“God created nature which man destroys for his future.”
Then appeared two glasses and a spoon,
The enchanted bowl emptied its contents into the second glass.
Then it spoke-
“Take the spoon and gently strike them one by one,
I’m leaving for my work here is done.”
Hey presto! Just as I feared, it vanished with gusto.
Carefully I took the spoon and struck the first glass,
It made an ear-splitting noise, but I had no choice.
Badly shaken, I struck the second glass
Only to be startled by its pleasing sound of such class.
It clearly implied-
“Empty vessels make more noise.”
Satisfied, I turned and walked (away)
Only to see the table vanish like a cheetah for its prey had stalked.
Feeling a little hungry, I walked into the curious looking hostelry room,
It had everything gateau, poppadam, pickaninny, even a mop and a broom.
First it was millefeville followed by gazpacho and I had my fill,
But my eyes widened and jaws dropped when I looked at the bill.
It said-
“Pay me with your honesty, sincerity and dignity that costs nothing but means a lot.”
Just as I got up to leave,
All the utensils shot up as though intent to cleave (leaving me bewildered)
“Please wait, my dear,” they requested,
So tenderly like a sapling that just sprouted.
Then all the airy-fairy members of the bewitched kitchen minstrelled in unison-
“We’re sorry if we scared you,
That was not what we meant to do.
Oh! You must learn your lessons well,
For that is where a healthy mind will dwell.
Farewell, young friend and adieu.”
Still perplexed, I waved to them and minced away.
Just then my eye caught something shiny and grayish black,
It was inside a room full of veiled racks.
I unveiled them and gaped in amazement,
For there were several books beneath amidst dust in stacks.
It looked like an old abandoned library,
With books that could answer my every query.
In some places I noticed pieces of parchment shattered,
Ink blots, books thrown away and tattered.
Uncared by a librarian
And thus devastated by a barbarian.
I knew there was inner meaning concealed
With reference to this forsaken grave of knowledge.
Requisitely, the repugnancy in my mind cleared and I formulated thus-
“What is the use of just storing knowledge?
When it is not used at the right time in the right way.
When knowledge is not nurtured and respected,
It will become worthless, one with dust, scum and long forgotten.”
As for the shiny black mystery,
I took it, a rusty old key.
I quickly put things back the way they were.
“I’ve learnt my lesson, I promise, I swear.”
Saying so, I closed the library door,
And delved solicitously so as to which place to next explore.
I wished to further speculate,
What else was left to scintillate?
The reception so far was honorific,
And the Hocus-Pocus I had seen terrific.
(Then something strange broke into my thoughts)
Motley butterflies with a vibrant blend of every hue all at once greeted me,
Scarlet, Azure, Crimson, Beige and mauve.
I was astonished, as I had seen
The most fascinating room I had ever been (to)
A room galore of painted lives,
Great saints, soldiers, philosophers and wives.
All of them in common had to pay a price,
Sweat, blood and sacrifice.
Then, suddenly I recalled my first mission,
But where to go was my confusion.
There were too many floors and too many rooms found,
Surging from the sky, sprouting from the ground.
Thereafter, I saw many other rooms one of a kind,
But nothing touched my heart or mind.
The mystic key I found, worked for one fateful portal,
The suspense so as to what lurked behind gave me a throttle.
Seemed to me like an old curiosity shop,
That bottled up some secret from bottom to top.
I quickly went to the flocculent escritoire beside the ebony bed,
On which stood stiffly a needle and some flossy golden thread.
I swiftly slew them into the topmost shelf,
And delved into the racks as mischievously as an elf.
At last it seemed like my engrossing game of hide and seek was completed,
For I had HIS secret diary in my hands well seated.
Instantly a lightning bolt struck Zenith from the mackerel sky
Like a lurking horrendous spy.
The whole castle groaned and shook,
And I stood spellbound with a grotesque look.
The castle was no longer well lit and frolicsome,
It grew dark and gruesome.
I fled only to wake up screaming,
And found the morning sun up early and beaming.
I could not believe all this was just my reverie,
For there was so much realism in this surrealism.