Vijay Nair

 

VIJAY NAIR

 

(India)

 

 

 

Doors Swing Open

 

In dark corridors

Doors swing open:

You cannot close

 

Mortgaged eyes or hide

In the serfdom

Of memories. Outside,

Above the horseless pastures,

Birds scream

Through the naked branches

 

Of your feudal fingers.

Squirrels rage and mimic

The martyrdom of trees

 

While breathlessly

The shears of the timepiece

Clip the pages of history.

 

 

 

History

 

History is taking a step back

And staring at

Yourself

 

At who you were

And what you have become.

History is discovering

 

Discourses

You may very well dislike:

Royal fetishes

 

Man-made famines

And footprints

On human faces.

 

History is exploring

How contemporary

History really is.

 

History is a journey

Without a destination

Or a destiny.

 

 

 

The Promised Land

 

Saving themselves

From the falling debris

Of a country

Under siege

 

Man-mapped borders

Dare not refute

Their right

To seek refuge —

 

And their dreams to live

In a promised land

Where peace is not a word

But a state of mind

 

Are not displaced

By bombs or crowded camps —

Their dreams survive and thrive

Under different flags and skies

 

Where hands stretch out to hands

And help them build

With hope, brick by brick,

A home away from home.

 

 

 

The Crossing

 

Those who defy the angry waves

Are not swayed by a sudden

Surge of madness: they only know

 

That the land they loved and lived in

Now betrays their holy breath

And as sad hostages of hope

 

Escaping from the hell at home

They know it is time to go – –

A time to cross to foreign shores

 

Some shall survive the crossing

Some others shall cross over – –

The flow of snapshots shall show

 

The ocean’s dire distress

And a vision in red and blue

Deserted on a Turkish beach

 

Unblemished and unblessed.

 

 

 


Such Stuff as Dreams (1979)

 

We knew of wars to end all wars

Of men who died because of race

Of some who lost their noble cause

And some their youthful grace.

 

Too young to be there, we had seen

When lights were switched off, in the dark

While munching corn or eating cake

The mushroom grow and grow and arc

 

Towards the sky, man-made for men to die:

Anytime now the fragile peace shall break

Shatter the silence, scatter the fire

And only then shall we, the dead, awake

 

 

 

 

 

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Bio-Data

I retired as an Associate Professor of English. My poems have appeared in the international anthologies ‘I am a Poet’, ‘With Love’, ‘Synthesis’, ‘Poetic Symphonies’, ‘Heavenly Hymns’, ‘Umbilical Chords’, and ‘A Divine Madness: An Anthology of Modern Love Poetry’. My poem ‘New Delhi: 1966’ was Destiny Poets’ (ICOP) Poem of the Month for August, 2015. My poem, ‘Bhagalpur: 1989’, shared the first prize in the contest held by ‘Poets Artists Unplugged’ for the month of November, 2015.

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