SPIRITUAL FLICKERS / Poem by Ram Krishna Singh

Poem by Ram Krishna Singh

 

SPIRITUAL FLICKERS

Plodding away at
season’s conspiracies
life has proved untrue
with God an empty word
and prayers helpless cries

I wish I could live
nature’s rhythm free from
bondage of clock-time
rituals of work and sleep
expanding haiku present

on the prayer mat
the hands raised in vajrasan
couldn’t contact God—
the prayer was too long and
the winter night still longer

the mind creates
withdrawn to its own pleasures
a green thought
behind the banyan tree
behind the flickering lust

I can’t know her
from the body, skin or curve:
the perfume cheats
like the sacred hymns chanted
in hope, and there’s no answer

unknowable
the soul’s pursuit hidden
by its own works:
the spirit’s thirst, the strife
the restless silence, too much

unable to see
beyond the nose he says
he meditates
and sees visions of Buddha
weeping for us

the mirror swallowed
my footprints on the shore
I couldn’t blame the waves
the geese kept flying over head
the shadows kept moving afar

the lane to temple
through foul drain, dust, and mud:
black back of Saturn
in a locked enclosure
a harassed devotee

not much fun—
cold night, asthmatic cough
and lonely Christmas:
no quiet place within
no fresh start for the New Year.

 

 

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