Dilip Mohapatra (India)

Dilip Mohapatra (India)
Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran from Pune, India is a well acclaimed poet in contemporary English and his poems appear in many literary journals of repute and multiple anthologies worldwide. He has six poetry collections in English to his credit so far published by Authorspress, India.
His website may be accessed at dilipmohapatra.com.
A time comes when
your life exceeds your dreams
when you lose your body
to your shadow
when you draw water
from the mirage in the clouds
to wash down the ashes
in your throat
and when your memories
shut the doors on you
when absence of breads no longer
defines your hunger
nor does absence of flesh
decry your love
and you precariously balance
yourself on the ledge
to let death outrun your life
one last time
for good
and all black and white
merge in shades of grey.
Lost in the high seas
with no seagulls in sight
except for the flying fish in flight
which land occasionally with a thud
and wiggle helplessly
on my ship’s rusty quarterdeck
and the relentless waves
lashing and splashing against
her crumbling gunwales
I straighten up my crusty sextant
to shoot a faint Polaris at twilight
that gives me only half my position
just a crude latitude.
Strangely I am no longer scared to be lost
with no hope of reaching the harbour
or hugging the shore
for now I am used to lose my being
in so many beings
and I am no longer worried about my frozen feet
which do not get defrosted any more
with the morning sun
and look beyond all the fears
overlooking the doubts and the tears
not bothered about the certainties
getting dissolved in the cesspool of chances.
My resources are running out
my weather beaten sails are in tatters
my rigging in ruins hanging from a broken mast
my rudder is in shambles
and my anchors are sunk and stuck
at the bottom of the sea.
But my heart is beating a cool rhythm
and my soul soaring high
with prayers on my lips
I await my ship
to be sucked into the eye of the storm
the storm of the cosmic eye.
The invincible man in blue
from planet Krypton
with his flying prowess
and X-Ray vision,
that enchanting kiss
from the princess’s lips
that transformed the frog
into the handsome prince,
the wolf that blew up
the house of the pigs
and bared his teeth
to the little girl in a red hood,
the pooh bear and his antics
for just a lick of honey,
the genie from the old crusty oil lamp
who granted you
whatever you wished;
wove those fanciful dreams,
which we savoured.
Those black lies which
circumscribed your eyes
and the green tinge of the henna
that adorned your tresses,
those lies in pink and red that
accentuated your bee-stung lips,
those padded lies
that added to your curves,
those transparent lies
that you whispered in my ears
to tell me how you adored
the vitiligo marks on my face,
which I believed.
Now you hold my varicose veined
hand in yours
as I lie on the tubular beds on wheels,
under the grey blanket
wrapped in a snow white sheet
smelling of a strong disinfectant.
You look into my insipid and vacant
eyes that are half open
in deference to
the monarch of all maladies,
who has made me captive
of his claws sinking into me deeper
and deeper every passing day,
squeezing life out of me drop by drop.
And then you utter those shaded lies
and say cheer up,
it will pass away
and tomorrow will be a brighter day.

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