- The Galleria
Poems by R Y Deshpande
|Heavens have I have known and glories of night
Discovered; I have followed the darkness
Deepening as if into a mystery
That gave birth to countless stars, lit a marvel
Bright like wisdom burning in the works of time.
I have felt from sudden exquisiteness
Of the infinite a rush of movements
Invading the worlds; ocean-streams of wonder
Carry legends of a new creation.
Gates of life have swung open in excellence
Of the original gods awaiting
Chant of the early priest, calm of the sage,
That a thousand worships be offered at morn
For the sun to incarnate in endless day.
Like a roaring flame born in a moment
Shorter than the wink of eternity
Whose swift glance allows even death to be
In a mood of another ascending thought,
My spirit’s ageless urge prevails everywhere.
On top of the breathing hill tall I stand.
O the strangeness in the bosom of night
Effecting guilt for the mortal to outgrow
Himself, the enchanted authority
Keeping under its spell our tenderly hopes!
Nothing of destiny holds back my vision
And no cramped circles can my paces curb;
An image of the far-away enters
In a leap into my vigilant sight
As though lifted was curtain of the fading
Past, needed to exist no more. None can now
Arrest the flight of these exceeding birds
To tranquil skies of truth’s abidingness.
As sweet as infancy that is dew-fresh
But bearing the will of the fire kindled
On the altar of the Being, surprised
Beauty awakes in the heart of delight.
On the banks of the swift stream stood a mansion
With spacious rooms; the prayer-hall was filled
With incense made from gums of sacred trees
And the soft tranquil breeze carried fragrance
To bowers of warm reverie. A strange
Flutter brought intimate notes to silence
In which live songs. I looked around and saw
A new god running down the hill bespelled
By the grassland and the garden that grew
Like imagination of an artist
Disclosing the secrets of things to be.
Colours were adazzle in his dream
And to the waking sky time had taken
Rapid wings in bright purple and orange
Of the early hour. Voices of eager
Intuition drew nearer and chirping
Quickened the occult’s mood. From realms of sleep
Came metaphors of deathlessness and turned
Grief and anguish into hymns of the morn.
I even wondered if the ideal
Could be the real when youth had not tasted
The joy of love, rose plant smiled in beauty,
And the stars brought out twinkles of the night;
But the mansion by the swift stream at once
Became aware of an invisible
Presence, felt words are timeless, that wisdom
Is the true cause of all this existence.
Nothing seemed to matter in that greatness,
Nor life nor mortal dread, the phantom thought,
Nothing that we dearly prize, except
The demiurge of the spirit. Amazed
Then the god climbed down the eleventh step
And as the door opened unexpectedly
An optimist vision spread everywhere.
I knew someone wished to grow in the house
Built by the swift stream whose course is delight.