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Inspirations - The Galleria



Poems by R Y Deshpande




I’m pretty familiar with matter

That day after day works invisibly

In the sky. I’ve known galaxies storming

Through emptiness; swiftly they seem to move

Far into the unknown. There space folds up

And turns into countless forms which acquire

Meaning and sense, even desires. Objects

Packed with itsy-bitsy longings support

The spark holding in its breast a huge fire.

Incurving faggots feed its intense joy

And in a sudden radio outburst

The great mystery gets unsealed. Two lobes

Spin around a gravitational stick

And we know the powerhouse built up there,

Not at the beginning but in due course

Of the expanding time. Numberless suns

Waltz in stupendous display of the urge

That labours silently on the beach

And in the clouds; in the mind of man too.

The waves leap up and a million planktons

Glimmer on the shore. Now no tide can wrest

The cry of happiness from them, no hand

Push back the surge of civilization.

In its delight death too joins painless life.

Once quite long ago someone sat alone

On a peak and willed in his tranquil poise

Destruction of the past. A wooden horse

Walked through the gates of history and saw

The dawning of perfection’s art in line

And shape, and reason. The market place buzzed

With ideas archetypal, bright-winged,

Born in reality’s prompt widenesses.

Then in another passionate cycle

Came love, followed by murdering spirit

Of dubious faith. Now a gold star shines

In truth’s everlastingness on earth.


In my ancestral farm is an idol

Of Shiva filled with yogic calm, as if

Out of the unbuilt centuries had come

The spirit of time. Tall, invincible,

Massive in granite strength like a vision

It stands, intimate and esoteric

In the dimnesses holding a crescent

As their occult charge. A ring of low hills

In their serenity surrounds the place

And when the southwesterly blows it brings

Great rains. Sometimes as the night gathers storm

Infirm faith gets shaken; the deep furrows

Tremble and the trees bend in fear of rage

Let loose by the elements of nature.

Sometimes a pilgrim train arrives in slow

Haste at the temple town and the god-chant

Becomes louder in the resonant sky.

At other times is seen a plane breaking

Sound-barrier as though virginity

Ran faster than motherhood and gave birth

To Parthenon. The blitzkrieg of Hitler

Or the rape of Iraq came to nothing

And prone lay anaesthetised creature hearts.

He watched the come and go of each event

Not indifferently but in grandeur

Of his Aryanhood, noble, straightforward

Upright, mystic. What I saw dazzled my eyes,

A dream awake to such a certainty

That at once I would paint on a canvas

Magic of its hues, flowing resplendence

Of its joy. I would build a whole new world

And lay gardens in acres of fertile

Moods upturned to the sun. His tapas-will

Has entered the mountain call; austere

In its look wideness is his famed spirit

Supporting the work of cosmic forces.