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Inspirations - The Galleria



Poems by R Y Deshpande




Bishu cast a quick look over the pond

And the water gathered all its ripples,

Collapsing like a poet’s metaphors

Into some calm of thought. A sound echoed

Throughout the valley and disappeared

In its green. When it was sinfully dark

An ewe fell a prey to the red wolf’s guile

And a magic moon laughed ’neath the dumbness

That sleeps like eternity’s unconcern.

Yet Bishu saw rising at the far shore

An image that grew sharper with each wave

As it vanished; the boundaries of time

Withdrew and a sudden insight broke out

In triumph. Even as that swift presence

Approached closer, unhesitant contours

Of things to come acquired distinctness.

In tranquil heart the rapt voice of Ishta

Spoke to him: “You have seen these strange mountains

And moved amid men urged by a greatness

That descends in unexpected moments,

When history is surprised by a force

Of irresistible destiny, when

You have climbed the ascending slopes and reached

In a sudden mood utter godlessness.

What is is non-existence and beyond

You begin to assert the breathing fire

Which sustained even that. The spirit gave

To these aspiring hills a hope that waits

In the bosom of the world. A chant joins

In the praises of Prajna. Sing ever,

O Bishu, while bathing, sleeping, eating,

Or when you go from village to village

Speaking the language of the firmament

That bears her beauty and wonder, her love,

Sing of the mistress of being, giver

Of boons. Live in the woman’s adornment.”


I remember the night when she was born

In the lonely company of a star

Foreworking destiny written in terms

Of godly labour, its joy, its travail,

Its will burning in the white flame. A strange

Deep silence had filled the darkness which seemed

More pregnant with the possibility

That would yield its fuller contents, its fire,

Than the thick foreboding shadow of light.

It made more sense than finding an answer

To timeless query of the questing heart

As to where does the saint go after death.

But then Rita had arrived in the world

Of trivial pursuits, pulls and pushes,

And she was quick to decry the vainness

With which ambitious men are driven,

The everyday struggle for nothing,

The defeat in life, the sadness in love,

Humiliation’s suffering. She knew

Also that falsehood is untrue and that

What counts is just the spirit’s expression

In every mood of season, in trees

And hills and animals, the elements

Of the physical nature, each breathing soul.

Her birth was in the seventh house and sweet

She grew and beautiful in maidenhood,

Like the waxing moon of the autumn sky.

In her youthful sublimity at once

Through the musical notes a melody

Ran which needed no swift interpreter,

And a new dawn broke and the choir bird priest

Raised a chant in serene affirmation

Of the earth-born gods. One by one as they

Awoke a sudden deathlessness rushed in.

Rita, the daughter of the Sun, firmed up

The dynamics of truth for the things to come.