Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Dept of Environment and Climate Change

A Song Still to be Heard and Other Poems

A song still to be heard

when did loneliness

be an obsession

it was virtue

reckoned in a crowd

no one objected

when was it born

this sense of ridicule

neither side wants to claim it

it came on along the way sometime

when could i like it

or the whitest wild bloom

which will remain in me

for time to come

though the flower might have gone

next time i traverse the path

through the unfamiliar mountain village

where i do not know

how to walk

but do come across such sights

beauty as an off chance

away from the city

i couldn’t appreciate it now

something that came my way

a lesser truth, though

it may stay maybe some place

along the way

like always

how could i fight for it

or was it meant to be explained

an unknown peace

to be less than human

or a man

i couldn’t ever like it

i am not a responsibility

where’s the bread

or humankind

did i separate the grass

from the hay

though i do not and know not

how to rear cows

was it some big folly in me

that i went this way

and came back in a while

knowing what to do and

not any of what else

and you were also here and there

somewhere about your world and life

i saw you were always somewhere there

in your life

none of me, i knew not you from far

and now at the heights of yours

i too know how when you

sit beside me or walk a common path

to be close to my life

something which happens

away from my existence

it should have been a garden of course

but i wouldn’t have let

it stray away

where i couldn’t pluck it

or put it in my basket

a small work for the day

i could never do it

what a shame

land was always expensive

and here, now i do not know my way

i wouldn’t be less than plain

where nothing else exists

i wouldn’t prefer a disguise

an overlived fancy

my ideas don’t run life

but that too is for me at least i own up

my folly, peace would always

be less than war

i hold on to my peace

never leave it

and all else is terminable

to my idiotic or even idyllic idea

of peace, without a word on war

and to think that you too

couldn’t do any better at the

end of this season’s history

but at least you have astronomical salaries

i am more or less penniless and have

very less of the love i preach

it’s so less i couldn’t give to anybody else

times are bad i must say



Mountains, with the fog below


there’s the bridge

along the way

that nature undid

a big tree just crashed down on the water

the cause was that

there was a stream of

a real good water

flowing down the ridge

people i knew i thought

but had seen or sometimes spoken to

gave familiarity to the bridge

not much of a bridge really

only that you didn’t have

to get your feet wet

just a bit if it wasn’t there

more of a natural decorum

for those who don’t like

too much of the order

and compulsion coming

from people who do their such

and which you dislike

it could be that they

wouldn’t like you to

admire nature’s abundance

or all of any liveable space

what’s adherence when

i don’t live in any of it

and what would a mountain be

if i couldn’t find it

in its own place

when is a fact a way of life

is it fact that birds

make sounds you like

in the morning when you wake up

but everyone would like it

nothing factual, but

likeable all the same

nothing of a fact that life seems

to happen their way

but what’s the surety

it’s not happening

any other way

a man wouldn’t be a stranger

to his own life

and does he have

to be told of the

availability of his life even

and what if I perchance

beheld something else

as life and day

war and peace

are worlds apart anyway

and it doesn’t need an understanding

too great, to just stand apart

from it all


Hillock of shame


at the hillock of shame

i felt unashamed

to take my clothes off

bathing there i was aware

and nymphs with feeling

bathed there too

with tears on their cheeks

higher beings, all unashamed

for the place was meant for that

ideally put there

for all those who did not want to feel ashamed

they had not bathed for long

not because they were tired of that

they wanted to be lonesome

for that’s the way to bathe

at the hillock unashamed

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