this life is dark
like bituminous coal.
a dry spring flows inside
where there used to flow the Saraswati.
a fountainhead exists in the eyes
and a glacier is frozen within.
no one can melt it
because there is no sunshine.
that toy of wood, that used to be living,
is now dead. So much is dead,
yet you look like life itself to me.
a fight with the time, an aggrieved self,
the heart is heavy and the mind has pores.
all that needs to be done is to run and hide
behind a tree whose trunk feels the hunger,
the hunger that is monotonous.
the joys of life have shrunk
like the tongue burnt with hot tea,
and the lips kissed with a pair of tongs.
the dog’s tongue is the medicine.
the dog is life and the man is dead.
Himanshu Ranjan lives in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. He is a poet and a Young India Fellow. His upcoming anthology is titled ’36 Love Stories’.