Reprieve, This is also that & Golden Afternoon


Back again in Brooklyn, where it’s hot.
Coffee upstairs in McDonald’s with
A.C., at eighty-sixth and twentieth.
Music piped, that’s not unbearable.
The subway, elevated here, in view,
And people, people, people, everywhere.
For this is home, Calcutta in the West…

The NY Times: a right wing nut who’s killed
Four score and more, in Norway yesterday;
The heat wave roiling east — and then Obama’s
Compromises failing yet again;
Tea-ers used to strengthen stranglehold
Of wealthiest — but now, like jihadists,
A threat to Doctors Frankensteins themselves…

A day’s reprieve, from tensions personal,
To reacquaint myself with public ills…

Babui / Arjun
2011 July 23d, Sat.
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

this is also that

a summer day, a sky that’s laughing loud,
the trees aflutter in their seasonal attire,

a cat that sleeps between the sun and shade,
and he, who wakes and walks within his fire.

a day like all the rest that came before,
no different than those that are to come?

and all is peaceful, as the breezes blow,
but he can hear the devil softly hum.

oh fire that gave us birth, oh fire that will
consume us all! can you not spare the cat?

but to what end?  to meow and never hear
reply?  to know that this — is also that?

the signal changes and a mother walks,
with child that dangles from protective hand.

on crossing, she releases him.  he runs
but circles back to clutch, again, her hand.

babui / arjun
2011 august 4th, thu.

Golden Afternoon

Oh golden afternoon in late July,
That brings to mind the many that I knew,
With memories that float through skies of mind
Like wisps that grace your arcing dome of blue!


I sit in cooling shade, beneath the spreading tree,
And watch the boys that play on sunlit field.
And there’s the breeze that blows in from the sea,
The sibling of the one, to which my love did yield.

How many past have felt as I have done!
How many still will feel the ebb and flow?
I watch the eager youngsters as they run,
As I was watched by those who’re now no more.

There is a mood, within, that matches clime,
For we are beings kin to beings wild.
And so, we need to pause, from time to time,
To shift our balance back to humors mild.

What better clock to set our tempos to,
Than that of sun, whose daily climb and fall
And yearly motion, north and south, set pace
And season for our cousins great and small?

The blades of grass, the leaves upon the tree,
The limbs of plants and children curve and sway.
We are as waves upon the wind-tossed sea,
Each line is arced, as sun arcs through each day.

And yet, an afternoon like this is timeless, still,
A placid pond, on which the dragonfly
Appears to pause, as if by act of will,
Before it darts — with none to question why.

The sun is mellowed and is slanting low,
As fleeting summer hints at coming fall.
The park is populated now by elders, who
Are venturing out, before the curtains fall.

Babui / Arjun
2011 July 31st, Sun.

Arujun Janah is a New York based teacher, educator, poet and a new contributor to Montreal Serai.