“Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious and would like to
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword,
the willow grove’s visible prayer as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive.”
It is because of this piece, I was drawn towards poetry. What held my fascination was the fact that in this world of poetry, one can be honest; that one can be true to oneself and to the world; the gesture will be applauded. It is a pity that when I came across this piece, my meekness led me to believe that being oneself was possible only in the world of poems. Back then there was an utter lack of ambition and one would immerse into and hide behind this world where the day would pass as a maze of thoughts. Time was never a worry, as it seemed to be playing along my pace. I realize how this piece gave me an intellectual high, comforting my self imposed limitations and fears. However, even back then as now it did twinge this point just below my breast and just above the lungs, somewhere in the centre.
Today when I consider myself far more confident, and not at war with the world, I want to partake in its worldliness. This piece does not comfort me anymore, as I feel the need to find a place in this world. I do not feel the same pride I once felt addressing myself as someone and anyone. While I still feel we are the voices of same poverty, there is an urge to change the status quo the country is still languishing in. I have developed drive whose inspiration is still not materialism, although my day has become greedy from the need to make this country a better place to live. I have never felt this identification for my homeland as I do now, and would like to see its men and women rise above the worries of food and shelter. My ambition is to not worry about a livelihood but about ‘a way of life’.
I am afraid to admit that one has developed a conflict with the idea of a city and its need to ‘build’. I am at conflict with its pace. With no first hand experience of a countryside, I assume it to be a place with unattended green wilderness punctuated by houses which are not at conflict with nature. I have many complaints, angst and regrets against the cities I have been a part of and still am. The quick to attack rage of steel and the lariats of my fellow Indians makes my heart burn, though now I do not feel isolated by their aspirations.
The willow grove’s visible prayer holds much more beauty for me now, as do all the phases of a day. Now I want to be a part of every sunrise, and every sunset and find romance in noon. While I am much more aware of my dispensability, I would like to feel worthy of tomorrow as I sleep and wake up, every day.
I want to develop my own pace, fast or slow and be unashamed of it.
I want to be more prodigious than a meteor as I wanted to be back then, albeit being a part of this worldliness.
The ‘Boast of Quietness’ holds a much more meaningful place in my life now. Thank you for this poem.
About the Author : Gunjan Vashisht is a poet, writer who has a flair for human nature and finds herself at home with the propensity to explore habits, reactions, opinions, mindsets.