Monday, April 17, 2006

By New York Bay

Gentle readers, be not alarmed at the sentiments expressed below.

Rush not to rash conclusions. ‘Tis but a poem, a fiction, and no more.



By New York Bay



At set of sun, and end of day,

I wander lonely by the bay.

My thoughts are darkening, like the sea;

This life is spent, it seems to me.


There was a time when I was born,

And now, a time to be unborn.

I look up at the vast dark sky,

Preparing, in my mind, to die.


I see three little stars come out,

As, in the west, the blue fades out.

Resplendent, like a mountain ridge,

Shines the Verrazzano Bridge,


With strings of lights that clearly trace

Its flowing catenary grace.

The lights of Coney Island blink,

As if reminding me to think.


Like shining planets in the sky,

Great aeroplanes now slowly fly

Towards this shore, across the sea,

Shrunk into points of brilliancy.


Amidst all this, I stand transfixed,

‘Twixt life and death, and land and sea.

I feel, in hands, the cold rail fixed;

I hear the slap, on rock, of sea.


In the sky, there is no moon;

The tide has ebbed, and will rise soon.

Great ships move out on New York Bay,

Or anchored, wait for the new day.




This day was filled with signs of Spring.

I heard small birds on branches sing;

Saw trees adorned with springtime bloom;

And, on Belt Parkway, autos zoom.


Saw couples strolling, hand in hand,

And women heading towards the sand;

Wrote out, with thought, three birthday cards,

And, from friend’s death, picked up the shards.




When I was young, I’d often run

Right from the Bridge to Caesar’s Bay,

And back again; it was great fun

To fight and work, and breathe and play.


Now I am aged, and tired of strife;

I’ve worked too hard for this dog’s life.

How hard it is to fight the flow,

To do what’s right, when all let go.


Each one must feel some basic worth,

Some cause to justify their birth,

Some hope that they can be of use,

Before they’re tossed in the refuse.


So now, I hear the call of death

Ring out for me, and I am met,

Between the traffic and the surf,

By phantom strong, outside my turf.




“Oh, get thee hence!” I call out loud,

“I have no time to stay a lout!

Duties strong call me to life.

I have two parents, and a wife!”


“I too must live out my own fate,

Or else I’d go with thee, my mate!

Abide thou still a little while,

Till I complete allotted mile!”




Releasing the cold rail from hand,

I turn from sea towards the land.

I hear the Parkway traffic’s roar,

And slowly walk towards my door.




Babui (Arjun) Janah < >

Lower New York Bay, Brooklyn, New York.

2006.04.16th Sun.





We shrink, nowadays, from slightest stress.  

But sadness need not cause distress.

The dark is background for the bright,

Whilst shallowness doth drain one’s might.


To be human, one must know --
Both heights and depths, so one can grow.
I trust that this shall give thee strength,
And add some depth to girth and length!




Shannan said...

I've been reading your poems and I think they are beautiful. You haven't written anything in a long time. what inspires you nowadays.

Arjun Janah said...

Glad you liked the verses, Shannan. I usually just send them out to some friends, colleagues and realtives by e-mail. But recently I posted a few on this (The Daily Poet) blog. I can't say what inspires me nowadays. I usually am reacting to rather sad events, both public and private. But nature has always been a source of solace and so perhaps of inspiration. Hope this finds you and yours in reasonable health and spirits. Thanks for the feedback.

-- Arjun