Friday, August 30, 2013

Rites of Passage / Vespertinal

Rites of Passage / Vespertinal
The seven-horse chariot's done its daily beat; 
And over there, where sky and earth commune,
The evening star sheds limpid, icy fire 
Against a cyclorama amber-blue.
A breeze from west, gently insistent, blows 
Streamers of sand off crests of velvet dunes, 
Whispering reminder, prickly on the soul: 
The intimation of a threshold passed.

Through dim and misty distances in time
Loom memories of dreams that went unlived; 
Of songs unsung, of feelings unrevealed; 
Of deeds not done, of promises unkept; 

Of cheery smiles received and not returned; 
Of leaps of faith across uncharted streams 
Landing in quicksand, and being helped from there 
By waiting arms that never stayed for thanks.

And as the canvas is daubed more and more, 
The tints turn muddy, chiaroscuro fades 
To shades of grey, darkly illumined from 
The tunnel's end, a weary age away.

Threescore-and-ten was granted, half is spent. 
What rests is but a half-life of decay, 
Of keeping count of acts, noble and base, 
At every rite of passage on the way. 

Vivek  Khadpekar 
Osian, Thar Desert, Rajasthan
and Benares (Varanasi)
India, 1988/89 
By the same author:  Midnight

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