Bijay Kant Dubey

A Rain of Rites By Jayanta Mahapatra

Opening with the first poem named Dawn,
It continues on
With the poems,
As thus,
Village, Old Places, These Women,
A Missing Person, Samsara,
Five Indian Songs, A Rain of Rites,
A Rain, The Exile, Listening,
Summer, Ceremony, Main Temple Street, Puri,
The Whorehouse in a Calcutta Street,
The Sentence, A Twilight Poem,
Appearances, Myth, Four Rain Poems
A Dead Boy, Moving, Silence, Dawn at Puri

To the poems, Listening to a Prayer, Sunburst,
On the Bank of the Ganges,
Girl Shopping in a department Store,
A Tree, Indian Summer Poem,
The Ruins, Evening, Idyll,
The Bare Arms in Packing Cases, Ikons,
I Hear My Fingers Sadly Touching an Ivory Key,
Somewhere, My Men, Hunger, An Old Country,
The Desert under the Breath, Hands, Of Armour,
This Stranger, My Daughter, India, The Landscape of Return,
The Face, The Faces, The Tattooed Taste,
Now When We Think of Compromise.

It’s a poem about a poem,
An attempt to circulate and tell about
Not easily available Indian English poems
And you don’t have an access to the poet,
You cannot have his poems,
Find out the address, mail to him,
Post the letter and procure the books from
If in the know of
The whereabouts
Of the poet hidden from the world,
Working in absence of recognition
While the men of culture and tradition
Like not to highlight themselves,
Presenting the bio-data or the c.v.
A poet neither of rains nor of rituals,
He is of a guilty consciousness
Marking the malignant purpose in the nun’s eye,
In the dark room, a woman searching her reflection,
This is the samsara,
A business of man, gods and priests
And the worshippers,
At land’s distance, there lies a mouldy village,
Resting rawly against the hills,
The charred ruins of sun,
The long-haired priest of Kali
Putting the plucked and stolen jasmines
Of his villa,
Whose door never closed he as per his father’s instructions,
As for to be put into the goddess’ morning eyes.

In the poem, Myth, the poet catches the incantation
Of the drift of years and the chants, the long years as the incense,
Man as worshipper coming and going,
The same old and brassy bells laden with memories tolled
And the scene recurring again
With the same meditational sadhu in sadhna
Telling of the sanctum
Lying on the fringes of Annapurna and Dhaualgiri
Or elsewhere pointing to
But he dares not enter into the temple
As myth keeps changing the track of,
Shifting from hand to hand, eye to eye,
The offered, crushed and dried leaves and flowers
Smiling at him,
Maybe it that the bearded and saffron-man may ask
If he a Hindoo or not.

A poet so imagistic, he just keeps playing with words,
Frolicking with
Thoughts, ideas and images
Coming as converted imagery,
Pure and distilled,
But unexplainable,
Just as the scenes and sights continue to be,
Art-pieces seen on the canvas,
How to describe them,
How to penetrate into something very artistic?

Submitted: Sunday, February 16, 2014

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