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Ayyappa Paniker

(12 September 1930 - 23 August 2006 / Kavalam, Kerala, India)

Hey Gagarin

Hey Gagarin, devourer of Space,
I come, a wayfarer, get off my tracks!
Yield today
to my moral concerns,
to my poetic fancy,
to my creative urge.
Before you measure out
all these expenses
so neglected and underdeveloped,
where man's speculations
had all these years
let the lord of creation graze,
all these heavenly worlds,
all these abysses,
before this moonbeam vanishes,
before my eyes close here,
hey Gagarin, devourer of Space,
I come, a wayfarer; get off my tracks!

Receive my greetings,
receive my congratulations,
but keep away from my arrow range,
my free thoughts surge forward,
breaking all fetters,
So get off my tracks!

Today the sun and the moon and the stars,
the impressions of evening, night and dawn,
my desires and hopes, this dear earth,
the perpetual movement at the movable and the immovable,
this beautiful infection of love,
the horizon, a witness to the rising and setting sun,
this broken beam of light dissolving in it;
these have all surrendered to your merciful dispensation!

Today the scientific mind
juggles with satellites,
and you have emerged as the leader
of the yakshas, kinnaras, devas and demons,
all of them highfliers,
turning east and west into meaningless terms,
bringing under measure what is deep and what is broad.

My friends and foes,
my master and servant,
my wakefulness, my sleep,
time that seemed to go slow for my sake;
these were upset when you flew;
but the creative spirit in me
hopes to share your immortality
on the rockbed of dreams.

Fellow-poets that stare in stupor!
Grow new wings to catch up with Science
across the recesses of outer space.
The pioneers have unfurled their flags on the heights;
break you your idols, and bless yourselves.
Nothing is empty any more, nothing is outside of us;
the whole universe is filled with subtle sensations.
Where is our telescope, where our thermometer?
Brandish the torch, fulfil the urge to create,
cut off the barriers of time and space,
keep the spirit ablaze that will burn up
every trace of death-dealing darkness!

Submitted: Friday, September 07, 2012
Edited: Friday, September 07, 2012

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