I Have Seen That Face Before - Poem by Nirode Ray
The old man was basking
under the Egyptian sun
dry and sandy, ancient and calm
with his companion, a camel of two humps.
A cotton bag hanging over his shoulder
he was trapping a cane in left palm
He draped his body in a white attire
A person scarcely could see his ears
The Great Pyramid of Giza was
mounting not too far from there.
Only his sun-dried face was visible and bare
Sand-dots on his eyes, nose, wrinkles and lips
the old man was selling cheap souvenirs.
A lazy sorrow was nesting his eyes
they were poetic, lucid and kind.
His face was content but in a guile
He had witnessed too many events
over a very stretched period of time.
Nothing unsettled him anymore a bit
He waved like a monk, in a ruin
His face was happy but subtle
That face haunts me even today
I have seen that face in places, else somewhere
near Eifel tower, in New York subway, on Spanish steps.
I have seen that face, else somewhere
front of Delhi gate, and corners of College square.
Is it a face of happiness or discontent?
Lust for life or desperation of mere existence?
I don't have the answer, not yet.
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