Treasure Island

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

(October 22,1972 / Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)

I, She and the Sea


Sombre though we were we knew -
For the hearts beneath our skins did throb,
As the surf surged up the sun swept shore
And we lay in repose in gold sands galore -
That we were in love!

The sea sighed on, yet we spoke but never -
Walls of agony as if stood in our mid;
Something I heard? Did something she say?
I longed to speak my heart out, but nay! -
The silent hours so silently slid.

Glooms gathered as the evening sun plunged,
Darkness, and farewell hour was near:
Guilt felt within, her hands I traced,
She too touched, shocked, we saw in the face -
Her eyes were cool ember!

'I love you, dear, but can marry you never,
Let me leave now', I said, 'And forget me!
Your people will never accept me, dear -
Not in this world, in some other, some better
United you and I shall be! '

'But what of the unborn growing within me?
What shall he say to the questioning few?
What of me? ', she said, 'I can't live sans thee!
If thou must go, my love, so shall I! ' -
What I meant, she meant, we knew.

All was spoken not through words but hearts:
We kissed and smiled for the final time,
And walked downshore, into the waters we stepped -
The cool surf up rose, up shoulder, up head,
And we sank, we sank, mid the Vesper chimes.

Ages hence when the wind shall change,
When roses blossom, and lovers engage -
Two bereft souls shall entwine to sing,
The solemn song to the world to bring: -

Sombre though we are we know -
Though our hearts have long ceased to throb,
That we are in love!

****

(Poem was first 'composed' in 1988 and has remained unchanged ever since. The words and phrases came in a vision. Please see the Story below for more details...)

Submitted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Poem written in the memory of a childhood sweetheart 'Laxmi'. It is a special poem. The words and phrases 'floated in' from the sea in a series of visions in 1988. But the poem was put to paper much later. Many readers have pointed out the non-rhyming pair 'throb'/'love' and use of archaic words like 'nay', 'thou', 'thee' etc. But that is exactly how they came. I did not know the dictionary meaning of the words Ember and Vesper, when they came floating to my mind. No deliberate attempt has been made to 'tweak' or 'fit in' the words to a rhyme/rhythm scheme. This is my only poem, of which not a single word has been altered since it was composed (?) in 1988. I have been often tempted to revise / modernise the poem, but have never done it, nor will I. Two of the original stanzas were lost, and I have never been able to recollect them....

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