Life On An Island - Poem by Savita Tyagi
Driving on the streets of island
I take in the flavors of life in middle- east
Buildings are carved with eye appealing geometric patterns
The turquoise window glass and sea water shimmer together against bright sun
Mosque dome shines with gold and blue inlays.
Dates and palm tree lined highways are beautiful, but often jammed with traffic.
Cars move continuously on the roundabouts
The smooth circular motion at roundabouts becomes violent and noisy at times
With a car moving at fast speed.
The small Island is busy and packed with human cargo
The rush of traffic, the haste of human life,
The sound of construction vehicles,
The laborers working under fierce sun with their heads covered-
In the summer heat it can be mind boggling and exhaustive to be part of it-
To detach my self I take my eyes away to look at the calm blue waters of gulf,
It is all around the island tranquil and peaceful
Never bothered by human activity going around its shore.
If one could catch the sight of evening sun
A blazing red ball of fire hanging fiercely above the vast waters
Like an ancient Arabic warrior not willing to go down the horizon with out a fight-
It would sum up the spirit of this island.
Away from the busy world, life is quiet with in the walls of my house.
Not that it is a solace to be alone for a length of time.
Peaceful moments last only for few days or few hours.
The rest less mind starts to wander again.
I roam around the house mumbling the old Gazal*
Lagtaa nahi hai dil mera Ujerey Dayar mein*
I look at tall shade trees behind the twelve-foot high compound wall blooming with tiny flowers-
Walls create barriers between natives and foreigners
But the flowering wines soften the blow of apartness.
I think of those trees and wines
Providing shade and beauty to travelers
Bearing the desert harshness ever so quietly
Some time I wish we could be like them
Existing, supporting but not demanding or inquiring.
In quiet contemplation
All the reasons for existence become obsolete till we find no more.
Dual voices of mind quarreling with in defy every logic and reasoning
And eventually fall in deep silence leaving me even more alone and restless.
As I sit in solitude, atmosphere starts to change-
A tiny bird flies from the lamppost
A cat comes from behind the fern pot where it was resting away from sun’s heat
Sky-high trees behind the compound wall sway in gentle desert wind.
Hours pass by,
Hot and dusty evening gives way to cooler night.
The harsh sound of traffic dies down
The full moon rises just above the neighbor’s roof.
Often moon here is so close to earth that Michel Jackson could shoot a hoop in it.
Little stars send their silver beams upon my face-
“Scottie beam me up” I smile and answer the call of stars-
All my agitations recoil and drain in tranquil desert night
And leave me to live and rejoice the moment as it is.
*Note - Gazal is Arabic word for a song often with rhyming verses
Lagtaa nahi hai dil mera Ujerey Dayar mein: Translation: my heart is not content in this desolate place.
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