Living In Denial - Poem by Seema joglekar
In answer to your call coming from your house, like the many knockings of sunrise
I come to your gate with raised hands like those bare branches of winter trees welcome spring, with skywards turned open arms.
You have turned me away many a time like the night spurns the rocking crescent moon assured of its return soon, in all its fullness.
I fled, hiding myself in my chores till your claims found me like the boatman's song singing away his cheerfulness to the shore.
Frustrated and denied, I vouched to deny you all my debts when you come to claim your dues.
So in the day:
I go about denying you my dust, like a pilgrim embarrassed at his gathered treasure,
I deny you all my colored delusions that shriek in the abyss of fear and alarm,
I shall not show my desires like the light flickering in the earthen lamp bold to take on the storm,
Nor intoxicate you with the opiate of drowsy murmurs meant only for your ears,
Nor squander praises on your glances that divulge the true essence of living and make it worthwhile,
Nor show the injuries sustained in my squabbles with fate while I win,
Nor show where the lotus of entreating love flowers unmindful and was borne, on the lake of tears,
Nor reveal the moment when faith left its calling card in the dead of night,
Nor take you to the discarded heap of all festive occasions and their celebrations
‘cause you weren't in it,
These I hoard up in my veil.
But, at night:
In my dreams, I go wandering seeking you in all the lanes of ignominy and despair
where nostalgic memories flit like discolored moths worn by their frequent displays,
There eerie long nights lie destitute their ruined walls held up only by their nothingness and moonshine,
There, yodeling wind plays tricks whispering your arrival in the rustle of leaves,
There where I give you all my day and you rob me of my night.
Panic-stricken, I run searching for you in places I never would in the day till I reach your door.
There, all that I had denied to you while awake, I gift them away frantically in my dreams.
There when I held my head high in the day I bow low and surrender my hoard.
Their ceaseless expectation wearing me out like a drunken bee in a blossom till I get
a glimpse of you,
And that is when I wake.
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