LathaPrem Sakhya (21-01-1959)
Lord of the night
Yellow eyes dilated with fear
Huddling in the make shift cage
Sack and tarpaulin in tatters to cover
And to protect from the sun’s rage,
The sensitive eyes, wistful and sad,
For the dark hide outs pining.
Yet, the mounting tempo of the mad
Boisterous excitement of spying
You so close, provoked the twin
Golden bulbs to flash on us the ire
Out of relentless confinement born
Helplessly smouldering inside like fire.
The king of the night, the farmer’s friend
Hunter of rodents, sentry of the ripened fields
In the twilight, when the world to sleep descend,
You come gliding from far off woods or meads
Or dilapidated shelters, daytime refuge for sleep,
To assume sentry duty to watch over our crop,
Snakes, mice and other rodents at bay to Keep.
For no farmer can get a better prop.
Yet feared and dreaded as an evil one
A bird of ill omen, to Death, a harbinger.
But I secretly loved you- often
A source of curiosity and wonder
Oft riding on fancy’s wings
I visualized you as a monster bird-
Build upon the superstitious descriptions
From the gray haired villagers I had heard.
But the pitiable sight- my eyes met-
A bundle of muddy feathers white
On twig legs, sporting yellow eyes, a rag puppet
A king fallen to doom –a plight
Wrenching my heart to reflect
On the human insensitivity
On nature’s darlings inflicted.
I ached to gather you in my arm
To kiss you and console you and let
You fly far away, from human harm
To lick your wounds and heal yourself
And rally forth the undisputed Lord of the night.
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