Ananta Madhavan


Small Poems from Youth


1. When the thwarted ego turns
Inward for strength,
'Injustice' is its cry.


2. Experience is like light:
Either a stream of waves
Or a flow of particles,
Or both.


3. Dilemma

The books that speak to us
Speak of naught but life;
(The rest are dumb, or prattle) .
But, if we go to books to learn of life,
We might as well be cattle.


4. My stone

Opal I understand from pride.
Shingled and smoked in wisps of blue,
Orange as if it bled inside,
Purple inbred with pallid white.

All is included, all is true;
Mine is this bold eliding, such
Colours as in the warming light
Signal responses to the touch.


5. I look at you,
And my eyes have grown fingers;
I touch you,
And my fingers have grown eyes;
I am Argus to the thousandth power.


6. Stand stark before the sea in the wind's lashing,
Let the rain drops stab your face,
Mark the waves assault that worn rock,
Stubborn both. How the white foam swirls
And vanishes into the greying green!


All truths are partial, and the last, the most.


7. The sin of Impulse and the sin of Will
Are both unforgivable.


8. The Powers that be
Are very sore
At the Powers that were,
Because they fear
The Powers that were
Are probably
The Powers that will be.



9. Late Wish
Charon, accept this drachma from my stoppered mouth,
Not for the ferry fare which, being mortal, I need not pay,
But that I might speak again to my lamenters,
Tell them the wonder of crossing the Styx.

Submitted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Edited: Thursday, January 16, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I like brevity plus feeling and ideas in a poem, but one has to guard against wilful obscurity.

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