Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
Dawn In Pune - Poem by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
In the beginning of the month of April,
I was alone in my Pune row-house,
And I woke up at 5 30 A M on a bulbul’s call
When it was still dark, and otherwise quiet.
I came out of my bedroom on upper floor
Into Western balcony and looked up
Through the brown wooden rafters above,
To see the dark sky as rectangular pieces.
I was thrilled to see stars of different
Magnitudes dotting the sky;
Like in the old days of 1989-90
When I used to work in Pune,
And had set up Dr E B’s telescope on the road,
Near residential quarters to explore sky at night
In my campus of MIDA part of Raj Bhavan
In Pune, to teach and train the government officers.
I went back, and came out on the Southern
Balcony where the sky is open,
To see the bright crescent moon
In solitary splendor, despite one tube-light below.
Below the bright moon, I saw a bright planet,
Most probably Jupiter, beckoning from afar
Jealous of the Moon: and having below
The constellation of Scorpio.
Its tail comprises of three stars in line
With equal intervals, and the body of the scorpion
Has the reddish bright star of Antares, so named
The rival of Ares that is Mars the god of war.
One distinct constellation which does look
Like its name, starts with a curvy head,
Climbs up the heaven with the body,
And ends up with the tail, like a whale.
I remember when we walked on our first night
In Leh, capital of Ladakh on the Himalayas,
I saw this Scopio shining better than any jewel
Ever made by any Cleopatra’s craftsmen.
I am so happy, I went in and brought out
My binoculars, and turned to the Moon,
I have never seen such a beautiful sight,
The thick crescent embracing the rest of globe,
In lighter shade, so attached to its full Ego.
Jupiter under scan was yellow-brightish,
While Antares was reddish-bright
Lording it over that part of the dark sky
Just before the dawn was bringing in the day.
As I turned with my instrument to see more,
I saw the line of three more-spaced stars
Part of the Cygnus constellation,
Ready for its flight as the Swan.
Though this my revival of acquaintance
With bits of astronomy, was all along
Accompanied by the ‘qui-qui-quee’
Of the lone bulbul which is sure to be red-rumped.
Yesterday was Rashmi’s birthday,
Charming artist and artisan next door,
Who was born in my house in Satara
Long ago, and now lives in Aboli with Mom
While ours is named Pushpam after my Mom.
Walking back from dinner at Polka Dot,
After a good tasty meal, last night
I showed her Sirius, and how to visualize the dog
In Canis Major constellation, accompanying Orion.
I used to love astronomy and know some
Names of stars, constellations and planets,
And strange objects supernova etc
And the Greek and Indian mythology behind.
But as memory cells die and I age,
Now I cant recall them easily;
But on a night like this,
I regret it, and feel I should re-learn
The beauties of the cloudless sky,
The splendor of the growing up-or-down Moon,
The differing magnitude of diamonds big and small,
Of the stars of our sky, not all of whom twinkle.
Out of the seven stages of man,
In my second childhood, I’d love to sing
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star, tell me when
I will become a part of you, and shine evermore.”
Now the day breaks, earth’s shadows flee,
Another type of bird makes his presence felt,
And the noisy motor-bikes and scooters
Begin to be heard on the road, and we drown.
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