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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Death Of A Night

So early you do seldom come.
Is it two or half-past-one?
Slithering down the rope of time;
With a half-rimmed moon on a decline.

Yonder she lands with a soft, little ‘tut’;
And sneaking-in with not a grudge.
Are you early; or am I too late?
Or, is it indeed but our fate!

O, ring those bells; and blow the conch.
It is none but the good-old-morn.
But songs of cuckoo- harbinger of sun;
And flutter of pigeons, I hear none.

Hark, hark...whose wails I hear;
With wafts of jasmine in the air.
Curs and hyenas are still abound!
Or is it night- the mother who sounds?

' It's me, it's me; and my children play,
Lizards feast on ephemeral prey;
The king of woods is up and about
For the jackal knows its time is out.

Lo! The archer fires the Way,
The one up north is watched at quay.
Toads croak; and urchins bay;
For crumbs, rummage through mounds, and nay;

On curb he waits; for this is the way;
Where She alights; the car pulls away.
For sure, the half-rimmed-moon is on a decline;
Go, tell the usurper to bide her time.'

Still it groaned, and still it moaned;
Till edges frayed; and heavens fawned.
It grunted; it heaved one last sigh;
The dirge tapered- good bye, good bye.

Then doors creaked; and horses neighed;
Muggers scurried, muezzins prayed.
And just when, the good-old-morn doth arrive;
The sun is up; good bye, good bye.
Sumit Pande
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