Daniel Trevelyn Joseph

Rookie - 2 Points (21 December 1945 / Mumbai, India)

India - Poem by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph

This is not a country
Where the young can be
In one another’s arms:
Not in public, not even
In private, if a joint family,
Not in nuclear either, unless
There are only babies.

And yet, as dusk falls slowly
Along the pavement for a kilometre
On Bandra-Kurla pavement,
I see many a young couple
Mostly seated, some standing,
Exuding sense of unexplored territory,
Or sailing into New found land!
The distance between the two bodies
Is a fascinating study, at that moment
Of the strength of their instincts.

One young girl sitting at a distance
More than necessary
Shows in her focussed face
The love she feels: I was thrilled
To the smile start from
Behind her fair cheeks and spread
Up to the corners of her red lips
Her bright face a suffused blush
And joy mingled. For me,
It was like a sudden journey
To the head-source of a known river.
Smiles I have seen aplenty,
But the origin of a smile first time.

The postures and gestures eloquent -
The eyes play, watch over and express
So much of feeling for each other:
I see the boy sometimes treating
Her as his property, claiming ownership
With his hand as collar around her neck,
Not realizing a woman is mysterious,
Her strength being her weakness;
Poor boyfriend who tries to own her
Is into sinking sand, soon will disappear,
If he doesn’t watch out in time.

And now I see two old persons
Sharing an argument with gentle voices,
Perhaps about their new daughter-in-law:
The man taking the cause of Sunita,
While the mother suckles the groom still.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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