Ayyappa Paniker

(12 September 1930 - 23 August 2006 / Kavalam, Kerala, India)

The Dawns Pause, Playing On The Santoori - Poem by Ayyappa Paniker

The dawns pause, playing on the santoori:
Tell us your tale, O tragic bride of Greece!
The Sol that wakes up from the Aegean Sea
Climbs over the peaks of Mount Olympus.
Like an aeon has passed by the night
That blended long grief and entertainment.

Scoop out at once a cake of cheese from the moon
That has reached the hill-top and will soon fade away.
The tourist who comes tomorrow should see
The dark patch left by your scooping out.
The disciples of Pythagoras will come and weigh
And tell us the exact weights and measures.
What is of value to us is whatever is left
After the 'counting' of all that are countable.

What sights have we seen that fail to catch the eye?
What songs heard that the ear cannot catch?
What unmeasured distances have we traversed?
What sins gone through, not encountered in Eden?
What pains unknown before have we taken on?
We have conceded, let them be whatever they are.
Now that we have learned that life is not meant
To be spent on reflections over past sorrows,
Please, go on playing nonstop on the santoori,
Until the dawn arrives that brings joy,
Until Zorba sings on the shores of twilight..


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 7, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, September 7, 2012


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