Daniel Trevelyn Joseph

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

The Joy Of Being - Poem by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph

City under deluge, scream the newspapers,
Whole of the City was under waters, like Noah’s Ark,
I was cooped up in my office-room,
Not realising the downpour:
Also, living near Churchgate, in Yashodhan
I don’t commute and am not part of the city-life

Morning I got up late, decided
To go for a walk at 10 A.M..
Thought I would read under the raincloudy sky
Sitting on the parapet wall of the Marine Drive.

Since it would drizzle, it’d be easy to hide-
I search for a small book,
Vaswani’s Bhagavad Gita is in office drawer
Others versions of Gita, small, are not so good.

I chose Penguin Upanishads
Walked under the Monsoon sky
Under bright green leaves, and in clean pollution-free air,
With light around pleasant to the eye.
Reached the Marine Drive,
Sat on the wall, and looked into the sea.

For quite some time, I have been thinking of the crabs-
Colour red comes to mind-
Which I used to see on the rocks below the wall in the sea
Not on tetrapods, but on pieces of irregular rock
Say, in front of Marine Plaza,
Hotel that has come up now-
Today as I looked I could see all those friends of mine,
More dark brown than red, unless some reddish tinge in their legs
All six of them, where are the pincers?
I was thrilled, happy to see them.
I sat and crossed my legs and looked westwards.

Felt great to be alive,
On a holiday
Watching the innumerable crabs, each
Moving slightly towards or away from the neighbouring crab
All a few feet above the sea-waves
Crashing at the foot of these rocks
Crabs are not visible always
I remember thinking long ago
That I would sit whole day on the wall to record
The appearance and disappearance of these crabs:
Never did it though.

Wave after wave came and crashed on the rocks
Broke into foam, white and brittle and evanescent
And dirty water with garbage floating, withdrew
Into the sea, to be pushed back at a wee-bit higher level
It is the incoming high tide of the cycle of the Day.

The right corner of my eye registered
A movement, neither of wave nor crab
Now I turn fully to
Watch out and there it was again
Along the ill-defined contours
Of stones, not tetrapods.
On third appearance, I see it. A rat
Small, brown, slow and steady
I wonder what is he doing there.
Next moment I find a crow flying
In the other direction; I fear for the rat.

Looking back to the crabs moving luxuriously,
On so many black surfaces,
I am happy to be alive.
I open the Upanishads book
And the underlined portions hit the eye.
A quote from Rg Veda
‘The river is never weary’, it says.
I look at the waves and think
Nor are they. I feel a strong connection
Between living and existing things,
An interesting web.

Juan Mascaro writes in the Introduction
“ The joy that irradiates the poetry
Of the great modern Spanish poet
Jorge Guillen
Springs from the joy of Being:

Ser, nada mas. Y basta.
Es la absoluta dicha.

(To be. No more. This is all.
This is the joy supreme.) ”

15 Aug 1997

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 17, 2008

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