Jaacob Thomas


To An Old Dear Friend - Poem by Jaacob Thomas

Temple flowers bloom over your ashes-
a pure white blaze
in the light of that golden afternoon

Shards of memory but remain,
splinters from a time long past -
too few … too far between:

Your presence –well-nigh divine -
piercing through my fevered haze
raging unchecked.
And then..your touch-
cool …soothing.. unerring
guided by that unseen hand-
working its miracle of healing.

Then..in the cool of an evening -
pinioned in harsh beams I stand…
nervously mumbling callow inanities -
clutching at straws…
fervently wishing
the earth open and swallow me.
Suddenly –
drawn by a power beyond my ken-
my wild-eyed gaze falls on you seated there-
a smile-
so placid..so serene- lighting up your face..
..encouraging –nay- willing me to go on.

The final wisp of reminiscence-
the still of the night..
you there
rapt and entranced
as the music wells forth-
the melodies … exquisite… haunting …ethereal….

Time continues its onward march-
inexorable and relentless.
The seasons change-
the years reel by...
Stories of your healing
pass into myth....then sweep into legend-
to the sagas of your tilting at Fate..
staving off the Inevitable…
as you valiantly struggle
for the life of the Conscience of the Nation.

..Then
you soar away to glittering lands-
a mile high and a world wide.
And then alas the Fates decree
our paths should never cross..

Whose lot was it to be the prey
torn to shreds by crazed Furies -
to fulfill eerie pacts sealed by unknown ancestors,
at macabre rituals in sinister temples-
lurking in deep, dark forests …?

Was it yours?
snatched by Yama,
after a life full and noble-
breathing your very last
in that never-never-land
of cool verdant valleys,
nestling between snow-topped peaks…
through which swirls
the very purest of mountain airs..

Or ours? ..
caught in the vice-
living lives of quiet desperation,
striving to rise above the torpor and the futility
that mires us-
ever battling the demons within.

Or both? …..
first fruits
offered at the altar,
to propitiate a ravening Mephistopheles –
hungry for souls of innocents…

…This
the only prayer to pass our lips,
as tears
unbidden
bedew your ashes-
that your spirit find solace
here -by the bones of ancestors long-dead-
atop a barren tropical hillock –
a world away
from where your soul wafted past your lips.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 24, 2005



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