Arun Kolatkar

(1 November 1932 – 25 September 2004 / Maharashtra / India)

Traffic Lights - Poem by Arun Kolatkar

Fifty phantom motorcyclists

all in black

crash-helmeted outriders

faceless behind tinted visors

come thundering from one end of the road

and go roaring down the other

shattering the petrified silence of the night

like a delirium of rock-drills

preceded by a wailing cherry-top

and followed by a faceless president

in a deathly white Mercedes

coming from the airport and going downtown

raising a storm of protest in its wake

from angry scraps of paper and dry leaves

but unobserved by traffic lights

that seem to have eyes only for each other

and who like ill-starred lovers

fated never to meet

but condemned to live forever and ever

in each other's sight

continue to send signals to each other

throughout the night

and burn with the cold passion of rubies

separated by an empty street.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 29, 2012

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