Tuesday, November 1, 2022



Why Thanatophobia?


Arjuna became weak and restless--

He saw his relatives in the battlefield,

Lord Buddha also became depressed

Seeing a corpse and a man diseased.


Then Buddha tried to unveil deeper truths--

In his long search for self realization:

The Karma and the eightfold path

As he attained enlightenment and elevation.


With eyes tearful and downcast,

Overwhelmed with compassion and despair,

Arjuna was distressed with a heavy heart--

Why kill one's own family and conquer?


Krishna assured Arjuna in words crystal:

Death is simply an illusion not reality,

We all have to pass through this portal,

But it remains a perpetual mystery!


We are not body but immortal souls

That forever remains indestructible--

The unborn, imperishable soul continues

From one body to another all powerful.


A human being puts on new garments,

The old ones he leaves and discards,

The soul similarly accepts new bodies

It's a truth ineffable beyond words.


Storm clouds do not affect the sky,

The vast firmament remains unruffled,

We gape and wonder to ask why,

The cosmic cycle moves undisturbed.


Who grieves to see the autumnal leaves

When they become yellow on the branches,

And ultimately fall off from the trees--

After the abscission a new life begins.


I try to connect the threads of philosophy,

This mysterious cycle of birth and death,

The impermanence of the material body--

The transitoriness of human breath!


Amid the span of material consciousness--

It's not easy to withdraw the mind

From ostentations and pompousness

And focus constantly on God!


I aspire to cultivate consciously

Rich spiritual emotions for Krishna,

I wish to etch into my mind keenly,

His eternal words to Parth, Arjuna:


"Those who remember me at the time of Death

Will always come to me" --

I take His name with faith

In the midst of a surging sea!


Perhaps I become Valmiki's incarnation

Repeating the syllables in quick succession--

Ma- Ra, Ma- Ra, Ma, Ra, Ma- Ra

Ma,- Ra-Ma, Rama, Rama...


Death Under A Canopy Of Stars


How often


I have tried to know


the truth behind


the outer frame of things:


The boat of thoughts


float in the lake of my mind--


The visible world--


An illusion?


Between many pervious


and impervious layers


I try to penetrate!


Death-- the ultimate truth


seems to be lurking somewhere,



But I pay no heed to it--


The candles of your love -- incandescent--


glisten and burn!


Let us live forever, you and I,


somewhere under


a canopy of stars


and a luminous moon--


Moments frozen into eternity!


The Grey Horizon




I come to Banaras

        On the bank of the Ganges,

With an urn in my hands

         Containing your mortal remains:

My siblings and I, with tear-stained faces,

         Stand motionless in a sea of sorrow!




O my father, my dear father!

       You're no more, no more with us!

High in the sky reach lamentations,

       The boatman's song is sad,

The river remains ready for sessions,

        The oar touches the water cool.

The kingfisher with its blue and orange

        Plumage and stubby tail,

The long- legged heron with its pointed bill,

        Fail to invite my attention.




I look at the timeless holy river:

        Silver, vast and deep.

The boat moves slowly through the water,

        Soon the ash is immersed, oh!

The sky remains in her fast sleep!

        For hours together I sit on the bank

Looking at the vast expanse of sand,

        As the day slips into a sad evening!

The truth lies naked in semi-darkness---

        Mortals with feeble powers!

Hollow world crammed with emptiness!




Daylight approaches--

     The darkened sky turns salmon- pink

The colour seeps into the horizon

      Summoning the sun.

But it doesn't dispel the darkness

       Enveloping my mind and heart--

I feel sad and forlorn in the magic city!

       Cargoes of memories surround me:

And I'm plunged into the years

       Morphed into past!




With you my visits to Banaras

         Basking in the glory of childhood!

Holding your hand I enjoyed

        So many places mesmerized:

A splurge of traditional charms

        In the crowded Vishwanath lane--

Clay idols, brasswares, bright beads and shells!

        Enamoured with the sight

I feasted my eyes on them, and

        The very next day those sweet nothings

Became surprise gifts from you!




Walking on the streets of Banaras,

        I listened to you spellbound--

The mystery of the city with a glorious past:

       When Athens was growing in strength,

Before Rome had become known to the world,

       Or Greece had contended with Persia,

Kashi had risen to greatness on earth!





The home of Lord Shiva-- the great Vishwanath

       Adorned with flowers and holy bilva leaves,

Ganga-- reminiscent of king Bhagirath!

       The pious beauty of the river

Quite early in a moment enchanted:

       Countless temples, minarets of mosques,

Boats on the tranquil river until the ghats

        Erupt into a riot of colour and activity

With river breaking up the sun's

         Golden reflection in the water!




The magical sweeping stairs

       Plunging into the Ganges

Crowded by devotees eagar to take a dip.

       The beautiful crescent sweep

Of the river towards the north

        From the Western bank-- Like

The white moon pinned to Lord Shiva's Lock!




Out of my reverie, the sorrow continues!

       Banaras without you, gives me a stab,

The heartache, no one can heal,

       But I know in the memories

I'll feel you every moment, every day!

       Your memories become a treasure--

Too precious and beautiful to forget:

        Can never be devoured by Death!




Dr. RANJANA SHARAN SINHA is an eminent poet, author and retired professor of English. She is a well- known voice is n Indian Poetry in English with International recognition. Her poems, short stories, articles and research papers have been widely published in reputed dailies, magazines, e-zines, archives and journals at national and international levels. Her poems have found space in more than 40 highly-acclaimed global Anthologies like Atunis Galaktika, Our Poetry Archive, Inner Child Press, USA, Kali Project, Indie Blu(e) Publishers, USA, Poet , UK,  Silk Route Anthologies, Egypt and many more. Her poems have been translated into German, Greek, Polish, Spanish, Albanian, Russian, Persian, Nepali and Hindi languages. She has authored and published 09 books in different genres and 50 research papers covering different themes and subjects: 1. Spring Zone (A Collection of Poems and Haiku) 2. Midnight Sun (A Collection of Short Stories) 3. Nature in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and SumitraNandan Pant (A Comparative Criticism) 4. Feminism: Times and Tides (A Historiographical and Theoretical commentary on Feminism) 5. Different Dimensions (A Compilation of Research Papers presented in various national and international conferences and seminars) 6. Scents and Shadows (A Collection of Poems) 7. Rhymes for Children (A Collection of Nursery Rhymes) 8. The Purple Jacaranda and Other Poems (A Collection of Poems) 9. Ek Sita Main Bhee (A Collection of Poems in Hindi). She has received a number of awards for her contribution to poetry that include a commendation from the former President of India, A P.J. Abdul Kalam for her poem 'Mother Nature' contained in her collection 'Spring Zone'.To name the awards: Best Poet Award, Poets International, Bangalore; Rashtriya Pratibha Samman, (Kalam Kalanidhi), Udaipur; Best Citizens of India, International Publishing House, New Delhi; Best Teacher Award, Nagpur Shikshan Mandal, Nagpur, Brijsahityamani Samman, Agra, Govind Hindi Samman, Chitransh Kulbhaskar Samman, Bilaspur;  Citation of the Brightest Honour by Sufi International, Bangalore; Independence Day Honour by Gujarat Sahitya Akadem and Motivational Strips, 2021, Rabindranath Memorial Award, 2022 and The Golden Heart International Award, 2022. Her poems from her collection 'Scents and Shadows' have been included in postgraduate university syllabus of Purnea University. She is associated with many global Poetry Groups and Organizations. Many academic research papers have been written and published on her poetry. She is one of the editors of Our Poetry Archive. She lives in Nagpur (Maharashtra), India with her spouse who is a doctor (ophthalmologist).


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