Thursday, June 1, 2023



The Soft, Soothing Song


 Was it a cart rumbling over the cobbles?

Or a monolithic man grumbling,

 hobbling along on stout legs?

I could hear and see men moving hefty kegs.

“Ho- ho-ho” someone roared.

A balmy breeze skimmed the lake.

The sun peeped out in a gush of light.

The gulls overhead emitted petrified cries.


Evening fell.

Now the inflamed eye of the sun hurled a sullen stare at me,

from under a glowering sunset.

“I will rise again”, it raised a fiery finger towards me,

winked and was gone.

The waves of the lake were now in a jocular mood.

Suddenly I heard sickening thuds and hoarse curses.

Were some foes gripping each other’s throats,

their heads battering rams?

Were they clawing each other’s faces, gloating at their strength?


The night was filled with hysterical screams and nightmarish dreams.

Then lo and behold! A soothing song filled the air; the moon beamed. 


A Lullaby Under The Bridge


A woman running.

Running on the streets. Disheveled. Shabby.

One arm bangled.  A tad bloodied too.

Hair tangled, as though

seaweeds are hanging down her head.

Kids snigger, hurling pebbles at her.

Groaning, she runs away from them.

Pale. Lonely. Sad.


Night falls. An owl calls.

“A mad woman lives under the bridge.” 

Says a boy to his friend.


“Yes. Come, I will show you.”

Holding hands, the ten-year-olds race towards the bridge.

Yes, she is very much under the bridge,

clasping an emaciated toddler to her shriveled up breast,

crooning a lullaby, where the moon figures.

A mongrel cuddle up next to them, half- asleep.

An abandoned woman, under an abandoned bridge.


On her weary, tear- streaked face, there is a look of maternal bliss.

She bends down towards her child and on his cheek plants a kiss.

The moon furtively peeps from behind the clouds, and grows bigger.

Transfixed by the endearing scene, the ten-year-olds forget to snigger.  


The Glowing Darts Of Dawn


It was a chillingly cold winter morn.

The east was pierced by glowing darts of dawn.

A yawning, crimson abyss.

Ragged clouds flaunting red hot linings.

Golden jets dazzled eyes.

The sunlight poured through the cracks of the poor man’s hut,

valiantly trying to chase the gloom from his deeply furrowed face.

His two small sons clung to their mother on the string cot,

who was draped in a tattered saree. 

They - the living dead.


The living do the same things as the unliving do.

Don’t they?

Even the unliving breathe through every day. 

Ragged, staccato breaths, defying death every moment.

The living sleep, snore, snivel and scoff. So do the unliving.


Incredible but true, the steely glint in the poor man’s eyes

expresses indomitable will.

His life does not offer the luxuriance of gloom.  

Seasons change, his will grows stronger.

He no longer broods, or curses his fate.


In winter’s blanched, monochromatic hues

he looks at the sun painting golden rays of hope,

on the faces of his family, lying on the bed,

and is filled with love ineffable.


With a soft tread he heads out of the hut.

To make himself and his family fit for survival. 

He cannot compete with the fittest- but survive he will,

with a strong, overpowering will.




SANTOSH BAKAYA: Winner of International Reuel Award for literature for Oh Hark, 2014, The Universal Inspirational Poet Award [ Pentasi B Friendship Poetry and Ghana Government, 2016,] Bharat Nirman Award for literary Excellence, 2017,  Setu Award, 2018,  [Pittsburgh, USA] for ‘ stellar contribution to world literature.’ Keshav Malik Award, 2019, for ‘staggeringly prolific and quality conscious oeuvre’. Chankaya Award  [Best Poet of the Year, 2022, Public Relations Council of India,], Eunice Dsouza Award 2023, for ‘rich and diverse contribution to poetry, literature and learning’,[Instituted  by WE Literary Community]  poet, biographer, novelist, essayist, TEDx speaker, creative writing mentor, Santosh Bakaya, Ph.D has been acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu [Vitasta, 2015], her poems have been translated into many languages, and short stories have won many awards, both national and international. Part of her column, Morning Meanderings in Learning and Creativity website, is now an e-book. She has penned twenty three books across different genres.

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