(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
O. P. Arora, a well-known poet, novelist and short story writer, has published five volumes of his poems, The Creeping Shadows, Embers in the Ashes, The Edge of the Cliff, Pebbles on the Shore and Whispers in the Wilderness and three novels, A Bite of Paradise, The Silken Traps and Beyond the Mists. He has to his credit two books in Hindi too—one, a novel, and the other, a collection of short stories. He has an excellent academic record and holds a Doctorate in English Literature from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He has taught in Delhi University for nearly four decades. He resides at A-2/B, 183A, Ekta Apartments, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi- 110063; and can also be contacted through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why don’t you fly away
far away, far away
from this frivolous, vicious world
hostile to your agony, mocking bird?
Your feelings here are a hostage
your desires, a bondage
your dreams, a nightmare
your quest, a foolish snare.
Not a place for the honest babes
long ago your sages too fled to the caves
only manipulating, stupid donkeys survive
minds with doors and windows shut, thrive.
A shady corner somewhere in the dark
where you can watch the petty drama of the shark
no, don’t count the images in the spectacle
or you won’t be able to enjoy the debacle.
2. Man and the Beast
They beat me ruthlessly
hit me hard, in the dark, violently
dragged me to that deep, dirty pit
drowned me into the hole, full of shit
would have covered me with the garbage
when a stray dog assailed them, taking umbrage.
They tried everything to scare away the beast
all their weapons proved useless, even their treat.
He barked into them, into the night
darkness split, clouds burst, thunderous sight
they couldn’t comprehend, his determined fight
scared by the lone warrior, they took to the flight.
He dropped into the pit, licked my face clean
raindrops, like nectar, revived my mean
dragged me out, drained out my defeat
sat by me, his hands on my feet.
He knew I would be stranded, no harm
he knew I would be ashamed, no harm…
But he didn’t know I would retire to a cave
he didn’t know I would let him down, the brave
I saw his tears, looked at myself, the clown
afraid of death, I let the devil have the crown.
Are you a man? asked the depressed beast.
No, you didn’t waste yourself, I rose to the feast.
3. Why Is It
Why is it
I always impeach and laugh, silently, sadly
gaze into the horizon, longingly, wistfully
crave to go far beyond
where the sky kisses the land
where you can see the invisible hand
where there would be emptiness
nothing but emptiness
nothing to torment me
stab my soul…?
Why is it
I would rather sit on an iceberg
blizzard raging against my kerb
than live in this fanciful jungle of humans
the feverish race
the crazy malaise
the furious, futile drive
the grabbers’ hollow hive
the rotten inners
the glitzy outers…?
Why is it
I would gladly board a sinking ship
storms raging, waves howling, tossing deathly gossip
rather than buy their hopes
their efforts to deck me in designer robes
nothing but the cursed ropes
death in life every moment
life’s agony oozing through every torment
they enjoy seeing me trapped
at every turn, Time has slapped…?
4. The Path
Bending over the creek
gazing towards the far off path
Nobody has walked that path
Now, the wild path
blurred and buried
under those memories
of the bygone era
of the youthful people
who had made promises…
You have grown old now
even if someone passes that way
you won’t know her…
you bend over this creek
your soul gives a shriek
and go on gazing
towards that forlorn path.
5. As I Move Away
showers of various hues
Away, far away
the fever and rush
the torment and crush
Beauty and truth
complementing each other
vying with each other
to bless my starved soul…
As I looked up
seeping into me
through every pore
I opened my mouth heavenward
drank it to my fill
fulfilling, yet unfulfilled…
immersed in the divine melody
my soul, ecstatic, pranced around
hopped onto the mysterious sound…