Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Jan 2017

Five Poems of P G Rama Rao


Dr. P. G. Rama Rao (1935) retired from the P.G. Dept. of English, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, in 1995, after a long and distinguished innings as a teacher of English and American Literature. Among his publications are The Poetic Rapture (1963), ErnestHemingway: A Study in Narrative Technique (1980), NarrativeTechnique in British and American Fiction (1986), The Critic’s Eye (1993), Scapes (1993), The Wave and the Hill (1993), My Days in Tulasi Kshetra (2009 & 2014), On the Other Side of the Globe (2013), An EnduringPicture and Other Poems (2014), My Divine Hippocrene (2015), Aesthetic Ecstasy (2016), and Whispers of Immortality(2016). He can be contacted at pgramarao@yahoo.com.



1. New Year Again

 

Here’s another new year

Bringing hope and cheer,

Same story over and over;

At first hopes surging,

And then life’s cruel

Waves them submerging.

 

The birth of a year

Brings global cheer.

But as the baby grows,

Little by little the joy goes

Until its space shrinks into

A tortuous, torturous tunnel.

 

The old year slowly crawls

Towards the end of the tunnel,

Struggling to decipher the scrawls

Scribbled by Destiny; Oh, what a joy!

 

A light at the end of the tunnel,

The birth of a new year and the festival.

 

Will the New Year bring joy and gain,

Or, as usual, sorrow and pain again?

Whatever it be, we have our New Year’s

Hopes and song and dance and laughter

To keep off the lurking shadows of fear;

 

As we say “Happy Birthday”, let’s shout

“Happy New Year! And strive to keep

The marauders of gloom far away;

Life is built on repetition and ritual

And the alternating sounds and silences.

 

2. Reflections

 

I relax beside the pool,

Tranquil, limpid, and cool,

At the center of my garden—

Green and blue and pink and rose

And ochre and violet and white—

A colourful affair with this

Refreshing pool at its heart.

 

It looks like my mind where

Thoughts and emotions of

A variety of colours play

All the while, with a tranquil

Pool, my manassarovar

At the center, where I rest

From all kinds of stress.

 

I look up; the sun is relaxing

Behind the western hills

With his brushes and colours,

Using the sky as his canvas;

A variety of colours – green and

Blue and pink and rose and

Ochre and violet and white –

 

With a blue patch at the

Center looking like this pool,

Tranquil and celestially cool,

Offering a feast for the eye;

My mind and garden and the sky

Seem to be reflections of one another.

What greater relaxation do I need?

 

3. Stars

 

All my life

I’ve been a star-gazer,

Not the Galilean type,

But the Shelleyan type.

 

The stars strike me as

Flowers in Heaven’s

Fabulous gardens

Displayed only at night.

 

Sometimes I think they

Are the magnificent design

On the Supreme Spirit’s

Divine garments.

 

As they twinkle and

Blur my vision, they

Look like dreams

Elusive and ethereal.

 

Fixated on this idea,

One day I culled a few,

But did not know what

To do with them.

 

Pitying me for my confusion,

One of them said, “dear friend,

Don’t worry; we’ll live

In your head and heart.

 

Awake or asleep

You’ll then have beautiful

Dreams, which will Keep

The Devil at arm’s length.”

 

Then came a scientist

And said in alarming tones,

“What are you doing?

Each star is a sun.”

 

“So what?” I said, “I believe

In ‘Vedanta’; I’m vast and

Limitless like the sky,

And can accommodate all

The star-suns and their families.

 

After all, the universe is illusory,

And I, the Knower, am The Truth.”

“Then why did you pluck them?”

Said the scientist. “That’s also

Illusory; A beautiful dream,” said I.

 

4. The Invisible Parent

 

Little lovely leaf,

Can you tell me

What celestial breath

Has put life into you?

 

Pretty little bud,

Can you share the

The secret of how you

Blossomed into a beauty?

 

Mild child-wind playing

Around me, who’s sent

You to refresh us,

Creatures of this earth?

 

Droplets of water falling

From nowhere, and cooling

The air, tell me who sprinkles

You from the sky?

 

Chubby cherubic babe,

Do you know the invisible

Parent at whom you

Smile now and then?

 

5. My Greater Self

 

After a lot of search I find,

In the depths of my mind,

My greater Self,

Mentor of my self.

For decades did He hide;

Now I know He is by my side.

 

I look up to see His face,

And find a loving smile in space.

By day it’s a dazzling eye,

By night a glittering sky.

His breath I feel in the air;

I realize He’s everywhere.