Under the banyan tree in the street corner
few worn out scooter tires and semi-wet sands
which once supported the earthen pots
filled with drinking water not long ago
now feel desolate and deserted.
The red flames on the Gulmohar trees
flanking the streets doused by the first showers
have lost their sheen to the verdant green.
Blue polythene covered sheds have mushroomed
along the rows of shops skirting the footpaths.
The summer has slipped away
and perhaps is hiding behind the clouds
and a farmer in his ramshackle hut
puts an aluminum pot below the dripping hole
on his thatched roof and scrapes
the dry mud off his overused plough.
and the clouds split open
the gutters running parallel
on both sides of
the narrow village gully
swell up in a spate and
bridge the gap
to shake hands.
An endless ribbon of
muddy brown water
slithers on the road
like a huge serpent
after its prey
a faint and translucent sun
swims on its back lazily
a wanton wind whistling
through the coconut fronds.
Tiny dots of paper boats
appear from nowhere
riding the crests and troughs
of the gushing stream
dancing in tandem
to the rhythms of the ripples
with no compass nor chart
and no harbour to enter.
They set sail on their uncertain course
with no ropes nor even an anchor
and with no cargo in the holds
of their folds
but their transparent rigging
laden with laughter and cheer
and boundless glee
like the trinkets twinkling
on a Christmas tree.
The notebooks become
thinner and thinner
while some topple and capsize
and some continue to stay afloat
their keels becoming
wetter and heavier as they sail by.
An infinite joy abounds
in the air and
spirits soar high.
Dilip Mohapatra, a decorated Navy Veteran, started writing poems in the seventies. His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute in India and abroad. Some of his poems have been featured in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 along with the works of 211 contemporary poets from 93 countries and few are lined up for its 2014 Edition due in June 2015. He has two poetry collections titled "A Pinch of Sun & other poems" and "Different Shades" to his credit, published by Authorspress India. He holds two masters degrees, in Physics and in Management Studies. He lives with his wife in Pune.