Monday, 20 June 2016

Poem -- Feeling Lonely in a Carnival

I write this
tinged with sadness.
I feel sorry for us...
For the tragic comedy
that is the essential human condition.

In the midst of a carnival of plenty,
Some of us are dying of thirst.
In the midst of a deluge of love,
Some of us feel left out and lonely.

There is no dearth of emotional give-and-take
in the crowd of relations that we stand amidst...
Father, mother, brother, sister, son daughter, spouse, lover...
And yet we suffer bouts of feeling heartsick and unloved.
Yes, I feel sorry for all of us.

Poor forked animal, whose overdeveloped mind afflicts him,
Ambushes him with emotions that have little to do with the present.
Poor forked animal, who carries a baggage of emotions from the past,
And borrows some more from an imagined future.
Poor forked animal, who cannot be simply happy
With things as they are.

We live our lives with the sour aftertaste of
Yesterdays and yesteryears.
We live with the bittersweet foretaste
Of what the morrow will bring.
We live in a world that has plenty,
But we live in a mind that has nothing but
Wants and needs.

We don't live our lives.
Our itches and anxieties live our lives.
Like ghosts, they possess and haunt us.
They crowd our minds so completely that there is no space for the
Present moment.
There is barely enough room to squeeze in a
Thin slice of joyfulness.

I grieve for this,
Our human condition.

From this, can there be no freedom?
Of course there is...
Freedom has several doorways:
Enlightenment, Self-knowledge,
Renunciation, Spirituality,
Selfless Love, Giving, Forgiving,
Letting Go,

The curtains of these portals to Freedom are like
A beggar's rags.
The music that wafts out from within these doors is not
The latest Pop hits.

I stood at one of these portals
And peeped in...
(When? It seems like a previous lifetime now.)
I breathed the cool fragrant air within...
And then, perhaps unconvinced that Freedom was worth it,
I walked away,
Promising to return,
Telling myself that it would be
Easy to return.

Now, standing here, far from my Freedom, I feel a sense of loss...
And yet I feel enriched.

What a bittersweet drink it is that we imbibe here,
In this carnival!
No, not fine wine,
But a heady hooch!
One sip, and
Your senses explode.
One gulp and
Your brain melts
And flows like wax
Down to your loins.
One glass and
You split into two personalities --
One that lies face up on the ground, gazing at the stars,
Another that levitates face down among the treetops,
Looking down in contempt at those who are still earthbound,
Those who have not drunk deeply enough.

No, I shall not return to Freedom
I shall not walk through those serene portals,
Not in this lifetime.

I shall drink and dance here in this
And feel alone in a crowd
Feel lonely in a web or relationships
And gaze across the crowd
Into the eyes of those who,
Amidst all the singing and dancing,
The laughing and celebration,
Experience loneliness.

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