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Banaras
RKS (31 December 1950 / Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India)

Banaras

1
The river flows through the woods
grown in Banares in centuries
down this terrace they say
washes ills and hides sins
inher graceful ripples reflects
the depths of eternity they love
the myth like heaven and slavation
each morning my father repeats
the celestial history while his son
breaks off the golden bough
and acts rex nemorensis
without fighting the priest
and the polemic continues over politics

2
Young girls and women move up and down
in the large boat standing on the Gange's bank
the sun smoulders the sand they carry over head
and fling down the basket that is their bread

they sit on the terrace and smoke hashish at noon
throw jokes on the privates or watch their sullen grace
poverty scythes their sweating skin, they fall
and the drowsy river flows with the city's garbage

3
Silent flows the Ganges in Banares
the muddy water and mud accumulates on roads
each house harnesses the taints
no matter, how many sacrifices of blood
each temple shelters satan's friends
even after centuries the muck stinks
on both sides convenience of culture
cuddles the self-turned waves
speaking of our pride, my obsession
straight through the bones of the living
their crooked simplicity and polished innocence
treachery, vanity, ranting
always washed in the fast current?
or the rod of time is impotent?
like the river I see untiringly
it's unsleeping eyes looking upward

User Rating: 5,0 / 5 ( 4 votes ) 4

Other poems of SINGH (132)

Comments (4)

The myth and faith of the vast multitude of people in the holy river kept aside, you have uncovered the mask of hypocrisy which is solely responsible for polluting its sacred waters. Thanks a lot.
Dear Professor Sahib, Your progressive views are reflected in your lovely poem. All this happens at the tombs of Sufiakarams too. I have seen these things at the tomb of Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia at Delhi. By the way I am reminded of two lines probabaly by Kabir Das- Rand, Sand, Sanyasi- - Inse bachen to sevein Kasi. I have seen Banaras and Sarnath many times and have a lot of sweet memories. I was born at Gorakhpur.
Beautiful poem Sir. River Ganga is my passion too and this is one of the best poems I have ever read. Thanks for sharing.
Praise for your extraordinary word painting. Wishing you a wonderful.creative 2007. Warm regards, Sandra