Bio Note: Poetry, to me, is sometimes a slow unfurling of petals, and a rapid rush of raindrops, at others, inevitably elemental, even if it's about the melting asphalt on city roads and rattling trains through nights of nowhere. It's a slow humming in the soul as seeds begin to sprout in its soil, and the song of wings as birds take flight.
Outside all Maps
As the car sped on the navigation device kept up a steady patter. One and a half kilometres straight ahead, take the first turn left, straight on for the next two kilometres, follow the left incline, continue for twenty metres, turn right, go straight for fifty metres… That's pretty much what I did in life, I couldn't help reflecting, and where am I now? Negotiating a highway which connects everything but leads nowhere. That voice, super-sentient in its satellite omniscience, intones interminably, like a pundit reciting mantras, raspy in its breathless emphases, issuing directions, for whatever it is worth, as I meander forth in an ever expanding desert, lost irretrievably without a compass, with no idea of my coordinates, outside all maps.
Originally published in publication
What is it all about?
last line taken from Milan Kundera's novel "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" Increasingly, it's about the weather, or, at least, should be, the state of nature, not remaining merely a filler on the conversational platter, a tidbit of a topic to fill those awkward gaps between the prime items on the menu: it's unseasonably warm today, or, rain is on the cards or, perhaps, the Met office predicts a low pressure formation over the bay, if you please, but with the things that truly matter. The vision, for instance, of the earth as a dry, flat, empty plate, scrubbed clean of green, hungry hemispheres drooping ìn famines of man's making, where the scorching Sirocco blows grit into one's eyes, opening them to a desert where one has lost her way. And that is why I say, meteorology should not be kept at bay to howl like a tempest outside the doors of closed minds, it's concatenation of sounds ominous intimations of mortality, like the closing cadences of a dying dirge, but should be allowed in, in passionate prophecies and choral crusades, in aubades that augur new awakenings in a changing climate, expanding our understanding like yeast in dough, leavening the bread of sustenance with the unbearable lightness of being.
©2023 Ajanta Paul
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