“Pebbles”, “The Books” and “My Father”


Time smoothes rainbow hardness
Of tree basalt, vermillion jasper,
Silvery granite and pale feldspar
With the help of humdrum

But patient jeweller of tides;

Volcano-born, earthquake-quarried,

Heat-cracked, wind-carved,

Death shapes compact among the rocks;

It drifts light as a fractured bone

When the tide uncovers,

It blinks among the smashed shells,

Upset by gulls, bleached by salt and sun

The broken crockery of living things;

An eagle surveys from the upland,

Unsympathetic to the burdens

I have carried here;

The sea would not hug me, so I sit,

Hollow as driftwood, jumbled as pebbles

The Books

Books are in restless wintery mood,

Their voices seem urgent,

What the books whisper

We prefer not to mention in social circles;

Yet they know more,

Have been where we can't go

In the clothes we wear;

They are unsettled, we are motionless,

Their voices are foreign to our ears,

They disdain, they will shake us off,

Too many voices, too many lost conversations;

When I open a page, fall into its frosty profundities

To sink like a stone, I talk in clichés;

They hover in time like bad omens

They flap wings; frantic pages cloud the sky;

They are the darkness in our bones

That keeps on sparkling like dead flames;

What struggles, they endure day, night!

Some books unopened stay to sight;

Books of some pasts have been scorched

Or may long live not a page turned,

To die unread of ripe old age,

Or by next generation earned,

Yellowed, book-worms devoured in rage!

There’s a thing common— books or men,

But a few significant can

Every book has its shining creed,

Which we fail to read and believe

My Father

My clock's been swung to zero

There is no zero on other clocks,

I don't know where my dad lives,

Previous night my skin felt soft

As he kissed with his wet lips

My dad wishes to listen to me upbeat,

He replies his recent minor emergencies

About his wellbeing, about how he played

With my siblings and sisters,

In any case, he needs me to return to life

I wonder why only humans need to

Figure out how to move with reason?

Is that why we nag rationale?

It's been simple not to go there,

I know I should meet him but

I don’t have my dad's address

My past burdens stop me

To meet him in his promised land

About the Author

Sandeep Kumar Mishra

Sandeep Kumar Mishra is an outsider artist, poet and lecturer in English Literature. He has edited a collection of poems by various poets, "Pearls" (2002) and written a professional guide book, "How To Be" (2016) and a collection of poems and art, "Feel My Heart" (2016). Recently his work has published in New England Review, Classical Poets, Permafrost Journal, Human Touch Journal, Blue Mountain Review, International Times, Literary Yard, Mud Season Review, Verbal art, Stone coast Review, Indiana voice Journal, Ripen the Page, Poetry Nook, Forever Journal, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Priestess and Hierophant, Red Fez, Literary Orphan, Chiron Review, Poetry Leaves, Whirlwind, Criterion, Really System etc.

Read more work by Sandeep Kumar Mishra.