Night Light

With the breeze of a sudden night
Comes the news of your arrival.
As I dive into the sea of slumber
You wake up,
Fusing the conscious with the unconscious.

The night goes silent, draping a blanket of darkness.
You radiate
In your own light, intrinsic glory–
A star.

At dawn, I wake up,
My feet touch the ground
There too, I see you—
In soft, full smile.
Footloose, the night’s star and the earth’s dust
Embrace, sway each other.

I bow down, pick you up,
To give meaning to my worship.

Note: Every autumn, as Durga Puja, the biggest festival of Bengalis, approaches, a certain delicate flower blooms quietly in the night, spreading its soft fragrance all over. Since my childhood, this tropical bloom has awed me with its magical essence. In Bengali, we call the flower Shiuli or Shefali.

Disclaimer: I am not a poet and don’t claim this is poetry. It’s just a spontaneous expression, triggered by memory.

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14 thoughts on “Night Light

  1. Just came across your blog. Good stuff, I’d say it definitely is poetry. I’m looking forward to Durga Puja too. I didn’t know Shiuli was called Shefali also! Time to tease my friends with that name!

  2. My dear Bhas, Didn't realise you had been filling your blogs with posts again…I think you had stopped for awhile. I have one more deadline to get through and after next week, I shall definitely catch up all these missed posts, Bhas. I did leave a comment for this beautiful piece on Facebook. XX

  3. Hey, Susan! Yes, this blog woke up sometime back and has been sauntering along ever since. Thanks for reading and commenting on FB. Much appreciated. Gargi, I will look forward to your dropping in. 🙂

  4. Lovely! I remember, as children growing up in Santiniketan, we were to taught to gather these from the ground in the morning…So beautiful…and then one used the orange stem (actually, the fused corolla, I think…my botany's a bit rusty) to dye clothes…you get a rich yellow if processed properly! But yes, it killed the pretty flower 😦 But I guess behind every idea of beauty there's some cruelty…To keep your garden clean you banish the weed, which is a flower too…

  5. Thanks for your lovely comment, Shubho! I have heard so much about the dyeing of clothes using the stem (or your corolla :)), but haven't actually seen that done. Agree with your thoughts on clearing the weed to beautify the garden. Would you believe it, I once had a dream that featured a garden of, yes, weeds! One of the most enchanting dreams I've ever had. Shubho pujo to you!

  6. Wow, a garden of weeds! Love the idea! Leonard Cohen would love it, as he once said, "Weeds are flowers that no one collects." And he also said, "Poetry is not a form, or occupation…that lines don't reach the end of the page is no guarantee. Poetry is a verdict." So my verdict: yes – this "spontaneous expression, triggered by memory" is most definitely poetry! And yes, shubho pujo to you too (though I hate festive seasons in Bengal when my name becomes a plague)!

  7. Learn so much from you; what sharp insights from Cohen on both weeds and poetry!My dream was truly special. I was taken to an expansive garden, somewhere in Holland (at that time, I hadn't yet stepped out of India). The garden, I was told (and would see later) consisted entirely of weeds. I saw some familiar weed plants and stood transfixed by the novelty of the idea. Enjoy your pujo; won't utter your name for the next five days. 🙂

  8. Dear Bhaswati,Your expression very sweet. Believe me…I too am not a poet. But I personally believe that what is spontaneous is a poem. And your stuff is spontaneuous, rythmic and more importantly soothing to the heart and mind. The polls in Bihar keeps me very busy making me move out in the hinterlands and write political stuff for the newspaper I work for for. That's why I saw your post quite late. Still, I enjoyed it. Best regards, Nalin

  9. Thanks, Agnija! I learned the Tamil name of this flower a while ago through some FB friends. Such a beautiful name. Thanks for your kind words on my blog. Yours is wonderful too!

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