Years from now, after I’m gone,
what will they remember me for?
Will they say that I served the truth
and that I served it faithfully?
Will they call my life a lie?
Will I even be worthy of recollection?
Our lives are like the mist, blurring
the earth for minutes before it passes:
Sometimes it’s welcome and often not.
Sometimes we’re like the fog
that passes over the landscape,
enriching it with surreal flair,
but often we’re like the haze
that obscures a sojourner’s view
while he drives his locomotive.
This life is hard, and the struggles
we face are as real as the pain a thorn
causes when it embeds itself into flesh,
and we often wonder if it’s worth it,
we question fate and wonder if he sows
us on the arid lands of time, only to be
hacked and thrown into the fire as soon
as we sprout,
and what are we, but weeds
or wild plants with bristles?
But some of us still hope
or hold onto chimaera, thinking that
the shaft they’re impaled on
is a cushion with a TV and a bowl of popcorn
they feel the pain but still sing, ‘hallelujah,’
they feel their insides splitting, but
still cry in tongues: ‘rabashabadah!”
Can’t you see? Can’t you see? In the eagle’s vicious stare,
in the snake’s venomous fang, in the burning eyes of the demon?
Can’t you see? Can’t you see?
The hobo and the deadbeat listlessly walking, picking
up pieces of trash that they’ll sell for a fix,
the juvenile delinquent stabbing his fellow inmate
and extending his sentence into adulthood,
mad poets and prophets raging into the night
while the world’s a whisper,
lunatics breaking windows and burning cars,
rioting on the street,
a steel cup that a husband throws; missing his wife
barely and ricocheting off a wall,
the cigarette vendor collapsing in exhaustion after
hours of standing and selling his goods to
drunk clowns and smelly trapeze artists
sharing a lousy, unhappy circus
Can’t you see that there’s nothing to hope for?
Can’t you see that there’s nothing to live for?
Can’t you see that there’s nothing to die for?
Years from now, after I’m gone, your memory of
me will fade at the time of my passing.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)