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May 20, 2024

My Lines

By Rajnish Mishra

Life-long have I envied others many a line,
Will someone ever envy me mine,
My verse born now, fresh, dead until read?
Someone, anyone, yes, you --
If only you read it!
Would you call it just fine?
Would it not be dead, not dead if read?
Not when, but if, nor good or bad just read?

I thought of writing lines for you,
Of beauty, of strength, of truth,
A song, just one, of hope, of inspiration.
Lines on those themes come rarely now,
To write that way in these times is a sin,
These vacuous, vacant, little, listless times.
What use of such pursuits?
In a world like ours, what's false, what's true?
Hate, anger, frustration themes right for you.

My poems shallow, from heart's depths rise.
They lack in the mass of meaning, vision's breadth, not volume,
Not style but sense, not craft but art.
Who wants to say just what they want to say, and stop,
When it's just begun, not half the distance run?
When how it's said, for how long heard, is half the fun?

They call me passionless, in my head, half-alive half-dead.
I lack sorely, they say, inspiration:
Those drops of blood that the heart brings on page.
My poems are hard as stone, artificial.
I bring no flowers of hell with me,
No, that's not all, no fires of heaven bring I.
The visionary glance is not mine.
Love, longing, thorns of life, not mine,
Nor envy's green flush, shame's blush scarlet, fear's pallor:
They have almost been done to death.
Nor can I take a prophetic stance on Self or Man,
Doubt or Faith, all inventoried subjects, Nature or Nation?
Crawling in mud, or flights sublime and steep?

Article © Rajnish Mishra. All rights reserved.
Published on 2018-04-23
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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