A real night

Rajesh Joshi
Translated from Hindi

The Sun dreamt of becoming the moon
The moon of becoming a billion stars

Bread fell into a dream of becoming a doe
Jumping around in a forest
I came out of a cave
With a bow and arrows

Suddenly from behind a tree
Prowling
A cheetah caught the doe!

After this the real night came
And nobody had
Anything to dream of.

at the red lights

at the red lights
cars stop
automatically

it is a green light
for the limping humanity to flood the roads
huddled up moving on the zebra lines

from there a few zombie eyes
stray and pierce the shut windows
of Rolls Royce, Ford, Fiat and Toyota
with their threatening beams

some of them
in drunken fit
use those few seconds
to x-ray us
inside out
to bare us from within
and without
with their eyes
– just their eyes.

Machine

Aloof, we all mingle, form a machine,
Our touch steely and cold, oiled and sheen.

Electrically charged magnetism works,
We are bound together, nobody shirks.

Tightened with nuts and bolts together,
It is the purpose predefined that holds together.

Highly precarious, it can catch a fire,
If any willful passion amongst us emerges
– Obviously, an outlier.

craving

our “craving for pioneering”
can make us primitive, medieval too?
longing for the days gone by
when our body and soul rested in balance
when hands held stones
threw with will and capacity
small ripples that they made
in the seasonal pool was far more rejoicing
than the trained dip in a polished waterbody
– Archimedes dancing naked and free
and Newton on a wasting apples spree

but were body and soul really ever in balance?
isn’t that inertia?
craving is not being
being inertia
craving is what destroys it
and leads to becoming
it is an urge to balance
not balance itself
that defines the human pioneer

it’s a producer’s craving
not gluttony

——–

“The thing called Medievalism shows a craving for pioneering. To be sure, the direction in which that craving turns itself is toward Earth itself, which is near and which has the precedent of a great past. But the vision of worlds beyond is a similar something and the romantic can turn to it easily….” (Daneel Olivaw in Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel)