Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Sunil Sharma

Post-Sisyphus Truth

 

I know I am

post-industrial version

 

of the mythical Sisyphus

condemned by gods

 

and resurrected, centuries later,

 

by Albert Camus

as a metaphor for a world

that made no sense to an artist

in search for explanation for the

all-around bestiality and brutality.

 

I borrow Camus and his Sisyphus

and the

ceaseless labour of rolling a boulder up the hill

 

I willingly undertake the same labour

Watched by a CCTV and a red-eyed boss from his corner office,

 

Whereas, mine is a cubicle, Manhattan/Mumbai/Delhi/Singapore/Dubai.

 

Locations do not matter anymore

the mood and feelings do

they remain the same, in each such office

in a standardized commercial building

downtown

or a premium space for business

called SEZ, every country;

 

I slave on the computer

24X7 all my life

as a middle-class guy

that dreams constantly of Gucci and Armani

and foreign holidays with family, often

 

unable to understand and appreciate

the moments that can set me free

 

from a lifelong bondage, invisible, and

 

gladly allow this realization

this epiphany

 

to pass,

brazenly!

 

 

 

 

 

Neo-Romantic

 

This sunset

hold my hand

in yours

sitting on the edge

or, almost,

 

look at the red horizon

that frames the naked hills

rude and rugged

 

showing their stony muscles

in the soft light

made up of reds, yellows and oranges,

 

the gorge drops down

sudden and swift

terminates with the

earth,

deep down,

where gloomy decades

sleep, curled up,

 

at this hour, when

day and night merge

in a new sensibility

 

and, dear,

 

clasped by your tapering hands,

kissed by the

cold breeze,

 

 

i feel, surprisingly, whole---again

 

 

away from the mega city!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Red

 

Some kid!

He wants to paint

the sky in red!

 

The earth in the similar colour.

Some bearded guy told him

red stands for radical change

 

under a red banner

once one-third humanity stood

and protested,

and changed the system;

 

The kid wants that to occur

again, in another age

 

but with weapons different

 

some colours and brush

to paint in red, the entire

 

universe, in a series of

canvases that tend to explode in your face,

 

for a desired

change he deems fit

for a culture, gone crazy

 

 

things his middle-class family can no longer tolerate

and

 

calls the ideal artist,

foolish.

 

 

 

 

  

 

Parlour-Selfies

 

In the beauty parlour

before the hair treatment

a long process

 

ensconced in the leather seat,

ears plugged in

 

the brown woman takes a selfie

of her powdered face

reflected in the polished mirror,

eyes round, brows raised

for comic effect

or theatrics;

 

after the treatment and bleach

 

another series---

pouting lips

and a

tongue stuck out

 

an average woman

records her

 

weekly-tryst

with beauty and mortality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wire-Pigeons

 

The cables

sprout pigeons

on late afternoons

in a jungle

bereft of trees

 

where buildings grow vertical

and trees few;

 

every day you find the

feathery visitors from

the heavens

perched on the wires

 

an urban anomaly!

 

 

 

 

About the poet

Sunil Sharma is a Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.
      Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: https://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html  
      For more details, please visit the link: http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/

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