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


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,









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


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!











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



calls the ideal artist,










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



with beauty and mortality.










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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Published by The Alternative.