Walking Beyond The Bend Of Time

Maharaj Kaul

She came from nowhere – a sorrowed flame from my hoary past,
We accidentally met at a poetry festival after 10 years’ oblivion,
The ecstasy and the agony of meeting her stunned me,
Reigniting the old fire, waking up the old pains,
Scuttling the peace of mind I was assiduously cultivating for years.

We wanted to be together but the world was not happy with that,
Then we drifted apart but yet were held together by the balm of our common pain,
Time in its leveling sweep erased the need of our seeing each other daily,
But our primordial bonds withstood the sharp edge of its serrated blade,
We were like twin blips eternally floating on the waves of the cosmic time.

We decided to celebrate our chance meeting walking along the river,
Hand in hand we followed its contour for a while,
Till we reached its bend; we were breathless over its large opulent curvature,
Which let the water curve in grace and mirth,
We walked in invisible silences, pulled in by inner gravities,
A miasma of pained mystery veiled us.

Why do two people cut asunder by fate still dream to be together? –
A mirror once broken cannot be whole,
Why is there hope when despair has anchored its flag ferociously?,
Love is a blind immersion in a faith – a natural enemy of reason,
Fulfilled love is ennobling, unfulfilled love touches eternity.

We paused at the apex of the bend and looked into each other’s eyes,
I saw her serenely sad eyes carrying a still smoldering fire,
Whose eventual extinguishment she seemed not to be fighting,
I pressed her hands to charge her to fight our fate,
But she seemed to say, “I am sorry, I have given it my best shot.”

Walking further on the lip of the river we let our hands part,
We seemed like two rivers breathlessly close yet incapable of becoming a confluence,
Two dreams about each other that could not merge,
Two similar ideas divided by a fact,
Two converging lines getting closer to each other but never meeting.

Time’s ruthless stride pushed us to the goodbye point –
The moment we dreaded the most,
I looked into her wasted face but saw the sunset’s splendorous glow in her eyes,
She clasped my hands firmly and I felt her heartbeat dancing off,
I kissed her eyes shut and pressed out the space between us.

She waited on the platform till the last moment before the train would start,
A billowing breeze swept her hair, her cheeks glistened with her tears,
A reluctant hand waved the goodbye; she finally stepped into the train and it rolled on.
As we moved beyond the bend of time
I felt it freeze and touched a moment of eternity.

Suffern, New York, 10.18.10

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