Smuggled Buddha

By a white statue of the little Buddha,
I folded  my legs to strike a lotus pose,
And faced another humongous red Buddha
In the glass-caged temple in front of me.

That was just to click myself in a picture
and to incarnate on the click-farms of Metaverse.

The marble inscription of the temple said:
This statue was stolen from China
And then smuggled to New York
Then bought by Louisiana
And installed on Avery Island.

Now I wonder:
In this transoceanic theft of Buddha,
What portion of Four Noble Truths,
What amount of compassion and self-knowledge
Did they smuggle in here?
If they had managed any,
Did they trap them in the same glass cage?
Mar. 1, 2024

Dream Bubble
At the sprightly site of these soap bubbles, my heart took off to the distant land and even more distant past. Here I was strolling at the Girard Park next to my university. There, I avoided the eyes of my parents and sometimes of my two elder sisters, to sneak out of my home onto the street. The street was unpaved and sparsely fenced with the sajiwans. With Spring, the sajiwans had new foliage of tempting leaves of a palm size with a slender finger-length of its petiole. I selected a promising leaf and plucked it from the base of its petiole with an extra caution not to break it otherwise. Then I snapped the petiole near the base of the blade making sure not to break the lower portion of its skin. Thus, I formed a tiny triangle which was filled instantly by a fragile film of transparent sap. Before it formed a droplet, I circled my lips into an O and gently blew right onto the sap triangle—a marble size bubble popped out of the triangle. Aha! My mission accomplished! The dreamy, transparent, and glistening bubble drifted a while in the air. I started chasing after it and touched it out of its existence. As it disappeared, a tiny droplet landed on my white Amul t-shirt and made an indelible dream-mark. I outgrew that t-shirt, but not the memory of the bubble mark.
Oct. 14, 2022

A Lafayette Evening
Dear Lafayette,
I gazed on your western horizon,
when the painter of the evening
kept mixing its colors on the ethereal
canvas turning it gold, orange, and darker orange.
Upon the base of ever-darkening
silhouette of trees and houses,
Countless twinkle of earthly stars came to life.

Griffin Hall on my right and a rooftop lamp-post
on my left framed my field of vision
on the canvas of now invisible painter.
From the upper left, a lone star stared down at me
And the Lunar crescent of the day two graced the center
as the painter headed to Eastern hemisphere.

My mother would soak barley and corn
and wish for a clear sky as she would wait
for a glimpse of the same lunar crescent to dig the holy soil
and make a tiny seedbed for the jamara.
I feel the soft golden shoots of barley and corn,
On the blurry border of the blue and orange.
Oct. 7, 2021

Johnston Street is different tonight 
Regular wheels are not flashing 
It teems with whole bunch of people 
Didn’t know this place sheltered so many souls 

White, blue, purple, gold, green, red, and what not 
Were those beads  
The crew of carnival flung them in both directions, 
I caught some of them in the mid air
Romped with joy
Thought I got something substantial 
Put them on my neck 

One, two, three, … nineteen…twenty… 
I stopped counting 
Each catch adding up to my ecstasy  
Piling up around my neck

The cool, smooth roundness of the beads  
Caressed my open nape 
And rolled over my breast 
With each step, and jump I made  
The beads would jostle as if to tear  
the fabric of my shirt and be one with me

I couldn’t catch all of them, 
I pine for the beads I tried to catch 
But someone else grabbed before me 
Or I misjudged the distance and they hit the ground 
I was too proud to pick them up 
If only I could reverse the time 
And secure those missed moments 
Which keep on pinching my heart with remorse

Now the parade is over 
A kid jumps over the barricade  
Picks up the beads scattered on the street 
Handful, he runs to his parents to show the treasure 
But what should I do with this neck-full of beads? 
Carried them back to my abode 
Put them on the table 
Made a heart of a pink one 
And sent it to my little girl 
And got one in return 
The string feels long enough  
To keep the distant beads in touch!
March 26, 2021

A twilight sets on
Bearded tress and lapping waves
When framed through a lens
Apr. 22, 2022

Devkota once said
Man is great by heart not caste
Do you feel that way?
Nov. 5, 2021

Sleet crystals settle
On a pebble bed and ask
For a snow blanket
Feb. 15, 2021

When the tune of Sarswati’s bina
Mingled with the music of nine muses

When Kalidasha’s cloud messenger
Crossed the oceans to trigger the west wind of Shelley

When the oriental mystical universal self
Permeated Plotinus’s One and
Transcended Emerson’s Over soul
To condense into a drop on Whitman’s blade of grass,

I find myself morphed into a purple petal of Jacaranda
That maneuvered not to join the piling blanket on the turf,
Instead took flight on the wings of Oryx and
Joined the tap of acorn at this southern yard of Uncle Sam.
Nov. 28, 2019