talking to the sun
the cars stop at red, a momentary block,
as the gaunt but big-boned man
— with sun-baked face and arms,
hair and beard dangling wiry, crinkled
like loose threads of his faded-violet
duffel bag slung on a towering shoulder,
dressed in tattered flowing brown robe
that had long lost its sleeves —
crosses our part of the street on to the middle island
to teeter beneath the traffic light that worries about
the man dancing round its weather-beaten pole.
the man’s fierce eyes tell me
not to open my side windows,
as he, a soul from the middle island, shaded
by the red-eye traffic lamp,
raises his hands high to the sky
looking up directly to the morning sun,
alternately shaking his pointy fingers of doom
to shoot down the cosmic glare,
or opening up his fists into a graven cup,
to beseech the sun and his many moons
to come rest in his palms.
and with a sweep of one hand and his glowing eyes,
he addresses the cars idling on the road,
holding them as hostage to his pithy and rage,
and stretches the other hand to reach
into his weary duffel bag.
i hold my breath as he struggles
to pull something heavy out of the bag
— would it be a rock or a bottle,
a missile, an incendiary cocktail? —-
while the traffic lamp keeps its red eye peeled
unblinking, unbreathing, unyielding.
and the man addresses the sun again,
as he now pulls up a thick,
heavily-frayed book to shake at the sky,
his mouth frothing, his eyes intent
to part the clouds that gather.
and just as suddenly as he had made his way
to the middle island, he darts
to the other side of the far street,
lilting and prancing, disappearing into
the din of onrushing cars,
and pensively plodding pedestrians.
and in the interval between his coming and going,
in the wait to return back to my own journey,
a baby is born in a hospital ward not too far from where
a dying man, as he breathes his last, hears the baby cry.
in a forest, a pale sprout turns green to smile at the sun,
while unheard, a tree in all its glorious foliage falls
cursing to the ground,
and the many tensions of growth and decay
that span the breadth between heaven and earth
promise the same beyond, but remain reticent
to let me in on their arcane wisdom and deep secrets.
– © said sadain 2019