Sriram J.


A procession wanders,
Crawling through the endless mazes,
Pondering the deceased that it carries yonder,
To where the flame blazes.

The bare earth surrounding the fire
Is wet with rain on a day with no clouds.
Yet this draws no ire
At a time meant for shrouds.

A young man forlorn,
Barely sustaining the ember within,
Peels away excruciatingly that which he has worn,
A mask - false bravery displayed to kin.

His bleak eyes,
A shimmering and intangible fog,
Stand still unwilling to accept demise,
Holding back time.

The mass disperses,
Leaving the dust swirling, and the boy,
Who purses
His lips in a showing bereft of joy.

A stream reflecting overhanging petals descends,
Flowing quietly past as it suddenly shortens its breadth,
Slowing at the bend,
And opening its dark depth.

From verdant bank the blackened ashes
Scatter as the biting wind lashes.
Falling into the abyss the stream holds within,
They bring but a sharp intake of air.

He swiftly turns toward the lone star,
Its light twinkling through the foreboding trees meant to keep him captive,
Illuminating the only available path -
It leads away from death.

The water winds on,
Making its way,
Through dank caves and open pastures,
Meandering away from that place.

Path and vital liquid cross often,
And each time the traveler feels a veil drop over him,
Until he surrenders and weeps as a shattered man,
Overcome by the thin tendrils that clutch at him as they reach from the past.

Just as the stream never forgets the life which it holds,
Those gray ashes among white pebbles at its bottom.


Copyright 2002-2007 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2007 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.