Archive for May, 2008

Collateral Damage of life

If so much as long life beyond

Mortal hour-glass may be burdened;

Each grain nudging an age thereof

Past its pursed mouth to eternity; enough

For hills to powder crumble

And the hollows levelled to brim

I shall still think: one brief hour was

All that needed for such a man as I:

An hour rounded off by happiness.


If so much as long life beyond

Pleasure of senses or of mind did last

Life would have lost its best part,

For a man such as I: Devoid of feel

A head though with facts be filled  

Has come far too short on living;

Unsettled as I am, one perfect hour was

All that needed for such a man as I :

An hour rounded off by happiness.


Wrapped in tears and laughter of mankind

Either way a perfect fit I may never find.




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His joining the Army was accidental. His elder brother had taken Chemistry course at the Virginia Military Institute. He had done well. When George was ready to enrol in VMI he overheard his brother telling his brother not to let George go. Because he was afraid George would disgrace the family name. More was his determination to prove his brother wrong.



In 1902 as the second lieutenant Marshall was leading a patrol by ‘banca’in the Philippines. They were heading towards a small island where an armed band had been reported. On the way he had to cross a narrow stream but deep for fording. As the patrol got moving some one heard a splash and yelled,’Crcodiles!’. In panic men ran for safety knocking Marshall over. He quietly got to his feet and ordered them to fall in, gave them right shoulder arms and faced the river they had just crossed.’March!’the lieutenant commanded. Down they went single file into the river with Marshall at their head. Having reached the other end they were kept marching back where they started from. This was repeated before they could fall out. No more the incident was mentioned. As the one in command he merely used the reflexes of discipline to restore the substance of command. 



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Ode To A Master-Builder




Bridgebuilder over sylvan shadows

What complexity shall I reckon

To St.Arachnid in part

And your native Art?





Weave me a dream as substantial

Out of your loom:

Already I am high even as you

With pride elemental

Past the seven sisters and Orion climb;

It is your universe and my plodding mind

Think it is dew, –

Oh overlook my vain presumption:

I am merely a poet in love with words

While you create new worlds

And stay fit on your gifts.




Blustery winds from North

Do blow; If the boughs of larch

In heap fall and acorns pepper

What shall you do, spider?

Between floor-boards of earth

(Stolidity begone! ) I swim

Among clouds on warpath;

Round the Sun’s rim

One can’t be too careful.

‘Malignant be your beam,’

The spider cries out, baleful:

‘Still I must spin another

Web around my naked hearth;

As long as life has its power

From this piteous hearth 

Shall my dreams flower.’




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Cicero, Marcus Tullius(106-43 B.C) Orator


Even as a child he won fame among his school fellows and Masters alike for his excellent wit and quick capacity to learn. It is said that the fathers of other boys used to come to school to see the boy who carried such an excellent report.


He left for Rhodes to study Rhetoric under Appolonius. His tutor who was not so proficient in latin tongue, wanted Cicero to declaim certain passages in Greek. He took up the task hoping thereby his faults,if any, would be corrected. His tutor kept a deadpan expression throughout to observe in the end,”As for me Cicero I not only praise thee but more than that I wonder at thee: and yet I am sorry for Greece to see that learning and eloquence( which were the only two gifts and honor left to us)are by thee carried unto the Romans”.


When he got into active politics he took the trouble of knowing the names of citizens with whom he came into contact as well as those who were influential.

He was very vain and loved to hear his own praise. After a long absence from Rome when he returned to the city he asked his friend what the Romans said of him. His friend asked,”You mean you have been

away?”It made him shut up. ( Plutarch’s Lives- Thomas North’s version. ) 



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Ah, love beneath a starlit canopy-  

Like a needle bobbing awry

O’er the wobbling lp,

Hurts more than auditory nerve;

I am bionic and love must serve 

That wishy washy part of human;

Along came this fine piece of woman

Complete with controls and panels: 

Her systems were all on the go,

Every kiss, hot and wet she paid back

Measure for measure;

But when we lay skin to skin

Her kevlar skin in particular

Did something glandular:

Love was in the touch and smell  

But beyond any programme

Or back-up which made one bionic;

 Love is it? I aint daffy or a cynic

To spell out what comes natural.



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Life And Art

While Jesus passed through Bethany one of the local worthies took to himself to guide the master around. At one place a cloaked figure suddenly bolted out of sight. “Rabbi you see that man who ran into the alley?” Jesus stopped in his tracks.

“He is Lazarus,- the man whom you brought out from death,” said the guide,” you gave him life back so he may sin more”. Jesus already knew that Lazarus who never strayed from the straight and narrow in his life had sought pleasures, darkest ones since he got a new lease of life. Jesus sighed and said, “ I gave life since it was in my power to glorify my Father. May be it teaches him now a new way to celebrate life.” He turned the topic to something else. At one deserted place a man was trying to hang a rope from one of the branches of an olive tree. The guide said with awe, “ The man from Gadarenes. Didn’t you drive so many demons out of him?”

 Yes he was none other than the one who called himself Legion. Jesus knew he was a very brilliant performer who once earned pots of gold around Judea and in Rome by performing tricks. The man had lost his art from the moment Jesus cured him of his demonic possession. On seeing Jesus the man cringed and wailed, “ Oh Rabbi I had foolishly asked you to cure me of demons. Had I known that I would lose my art and source of income I would not have let you in.” Jesus approached him and asked,  “ Say the word, glory of my Father is to make it happen”.

The man broke down and wept and said,” You and your God! Since you healed me I lost faith in God. Completely!”

(modified on May 11, 2018)


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Poetry Please!-3

A River Never Runs


A river never runs

When it can lie

Close to a shallow:

Minnows fret and sigh

And think the Sun is


It digs its toes deep

Into silt to turn in

For summer sleep.


A river knows how

To find ease

When out of its depths.

Rain may tease

In million prickles


But river gets away  

Using the mighty torrent

To clear the way.


Old hag of the earth!

Your hollows do

Tell of some fault,

Geological; too

Deep to think :

How make a river

Nature’s jig-saw puzzle,

A walk-over?



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