RAJENDRA PATEL


RAJENDRA PATEL is (Gujarati) poet, short story writer and translator. He has three anthology of poetry and one anthology of short stroy. he is General Secratory Gujarati Sahitya Parishad - Ahmedabad)and Joint Secretary Vanche Gujarat Abhiyan - Gandhinagar. He is TRUSTEE & COMMITTEE MEMBERS:of a number of literary and culture organizations.His note worthy activities are Various lectures on noble laureats poets at guj.vidhyapith,Ahmedabad.Lectures on Seamus Heany, Joseph Brosdsky & Derak Wolkot at S.P.University, Vallabhavidhyanagar, Gujarat and on Pablo neruda, gujrat vishvakosh. Lectures on short stories in Gyansatra held by Gujarati Sahitya Parisad-2004 at Vallabhavidhyanagar,Gujarat and on long poems at kim surat 2009.,Active member of budh sabha -60 years old sabha of Gujarati poets. Co-editors of yearly literary magazine -paraspar.Member of suresh Joshi Sahitya forum & organizer of various camps. Actively worked in earthquake relief work & rehabilitation work in Kutch-2001.Faculty member of CED,(CENTRE FOR ENTERPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT), General Secretary Gujarati Sahitya Parishad Ahmedabad From 1/1/2010 To 31/12/2013,Convener of H.M.Patel Translation Centre (Gujarati Sahitya Prishad),Joint Secretary: Vanche Gujarat Abhiyan (Gov. of Gujarat).
 


They Do Not Become Footprints
 


So difficult it is
to remain still
or gust away like breeze.

taking baby steps
we have got to an unsteady gait.
Yet where on the path
are we?
Don't know

Sometimes we wonder
has there been at all a beginning
or has the end arrived
or mid-way we are still groping.
Can't make sense of anything.
Feet remain just feet
tired or cast of clay.

Opening or closing the window
feet stagger sometimes
endure with an armchairís support.
Yet the foundation
remains unstable.

So simple it is
to march hundreds of miles
holding a flag
and simple even to roam
like an ascetic;
standing erect on one leg
is a bit difficult.
But most arduous
is to pace steadily.

Feet get tired often
and one feels
their heaviness.
But the path inside the path
inspires one again yet again
to walk on.
After much treading.
But the feet remain stationery

It is indeed so tough
to become still
at the pathís end.
Steps do not turn into way
nor the path
into translucent time.

Feet verify remain just feet
not turn into footprints.



Rajendra Patel's Poems:

1.
Why do I feel like
A trunk without branches
Despite these arms?

Stretching out far and wide
In search of a live snake
These arms crashed into each other
Ended up into sheer expanse of nails.

From the grip on grandpaís stick
To the one on the balance bar of bus
The fist gathered just the dead vacuum.
Anticipating that
These stretched scarecrow arms
Would turn towards the sky
The whole farm was thrilled to sprouts.

Every single particle of earth
Clung to the farm
Like arms.
Every single furrow
Fortune lines on palms.

Lines can measure
Just the length of arms
Not its roots.
Before I could figure this out
Arms struck roots
In white span
Shot through with ink
Began to see through newly-grown eyes
Began to fly on newly-grown wings
Beyond that grey sky.

Now
In every single cell of brain
Arms stay up day and night
Striking deeper and deeper roots.

2. The Dream of Immortal web

Even blazing torches
Are ridden with
Cobwebs now
And the fretful dark
Under the furious flame
Has fleshed out with age

Turning soft with soft earth
The kodiyun has melted away
Not a blade of grass
Grows in vegetable beds.

Fed up of
The same old light
Suicidal moths
Keep an arms' length from flame.

Wandering in the dream of immortal web
They suck black juice of dark
Taking it for light
Flustered flametorch
Has decides to go off

Every single vein of arm
And the whole expanse of nail
Urge it to burn for
Yet another night
The dazzling morning sun
Reason with the torch
"Things always happen without rhyme or reason"

Thus
The industrious spider keeps weaving
The blaze of torch diminishing
The moth fluttering afar
Dashes in to save the torch

Eyes of the moth
Wings of the moth
Light of the most
Illumines the torch
Again and again.

2. Dust

No matter how much do I clean it
My room gets swamped with dust.

It settles in thick layers
Through chinks in cupboards, over books and clothes
Even over whirring fans.

In case I am out
It sprawls inside the locked house
Watches over the touch left behind
Blurs the face enclosed in frame.

Even in dreams
Dust seems to fill the eyelids
As I strain to peer at the faded day
Through flitting gaps between particles.
Wingless moments smothered under it
Delights me like dazzling sunlight.
Dust is the cornucopia of earth

*

Father always insisted:
Dust off your shoes before entering the house.
But it seeps in hair throughout the day
At times, soaked in sweat
Covertly changes your complexion.
Notwithstanding my deep concern,
The hanky remains soiled.
Dust is the footprint of time.

*
Dust tunes in with my steps
And preserves the past.
Evoked reminiscence of grandmaís hands
Merged with fatherís ashes and
Gives me vibes of father since then.
Roams around defiant amorphous.
Even before birth and after
It waits quietly for something.
It's my deep unyielding root
Closer to heart than flesh and blood.

Being the gentle din of steps
Time went past and advanced on,
It keeps me wide awake.
Dust is
My gateway to dust.

Even that's not true

Fallen leaves don't bring
An end to the tree
Nor does anything end
If fallen leaves are set afire.

A subterranean world
Hidden like invisible stars
Takes form right in the smoke.
It's very much there
But not always,
Or
It becomes a lone drum
Hailing the time gushing away
In thickening night.

Still nothing stirs.
Every now and then
Eerie bells ring in ruined building.
A conch forsaken on seashore
Blows incessant cries
That probable fall on deaf ears.
Still to say that
Nothing really happens
Would amount to a charade.

*

Even after realizing that
The treetop yearns for a glimpse
In the heart of its infinite hearts,
The sky remains utter sky
Roots sheer roots,
Still at times,
The tree turns into the sky, even roots.

Being prodigal with golden dream
It has lost its verdure
And everything is smothered under rotten earth.
No seed sprouts.
Thus I hanker for
A twinkling of time's eye
That never closes once it opens.
Despite everything
Not a single window opens
No a slight creak is heard
Moonlight doesn't seep through chinks.

I dust off apparels of present

With hundred odd hands of dark.
Not a single spark flashes.
No straggling lamp is espied
Anywhere in pitch-dark night
Even that's not true.

*

Why do I suddenly feel
Mother's trembling hands
As the lit the lamp
Belong to me?
A vigorous scrape of match
Against highly inflammable surface
Doesn't blaze anything, why ?
When such an angst
Sprouted strange seeds
In breathing body-pores,
I realized
Iím a human being
With a pair of eyes and ears
A nose and a mouth....
Still to say that
The face is always flat
Would be a blatant lie.

*

The full moon
Often becomes my mask
And eyes keep awake
Twinkle like stars
And virtually no one from entire nebula
Calls out my name
Even that is not true.

*

I am
Was
An will be.
I am
But still don't exist.
Life goes on
Play, breathe in and breathe out
Age, grow nails, hair, number of bifocals
Or lose teeth, years and cells.
Still nothing decreases just as
Nothing increases.
Substance and space mutually
Keep morphing into each other.
Thus I am
What I was,
Perhaps I'm what
I never was
Or
Even that's not true.

Glossary

Kodiyun: a tiny earthen bowl carrying the oil and the wick of a lamp
 


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