Friday, October 3, 2014

The shadow of joy

A long shadow
Cast over the skies
Brings respite
From busy sights
Thousands of strings
A puppeteer’s fest
Tug at the hearts
Of men busy at work
Day and night
Contrasting colors
Come again and again
A reminder to the armchair bound
Of the shadow of joy
That lights the world
Giving every little pursuit
That much value
The shadow of joy
That no worldly light can match
Survives till time’s last instant
And never too late to find

The strings that pull
Are the ones that bind
Stretched by desire
To the limit of its might
Light as air
And strong as steel
Waiting patiently
For wisdom to reveal its glory
The shadow of joy
Is gifted at birth
Squandered in youth
And reclaimed in senility
On a shoestring budget
With only air and water
Or a wealthy man’s treasures
Of gold that outlives him

The shadow of joy
Is available to all
But the price to pay
Is ending chattering thoughts
It isn’t a cold dark place
But a warm hearth
With embers of eternity
Patiently waiting to be stoked
There isn’t one
But thousands of lifelines
But only one lifetime
To grab it before it’s gone
The shadow of joy
Is benevolent and kind
Reaching even the most
Wicked at heart
Strings on the violin are the same
Hands of the musician matter
The shadow of joy doesn’t change its value
According to the color in the heart
Each thought tries to create
Its own shadow of joy
A dubious counterfeiter
Always trying to control the mind
A noisy island
Amidst the tranquility of space
Is the mind of man
Like quacking seagulls on a deserted beach
A teasing reminder of its presence
Is in the depth of sleep
Rest of the day
It plays hide and seek
The shadow of joy
Is there for all
A valuable resource
If there is to be peace in the world
Lurking in its depths
Endless space and time
Appearing black
But who has seen its colors?
In the four corners
Pillars of life
Built to a height
Where the roof appears flat
The world was thought to be so
Until the telescope’s time
When the heresy was done
The world was seen in a new light
All the time
Watched over
By the shadow of joy
A silent smile between every thought
An uneven journey
With one support
Of wealth and power
Which confines to the shadows
The liberating strings of joy
Whose music resonates
In every joyful laugh
And soulful cry
The anchor
Of desire
Weightless as a feather
But a heavy burden
Weighing on the soul
Accustomed to working
From the shadows
Uninterested in treasure
The shadow of joy
Sheltered in the mind
But lost in the ordinary one
Known to all
Gently tugging
Feigning a loss
The shadow of joy lurks
Humbly in a corner
The fiery light
Of the sun and stars
Is soaked up by the moon
Leaving it alien and dry
A teardrop that falls
From the moonlit mind
Consumed by the fire
That digests the shadows
Of joy and sorrow, leaving
A faint whisper
Only heard
In the depth of night
Purse strings pull on the heart of man
Luring him with paper gold
Whose shine pales, to that
Of the shadow of joy
Sixteen puppets ring
The heart and soul
Each answering
To a thousand masters
Living on a mountain abode
Behind a curtain of clouds
Millions of miles flown in a capsule
Can never reach that secluded spot
The voice of reason
Rings loud and clear
From a safe haven
Ever closer to the shadow of joy
Sometimes bitter and sweet
Are reason and fantasy
Only in downstream thoughts
Do they show their faces
Upriver, the waters are pure
Its surface, holding many reflections
Hiding in the depths
A crystal clear lens

Through which is seen
Wondrous workings
Of the shadow of joy
That permeates one and all
Shadows depart
When the sun kisses the horizon
Balancing the yin and yang
As it rises in another land
Time casts an ever-growing shadow
Swallowing everything in its wake
Except eyes that look
Like phosphorescent petals
Through these eyes
Are seen the traces
Of the shadow of joy
Cast by a light from no man’s land
Navigating by the shadows
Between the stars at night
Weather beaten captains
Seek to cast long shadows on the shore
One man’s journey
By the starlit sky
Lights the way
For civilizations to come
Inching near the shadow of joy
Bemoaning the past
Full of senseless pleasure
Time turns into gold in twilight years
A rise and fall
Witnessed by many millions
Yet no understanding
Of each vanishing act
Victims of traps
Made of sound and light
Laid by a mind
Up to no good
An inexplicable silence
Is the shadow of joy
There is only one
No matter where you go

Only felt when the noise of the world
Isn’t a ripple in the mind
And when the vacuum of space
Is imported in
The music of the senses
Is then heard as a different tune
No more a squatter
On the shadow of joy

Not a meaningless void
But a much needed interlude
Between time bound pursuits
That sap the veins of life

Rising in that silence
Is the falling away
Of nervy breaths
That seek fill the bubble that thoughts are

Not every light
Can cast this shadow
Spoken of by saints of yore
Who once battled just as we do now

Well protected is
The shadow of joy
But easily accessed if
There is a pause in thought

The shadow of joy
Lost through millennia
But an easily reclaimable gift
That only seeks to add

To the silence within
That is home
To the happiness
We all seek

- N. Seshadri