Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Reflecting on a mirror

The world is turned upside down
Not through darkness but by light
When hidden in the recesses of the heart
What is a mirror going to show?

Amusing spectacles would be worthless without the flame
Turning ice into water
Blowing bubbles in the silence of space
Is not a child’s play

Walking on clouds backlit by auroras in the north
Is a flight of fancy, but such is this place
A rocky outcrop with a sky for a Stetson
Holding fiercely competitive heat at bay

The blind at heart will see countless passersby
All clouds floating in the same gust of wind
A sharp stake can never pierce that ground
A soft thought is the only weight it may bear

Baked by the sun or cooled by the moon
A playground always welcomes children
Who continue their play, proudly innocent
Till a mirror makes the mind flip sides

Lofty patrons breathing their supercilious air
Are given seeds to sow, which will not grow anywhere
But low in the ground where they once crawled
Would anyone be ashamed to say they were children once?

A game of hide and seek is what they play
Taught to them by a grand sire who dropped them off for the day
Who would not recognize them when he returned at night
To collect more fibers for the carpet being weaved in private

Carrying many palaces surrounded by moats of empty space
Each with a drawbridge that is always closed
Trapping the queen who longs to see her king
Entertained by a mirror who praises her beauty

We are lucky the shift has not happened
Rocking the stage in the midst of the show  
On a giant mirrorball that lives off borrowed light
It’s fickle spotlight is what everyone craves

Encircled by envious marbles on which nothing grows
Dusty worlds whose time has either come or gone
Happy to host even a single soul willing to risk the leap
Offering nothing in return except to immortalize a tale

Every mirror shows its brightside when light flickers on
And hides the part reflecting the truth
Crystallized over time by the pressure of inner light
Which the world has long has refused to see

What are the eyes for? The judge would ask
They are tiny mirrors that are supposed to never lie
Buried under silt brought in by floods of the past
Colored lenses speak otherwise

Falling from the sky are raindrops and light
Creating rainbows rising from the ground
When the sky already meets earth, why do so few reach for the stars?
Their twinkle gives away what all this is about

We have mastered the impossible task of losing it in plain sight
And casting it into a ball that rolls with time
When it hits the nine pins, the curtain falls
Summoning the next player to roll the dice

A clock never sits still unlike a mirror
One looks forward and the other reflects the past
A mirror cannot reach out and tie one’s hands
But that of a clock bind those of fate

That is slow to arrive and quick to depart
Especially if the senses are tickled by the show
Each of them plays two roles
One serious and the other superfluous

Everything one owns is kept in a mirror
Walk away and there is nothing left
Proudly standing in it’s masters closet
The true nature is only revealed when the light is switched off

A mirror keeps a safe distance that only seems to grow
As one gets closer and closer
Caught between two mirrors
One becomes many

If it confuses a human, what may be the fate of beasts?
Fortunately nothing is polished in the wild
The path through the forest is known by its inhabitants
If only they could speak with their mouth and not with their tails

A watering hole reflects the world
When left left undisturbed, it is the mirror to the wild
Even the tiniest ripple may muddy the waters
Showing neither what is above or below it

Only parched lips may enjoy its reflection
But who can stand the sufferings of the body for long?
When the thirst is quenched, not through the mouth but the mind
It is easy to leave everything behind in the mirror where it belongs

  • N. Seshadri