A few houses with slate-tiled roofs
And a deserted chai-kiosk some distance away
We stopped before a fork in the road
Where an old man sat on a bench
Looking up through a tree, it seemed.
Delhi to Palampur is a long drive
Through the conflict of busy thoughts
That dash, zoom, dip, and dive
And are forever connecting dots.
I shut the engine, walked up to the old man
And asked: Which way to Palampur?
He moved a bit to his left and with his palm
Asked me to sit, and whispered: Look at that leaf
That quivers even though there is no breeze.
A few moments in the cool mountain air
All twists and turns of the past gone
There was this one quivering leaf to share
That was waiting to be reborn.
I asked the old man again: This way or that?
And he smiled and replied: Take this or that.
Both lead you to wherever you go.
The map on my phone agreed
And I knew what he said was right.
We choose between the steep and straight
Or wander through wonderous sights
And so we sing our song of fate –
Laid-back strains or beats strung tight!
That leaf, meanwhile, left the tree
And floated down to us.
The old man picked it up gently
And said: We will hear it sing
Another song on another way!
In the chilled-out stillness there
I felt the fleeting pulse of time
Of wordless songs everywhere
That twirled to every rhyme!
Based on the prompt: The lazy music is still (Satbir Chadha)
#TSLNaPoWriMo poetry writing challenge for April 2021
04 April 2021